A website is a necessity for all businesses in 2023
The majority of my current clients are small business owners who previously thought that they had no need for a website. They mistakenly believed that a website would be too expensive to have created and maintained or that their marketing dollars would be best used on other channels like print ads or radio. Because many of my clients are very hands on with their businesses, I realized that the real hesitancy concerning websites came from a fear that they would not be able to control the website in the same way that they are able to manage other customer facing aspects of their businesses. Their previous frustrations with their mobile phone or computers lead them to believe that they would spend an inordinate amount of time on trying to get the website to work and that they would have to take time away from actually running their business. Consequently, I have put together a short list based on my experiences with small and medium sized business owners that highlights some of the reasons why every business needs a website.
Control the Story Around Your Business and Build Trust and Credibility
A website for your business allows you to control the narrative around your business. In the same way that online reviews of your business on Yelp or Google allow customers to express their opinion on your business, a website allows you to choose the important aspects you want to highlight as well as provide the details needed to rebut negative reviews. You can provide information about past projects or events as well as highlight testimonials from previous customers. A website is also an excellent place to really put a spotlight on the credentials that allow you stand out from your competitors.
“Business Hours” are a thing of the past; Potential customers and clients are looking for the services they need around the clock. A website allows them to not only locate critical information about your location and services, but also see what really sets your business apart. A website allows customers to do research on your business when it is convenient for them and their focus is on the service your business provides.
Your Competitors Do
Hearing a competitor’s radio ad or see their ad in a local paper or magazine is the trigger for many business owners to start running their own ads. The same is true for websites. In the same way you don’t want to be the only local service provider without a marketing or advertising plan, you do not want to be the only service provider in your industry without a website. Even a basic website can go a long way in reassuring potential customers about the quality of the work or service you provide.
Your Customers will be looking
Regardless of your industry or business type, potential customers expect to be able to find you online. Suspicion will grow if you do not have at the very least a basic, professional informational site with details about your business and contact information.
Connect with Customers More Effectively
A website can serve not only as an information hub for your business but also as a way to directly connect with potential customers and learn more about them and their needs. Websites provide an effective way to collect phone numbers, emails and other information that can be used to market to potential customers.
Look More Professional
Every business owner knows the importance of branding. Something as simple as a branded polo shirt or a vehicle with custom graphics goes a long way in establishing the identity of your business. Small and medium sized business owners spend countless dollars on branding and marketing materials as well as invest many hours to make sure that they present the right look to potential customers and clients. While no business owner would dream of having potential customers reach them using a phone number also used by their teenage child, many owners continue to market their businesses using “generic” email addresses. Having a business website allows you to abandon the @gmail.com and @yahoo.com addresses that many small business owners frequently use on their business cards and other marketing materials and have a personalized email that looks professional and shows your business in the best light.