A business needs a website. Many small businesses, especially start-ups, believe that they cannot benefit from having a website or that a website is not within their budget. Some of them even think it’s only necessary to have a Facebook page to have a web presence or that a sign with their phone number on it is enough. Or they think mere word of mouth is all they need.
Some of them even have the idea that they’re not tech savvy and neither are their customers. These are all misconceptions.
WHY A BUSINESS NEEDS A WEBSITE
We have come from the Industrial Age to the Age of Connection. The truth is, having a professional website is an excellent way to promote your business.
YOUR CREDIBILITY WILL BUILD
More and more consumers are searching the internet for products or services that they need. Your business will gain more credibility over competitors just by having a website.
Most small businesses work off of word of mouth, which is totally fine, but they are still missing out on a ton of referrals. Happy customers are quick to share what they think of your business, but what about their friends who haven’t heard of you yet? They’ll take to the internet.
A WEBSITES SAVES YOU MONEY AND CAN BE PROFITABLE
As a small business owner you might think that you can’t afford a professional website. Nothing is further from the truth, it can cost as little as R80 per month to own a website. Although the cost of getting a website built varies, one can’t afford NOT to have a website. Compared to costs of newspaper ads you can see why having a website is very economical.
SHOWCASE YOUR WORK
Regardless of what line of work you’re in, a website is a great medium to showcase your work, product or service. This gives any potential customer the knowledge of what to expect from you.
IMPROVES CUSTOMER SERVICE
Having a website a can improve your customer service. Maybe you own a hair salon and you can create a blog or page which gives your audience advice on neat hairstyles they can apply in their day-to-day life, or maybe you own an accountancy firm and you can give your audience regular advice on how to manage their finances. What better way to provide them with value added service than by sharing information on your website.
IT GETS YOU FOUND
Having a well-built website will increase your visibility in search engines like Google. If people are looking for what you have to offer they can find it just by searching for it.
Think of your website as a 24-hour sales staff, if presented properly and gives the right delivery you can easily sell from your site with just the push of a button. Worldwide, e-commerce is the preferred method of purchase. The e-commerce industry in South Africa had a slow start but it is growing in leaps and bounds. OLX, Gumtree, BidOrBuy and Takealot are a testament to that.
HUGE BENEFITS FOR LOCAL BUSINESSES
Some of you may have the misconception that websites are there only for national companies or worldwide corporations with audiences around the globe. Actually, websites are just as, if not more, beneficial for small businesses. It’s a great way to connect with locals.
Google also ranks results according location. In other words, if your looking for a “hair salon near me,” Google won’t show you a name-brand in London (unless of course you live in London).
You might also have the misconception that a website won’t work in a small town or a small community, fact is that if your website is well-built with effective social media marketing you can easily attract customers to your business.
Do realize though that the website is not the end all of online marketing and that simply having one does not guarantee success. A website is just a tool and one of many and is only as powerful as you use it in your promotions.