A website can be a powerful business tool. As more and more people turn to the Internet to find out more about companies great and small, having a properly maintained website could represent the difference between achieving success and struggling to survive.
Yet despite this, various studies have indicated that roughly 50% of entities that would typically fall into the small business category do not have a website.
Not surprisingly, the excuses for not having a website range from not having the time to put a website together to thinking it is not a cost-effective business strategy. However, for the owner that is looking to grow or even maintain the vitality of their small business, having a website is very well worth their time and money.
Customers and the Web
Simply stated, there is no better way for a prospective customer to find out about your business than by establishing an online presence. With each passing year, traditional methods of search such as thumbing through the Yellow Pages are becoming more and more obsolete, and modern techniques like the utilization of search engines have become the norm. Because of this paradigm shift, the chances of your small business being spotted by potential customers without a website are becoming increasingly slimmer.
Another reason why having a website is essential is that it greatly expands the reach of your company well beyond your local neighbourhood. A website has no hours of operation or physical address, meaning that anyone from anywhere can get information on your business at any time. If your business can be designed to sell products online, a website could even help you obtain paying customers even as you sleep.
A good website will also bolster your customer service opportunities. If you are online, your clientele can obtain information and assistance in ways that move beyond the telephone, from sending you an e-mail to checking out whatever list of frequently asked questions that you have managed to cobble together and post on a dedicated page. This expanded level of aid will foster a greater sense of trust amongst your clientèle, which could lead to them being more willing to buy from you. Not only that, but having a wealth of contact options available will give your company simple opportunities to generate leads as more people discover who you are and what you can provide.
Online Presence and Marketing Materials
A website is the ultimate marketing tool, and one of the chief reasons why this is the case is because it gives you the power to keep your customers informed about all of your company’s latest news, data, and product information in real time. Because the content of a website is completely malleable, you can perpetually keep your clientele abreast with updates as they occur and as often as they happen. And if you use a reliable content management system like WordPress, these updates can be made in a quick, cost-effective manner.
Other Sales-Related Benefits
One of the most important aspects of an effective sales strategy is to develop trust, which is something that a good website can allow you to do rather organically. Having an online presence can allow you to do the following:
- Convey your credibility
- Share your expertise
- Provide your clients with detailed information about your business and your practices
This is the type of information that can prove to be the vital building blocks that are essential to forging a strong, trustworthy relationship with your customers, which could in turn make it more comfortable to them to convert into paying clientèle.
Ultimately, the main reason you should have a website if you don’t already have one is because there is no better tool to grow a business in the 21st century. You may have to carve out time from your busy schedule to create one, but it will ultimately be worth it.
Amerco is an example of a small local business website that employed the services of Lemongrass Media to give them the online presence they desired.