Today, more and more consumers use the internet to search for the products or services they need. Your small business will gain credibility by having a website. Without one, potential customers will go to your competitors that do. If you already have a website but it is “home-made”, having it professionally redesigned will provide your business with a professional image which will inspire even greater confidence. For home-based businesses, this is particularly beneficial since you do not have a store front to promote your products or services.
As a small business owner you probably think you can’t afford a professional website, but you can’t afford NOT to. Although the cost of designing a website varies, once it’s up and running, a website for a small business generally costs under $100 a month and, in some cases, as little as $20. Compared with the cost of a newspaper ad, when you consider the potential market you can reach with a website, it is a very cost effective way to promote your business.
Think of your website as being your online brochure or catalog. It is much easier and quicker to update information about your products and services on your website than in print material, making it an effective way of letting your customers know about the arrival of new products, upcoming events, special promotions, or any new services you now offer. Unlike print ads which quickly become outdated, your website can provide current information and news.
A website is available to both your regular and potential customers 24/7/365 providing them with the convenience of reviewing your products and services when your store or office is closed. With today’s busy lifestyles, this is a great selling point when making a purchase decision.
Whether you provide products or services, your website will provide an alternative location to sell them. As a retailer, a website (eCommerce) is a great place to sell your products to a wider market; even services can be made available globally. Don’t think you’ll be able to sell your products or services online? Don’t forget, even cars and houses sell online!
No matter what type of business you’re in, a website is a great place to showcase your work. By including a portfolio or image gallery, as well as testimonials about your work, you can demonstrate what makes your business unique.
Providing information to your customers takes time, whether it’s on the phone, face-to-face, in a brochure, or in emails. With an online catalogue you can provide lots of information about your products and services. Once your website is up and running, it is available to your customers indefinitely, saving you time. And what is time? Time is money!
Maybe you sell environmentally friendly products and would like to share tips on how to recycle, or perhaps you’re an accountant and want to give your clients advice on how to simplify their bookkeeping practices. By including a FAQ page, adding articles or uploading newsletters to answer all your customers’ questions you can keep them up-to-date. What better way to provide them with value added service than by sharing information on your website. Except that, A Website is a great place to gain feedback from your customers and prospective clients. You can use surveys and forms that allow your site visitors to respond to questions you ask, enabling you to get valuable marketing information from your customers. Depending on your company’s products or services, you may also be able to provide downloadable technical manuals, user guides, or instructions. This provides value to your customers and can even eliminate the need for many people to call your customer service line.
If you are in direct competition with another business that has a Website, they have a clear advantage – especially if they are adequately marketing their Website.
Sooner or later, someone’s going to type your name or business into a search engine. What do you want them to find? Nothing, or worse yet, yourcompetition. These are people who want to find you. They are looking for what you are selling, and if you don’t have a Website then you’re letting them down – they expect to find you online. For many people, you might as well not exist if you can’t be found with a search engine. Not having a Website is like not bothering to get listed in the phone book. Can you run your business without a phone? In this “Information Age” we live in being online is vital.
Website will allow your business or organization to be open 24/7 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week). Many people surf the web in the evening when most businesses are closed. But if you have a website they can find you, you are just as good as open. Is your competition open 24/7? The world is your oyster – especially with a website which allows your communication with audiences worldwide (as long as you both understand the same language). Geographical location or time zones are no longer a problem with the 24/7 availability of a website.
With a Website, you can create an online store which allows customers to place orders and pay for their selections all via the internet. This all happens without your involvement once the Website is designed and online, which classifies it as passive income. Your Website can act exactly like a catalog, and contain photographs and descriptions of products- or it can be more advanced and make use of some of the emerging technologies- including audio and video to fully demonstrate your products and services.