Websites…”can’t live with them, can’t live without them.” Well perhaps in a business context it should be websites…”if you want one you need to devote the time and the money to make it work, but you can’t afford not to have one.”
What’s the first thing you do when you want to find out something about another company, a company that you potentially want to buy stuff off, a company that will become a supplier of goods and services. Usually 2 things
- you look them up on the web
- you ask other people if they’ve ever heard of them
If your reputation is so good that the phone just rings endlessly with new customers, then maybe you can postpone working on your website, but if not, you bet get moving and make sure your website is working for you.
If you are a micro business and can’t justify the budget for a website, have a look at this great article from Seth Godin’s Blog.
So here are my top reasons why every small business should have a web site.
Establish Credibility – A Web site establishes you as a professional in your field and helps people to feel more comfortable doing business with you. Perception equals reality and your website helps create the perception of your company.
Enhance Customer Relations – Your website is another office and another shopfront. It is often your customers first port of call, so you can really improve your customer relations by making sure your website helps your customers find what they want and seamlessly makes it easy to physically contact you if they can’t find what they want.
Increase Customer Spending – Your office is open from 9 to 5, but your website is open 24×7. Customers like to research, enquire and buy at all times of the day. Particularly if they are in different times zones.
The world is your oyster – The more unique your product or service is, the further a field people will come to buy it. A website opens the door to the entire world.
Gather Customer Data – Collecting information on your customers’ tastes and interests is harder to do without a website. Web tracking software lets you see who’s been to your site, what they looked at and where they came from. Combine this with a good permission marketing strategy and you can start building a database from which to build an entire eMarketing strategy.
Stand Out from the Competition – A small business can have a website that is as effective as a multinational. The web is a true equalizer when it comes to size.
Drive Traffic to an Offline Location – A website can drive customers to your shop, office, practice or phone number. Just cause your business doesn’t operate online it doesn’t mean that your customers won’t look for you online.
Finally remember that the website is the heart of your eMarketing strategy, but it is still only one part. Don’t forget to consider the rest.