I often hear from small business owners that they don’t need a website. Sometimes their reasoning is that they are a small business that does not cater to customers outside their local area. Other times, they claim that their customers know everything they need to know about their business. Some even say that their ad in the local paper or the sign posted in their window is sufficient. Here are four reasons I typically receive and why I believe that every small business needs a website.
The times have changed
The first reason is that things have changed. No longer do people reach for the Yellow Pages, newspaper, or flyers. Instead, they reach for their computer, their laptop, and more often, their smartphone. Anytime they have a question, they turn to online search engines. They want to know the hours of your business, they want to know if you have any current sales promotions, and they do comparison shopping. Not only are local customers searching, consider visitors to your local area. They too will search for local businesses online. They often have questions (what is open now, where can we find, where is the closest, etc.). Having a website gives these people the information they are looking for.
Customers expect a website
The second reason is that customers expect your business to have a website. Customers today want to access your business information whenever they want. They like the ability to look up your business information any time of the day. They want to know if you are open next Friday, they want to know your phone number, and they want to know your prices. Customers also like to read reviews other customers have left. They want to know if other people had a great experience with your business. They are interested in your service policies, your return policies, and your payment options. A website provides all this information and more. Also, a website gives your business legitimacy.
A website can save money
The third reason is that the owner does not have the money to run a website. When asked how much money they currently spend on marketing and how much time they spend answering customer questions (such as, are you open tomorrow, what are your hours, and do you have …), most small business owners realize that having a website is more cost-effective. There is an initial cost of creating and operating the website but over time, the overall cost reduces and most owners realize cost savings. Think of your website as a less expensive method of marketing your business. Do you still need to publish advertisements in weekly newspapers or flyers that get thrown out once they are read?
A website can save time
The fourth reason is that the owner does not have the time to design, develop, and maintain a website. This is where a website designer can help you. A website designer helps you free up time by taking on the technical portions of establishing and operating your website. With your website published, they can teach you how to post updates and do minor changes. If you don’t want to do any of the website updates, some website designers will also offer to do all the work for you. A good website designer will also provide tips on what works and what doesn’t work on websites. They stay on top of current trends and provide a long-term plan for your website.
So, do you still think that your small business does not need a website? Think about your customers. What do they want? Your website is not for you, it is for your customers. Give them the information they seek. Use your website to claim your local area for your small business. You will position your business ahead of other local businesses that do not have a website.