If you’re a small business owner or you’re just starting out, like many, you may think there’s no benefit in having a website when you can do everything on social media. Or maybe you think you can’t afford a professional website so you get a freebie and do it yourself instead.
Even if you are an established business that has relied on word of mouth, there are several reasons why your business needs a professional website too.
I believe, even with all that you can do on social media, and even if you’ve been in business for several decades, your business needs a website and preferably one that is professionally designed and developed.
Here are a few compelling reasons why your business needs a professional website
YOU OWN AND CONTROL YOUR WEBSITE
Even if you have a big social media presence, another reason, and probably the most important reason why your business needs a professional website, is so that you actually own or at least pay rent for your online space.
There are lots of free or low-cost ways to gain a web presence or claim your online space, but in most cases, you don’t own your online home, office or store and, even worse, you have little to no control over all that’s contained in your online space. With a professional website, you do.
Social media is a great way to bring traffic to your website and it’s a great way to share content from your website. However, relying solely on social media to attract customers or clients is not only preventing several prospects from doing business with you, but you do not own your stuff and you cannot control what happens with it. The stuff you’ve uploaded to your favorite social media channel could disappear at any moment without prior warning when they pull the plug for whatever reason and you could lose it all forever.
YOUR BUSINESS WILL GAIN CREDIBILITY
More and more people are searching online for things they want, for solutions to their problems, to compare prices, or just to get some information about a store, restaurant, or business before they purchase from them. If you don’t have a website, potential customers will go to your competitors who do, especially if you are a home-based business without a bricks-and-mortar address.
Having a website will not only provide the information they are looking for, but it will give your business credibility. It says I am here, I mean business, and I am in it for the long haul.
I strongly recommend you at least use WordPress with a professional theme
With careful planning, designed responsively, and with your customers’ needs in mind, your website will provide a professional image and give potential customers a great experience when they visit, whether it’s on their computer, their tablet or their mobile phone.
IT SAVES YOU MONEY IN THE LONG TERM
As a small business owner, especially one that is just starting out, you’re probably thinking you can’t afford a professional website. Although the cost of designing a website varies depending on your needs and your skill level, once it’s up and running, a professional website is worth the initial investment, especially if built using WordPress, which enables you to add and change your own content regularly, saving you money in updates.
Compared with the cost of traditional means of advertising, such as newspaper ads, radio commercials, promotional materials and even networking events that often include the cost of a meal or trade tables, when you consider the potential market you can reach with a website, it is a very cost-effective way to promote your business long term.
CUSTOMERS CAN BE KEPT INFORMED
In its most basic form, think of a website as being an online brochure or catalog that can be updated at any time. It is much easier and quicker to update information about your products and services on your website than it is in a print brochure
A website is an effective way of introducing your customers to new services, letting them know about new products, announcing upcoming events and special promotions. You can also provide added value by posting tips, resources, and other information through a blog on your website. Unlike print ads, newspaper articles, and flyers, which quickly become outdated, your website can provide current information and news. And if you discover a mistake after you publish a page or post, it is a quick fix.
A WEBSITE IS ALWAYS ACCESSIBLE
Unlike your bricks-and-mortar location, which is only open a few hours a day, a website is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You can provide both regular and prospective customers the convenience of reviewing your products and services when your store or office is closed.
Not only that, with so many interactive features and add-ons available, visitors to your website can contact you, sign up for your courses, schedule appointments and even purchase directly through your website even when you’re away from your desk or after closing.
With today’s busy lifestyles, this is a great selling point when making a purchase decision.
A WEBSITE ENABLES YOU TO TARGET A WIDER AUDIENCE
Even service-based businesses can offer their services globally through a website. Now that we have so many affordable ways to communicate with people, we can do business with anyone, anywhere, any time. Since more and more people have access to the internet, even in remote locations, you can target a much wider audience if your business has a website. Whether you offer products or services, or you’re business or consumer based, your website provides you with an alternative location to sell. As a retailer, an eCommerce website is a great place to sell your products to a wider market. Think of all the people who can’t get to your bricks and mortar store that you could sell your products to.
A WEBSITE SAVES YOU TIME
Time is money, so they are often linked together. Saving time is another great reason why your business needs a professional website.
Time is an important commodity in our fast-paced world even if you don’t attach a monetary value to it. Most people these days don’t have enough time for leisure, pleasure, family, or healthy activities. Having a professionally designed website saves you time both in the short and long term.
By providing information to your customers online, you can save a vast amount of valuable time that you would otherwise spend communicating to your prospects.
A WEBSITE CAN IMPROVE CUSTOMER SERVICE
If you offer a service, such as accounting, you can provide your clients valuable advice to help them pay less tax at tax time or how to simplify their bookkeeping. Or if you’re in insurance, you could give advice on how to choose the right insurance policy for theirs or their family’s needs.
By including a FAQ page or a resources section, you can regularly add articles or upload newsletters to answer all your customers’ questions you can keep them better informed and up-to-date. A website is a great way to provide value added service to your customers and clients and is a great way to keep them coming back to you when they need your products or services.