When you’re running a small business [or a local business], you’re often juggling 200 different tasks on any given day… so when it comes to the question of having a website for your business,
you’re probably wondering:
“Does my small business really need a website?“
Before you can asses if you need a website – let’s take a quick look at why websites are important for small + local businesses.
Why are websites important for a small or local business?
Here are just a few reasons why we think that websites are important for your small / local business:
1.It shows you actually exist.
46% of all Google searches are those in search of local information. (GoGulf)
So basically, half of your potential customers are looking for you online, if you aren’t showing up in a google search – then the customer can’t really find you, can they?
2. Finding new clients
The interwebs have made it possible for people [beyond your immediate network] to find you. Instead of just reaching your locals [or those you know], having a website gives you the opportunity to tap into a much wider network.
Not having an effective website – is essentially leaving a chunk of money on the table.
3. Increase sales
After all, a website is like an online sales person [whether you have an ecommerce / online store – or not].
// If you have an online store: having products or items in an online store will bring in more opportunities to make more sales.
// No online store – your potential clients are still checking out key information [like shop hours, pricing, map or location, and contact numbers] – all are highly likely to improve the chance that you convert that web visitor into a client.
63 percent of shopping occasions begin online (Thinkwithgoogle).
A website can help you build trust and improve credibility with those potential clients.
You know that time you saw an advert for a pretty little shoe, and thought “that isn’t a business name I know, I wonder if they are legit?” So you went to check the company out online – before parting with your hard earned cash.
Your clients are thinking the same, having a website they can google [even if it’s a coming soon or landing page] is a great start towards showing that you’re a credible company.
5. It’s an opportunity to position yourself
Having a website that positions you correctly – will help your ideal client know that they are in the right place. When your client is trying to sort through 5 different companies who do something similar, your website will help you stand apart.
Your website will help your customers choose you, over the competition.
Is it worth having a website for a small business?
Hopefully the above points will have given you a bit more context in terms of whether a website is worth it for your business.
There are a few points I would like to chat about in more detail though…
Do you need a website when starting your business?
I have a bit more of a controversial take on this question.
If you’re very clear on your offering, your product, or if you’re a store… then more than likely – the answer is yes.
If you’re a service based business, and you’re still trying to determine why you’re unique + what your offer should look like, or how you want to position yourself – then you’d spend your money more wisely with a roadmap… and once you’re clear – then go ahead and invest in that website.
Does not having a website affect my business?
It depends on the kind of clients you have…
// If they are looking for you online & you don’t have a website – someone else is getting your business.
// If they hardly looking online – there are other options you could explore.
If you’re thinking about creating your own website…
Then here are three thoughts to consider before you embark on the idea of creating a website for yourself:
1. That 30-100 hours [kid you not] could be better invested into building relationships & getting clients
2. Homemade websites usually look homemade & don’t present you as a professional [potentially costing you those clients you were hoping to land].
3. You aren’t trained on the finer nuances of creating a good branding experience & optimizing it so that it does actually convert those potential clients into sales.
So if you toyed with the idea of creating your own website, what can you do instead?
What are the alternatives for a website – for my small / local business?
1. Landing / coming soon page
Starting with a basic “we’re here” page is a great first step
Here’s an example of a website landing page we designed – to ensure that clients see you’re “in business” and connect with you.
2. A well designed Flyer / company profile / portfolio
Something that you can send to interested parties / potential clients to show that you’re a professional entity worth being taken seriously.
Here’s one that a client uses to send to all potential clients – a well designed profile sets the right expectations from the outset.
3. Social presence
Get your facebook page set up & ready for those potential clients who are going to check you out.
Especially with a smaller business – a page is a great starting point.
If you’re still wondering whether you need a website, reach out to one of our team – and let’s chat about a custom option for your business.