A lot of small businesses still don’t have websites. Why? Written by Marie Boulton, jerram.co.uk. Jerram Marketing is a team of four highly experienced marketing, design and development professionals. Formed in 2006 they bring over 60 years of combined experience and are each highly trained in specialist areas. Image courtesy of mangostock via Bigstockphoto.
“Don’t look at the business owners who DON’T have a website!” said Jim. ” No, don’t talk to them!” said Tim “I can’t hear what you two are saying…” said Geoff
So why do 29% of small businesses still not have a website? and why do those who do have websites place very little importance on the upkeep of it?
It’s unforgivable that you don’t have a website; they’re an extension of you and your business. But it’s even worse if you do have a website and you haven’t kept it up to date. How many times have you clicked on a website and instantly left it because it looks like it hasn’t been touched since 1999? You even found cobwebs in the corner of the screen. By leaving it to go into the depths of despair, it implies that you just don’t care. That’s not the kind of impression you want to give your potential customers.
A website can help you gain credibility… this computer however, cannot.
A website can help you and your business gain credibility.
Without one, your potential customers (one of the 6 billion….) will click on your competitors that do have one. You’ll basically be giving them traffic. And if you have a website (Click here to find out what your website should be doing) but it’s a ‘home-made’ one (and it really does look ‘home-made’…) then having it professionally redesigned will provide your business with that professional and confidence inspiring image that every business wants and needs.
What do you do when you have no money in the piggybank? Get three more and hope for the best!
And if you’re thinking that as a small business owner that you can’t afford a professional website
…you really need to ask yourself “can I afford NOT to have one?”. You’re probably still thinking, “no, I can’t” but think about the benefits of having one: It’s a point of contact for people online, it has all the information your potential clients need about the services you offer without having to compromise on the space and information given (like you would in a newspaper ad). Although the cost of designing and making a website will vary (ask us about what we can offer!) once it’s up and running it can be very affordable. And going back to that newspaper ad, consider how much you pay for that and its potential market reach… is it really as much as a website?
“Stacking newspapers won’t build you a website… Stacking P’s might do though!”
Unlike a newspaper ad, your website can act like an online brochure or catalogue.
It is much easier and quicker to update information, and if there are any problems (e.g. spelling mistakes, wrong product code etc.) it can be a lot easier and quicker to fix. It’s an effective way of letting your customers know about the arrival of new products, keep them up to date with sales, offers, new information or any new services you might offer. And unlike a paper ad, it can’t be misplaced (providing your potential customers know how to bookmark a page!).
“Didn’t you know that web developers don’t sleep?”
24/7, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year
This leads me on to how your business will now be open 24/7. That’s right, your business will be accessible 24/7, 7 days a week, 52 weeks of the year. BUT before you start wondering when you’ll sleep or eat, understand that by having a website, your business is available all the time, even if you’re not. It will give your customers the convenience of reviewing your products and services when your store or office is closed. Amazing, right?
“He was so good at selling that he sold a hat to a snowman!”
Can you imagine your business being GLOBAL?
Whether you’re providing products or services (or both!), 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 globally. Can you imagine your business being GLOBAL? Very exciting indeed. Don’t think you’ll be able to sell your products or services online? Wipe that thought from out of your mind! Rule one of Jerram Marketing, if you can think it, it’s probably possible!
A website is a great place to showcase your work
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. It doesn’t even have to be anything to do with the business itself – customers love to see the person behind the brand! Champion hot dog eater? Pop it on there. Started your company in your nans living room with just a pencil, an energy drink and some enthusiasm? Shout about it!
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. Like I mentioned before, it’s so easy and pretty quick to add and/or amend the information, so get writing! Once your website is up and running, it is available to your customers indefinitely, saving you time. And what is time? Time is money!
“Get an FAQ Page… ‘Fancy asking Questions?'”
Maybe you sell special insulated socks for people with VERY cold feet and would like to share tips on how to use them, or perhaps you’re an accountant and want to give your clients advice on how to simplify their bookkeeping practices. By including an 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.
It may sound a little like I’ve repeated myself all the way through, but hopefully, I’ve drummed in that having a website is important. Nay, it’s imperative to the success of your business. Now, go have a look at our blog article on how to find the Perfect Digital Agency.