Websites – the backbone of the Internet. Every business needs a website; on the small business front, websites give customers a way to locate businesses, find out more about products and services, and perhaps even make purchases that will be shipped right to their doorsteps.
Most of us see the value and importance of websites as a whole, but some of you might not think that your business needs a website. I’m a pretty firm believer that every business needs a website, regardless of how big or small the business is. Without having a website, you’ll lose customers to your competitors, customers will get frustrated when they can’t find your address or phone number online, and people won’t be able to easily find out more about the amazing products and services that you offer from the comfort of their own couches or desk chairs. Not having a website for your business is pretty similar to driving on the highway and throwing money out of your window (metaphorically, of course).
To help showcase that every business needs a website, we’ve rounded up five major reasons for having a website for your business.
1. Customers expect your business to have a website
It’s becoming more and more common for potential customers’ first interactions with businesses to be online – whether it be through websites, social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, or even through talking to Siri on their iPhones. In order to remain relevant, businesses need to continuously mold themselves into whatever their (potential) customers are looking for; customers have shifted to researching via the Internet, so businesses who want to capture those customers must be able to be found online.
It’s even been found that 72% of customers trust online reviews just as much as word-of-mouth recommendations from real people. This statistic alone is outstandingly high and falls in line with what other studies have found – the web is very important for small businesses, and word on the web travels fast.
2. Your competitors already have websites
With the number of business websites continuing to grow every day, it’s probable that at least some of your competitors can already be found online. If they can be found online, but your business can’t be found online, you’re essentially losing business to your competitors each and every day that goes by.
Let’s pretend that you’re Larry from Larry’s Lawn Care. Larry’s Lawn Care doesn’t have a website, and doesn’t come back in the results of a “lawn care near me” Google search. However, Lee’s Lawn Care does come back in the Google search. Since Lee’s business showed up in the results, potential customers will navigate to Lee’s Lawn Care’s website and research Lee’s services and eventually give Lee a call. You, Larry, have lost the potential sale simply because your business wasn’t able to be found online. That’s not good for you at all, is it?
If your business doesn’t have a website, or at least some sort of online presence, you really are losing business to your competitors – yikes!
3. Websites are always available – 24/7/365
Another reason that showcases why every business needs a website is that it’s likely that your business is only open during normal business hours or perhaps even later on in the evening, and is probably closed for certain holidays. Websites allow your business to operate online 24/7/365. This means that potential customers can find out a whole lot about your business’ products and services, contact you with questions through channels such as email, and potentially even order products online (if you have an ecommerce store setup on your website) without regard to the time of day and without the constraints of time zone differences.
4. A website can pitch your products for you
How frustrating is it when you spend a boatload of time trying to get a sale from someone who isn’t sure whether they are interested in the product that you’re pitching, only to get turned down? If you have a website (and put it together properly), your website should pitch your products for you! Potential customers will be able to find out all about the products and services that your business offers on your website; by the time they contact you, your products would have a good chance of already “being sold” to the customer.
If your website handles pitching properly and accurately describes your products, you should be able to cut down on a lot of the sales pitch and follow up time that ends up going to waste – at least for those who find you online. Sounds nice, doesn’t it?
5. You can save time on customer service with a business website
If you notice that you’re spending a lot of time answering the same questions about your products and services, you can setup a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page on your website. Customers will find this part of your business’ website quite helpful when researching your products and services or troubleshooting problems (depending on what your business offers).
Some businesses or vendors offer warranties and require things such as claim forms; if your business has forms like these, you can accept submissions online and avoid having to have customers go out of their way to pick up a form from you – customers will be pleased that they can handle all of this online, and you’ll spend less time on the phone.
Do your customers ever call you asking about your sales or if there’s any coupons available? You can put a special offers page on your business’ website where you can list any sales or promotions that you have running. You can also do things such as offering a coupon in exchange for signing up for your business’ email list on your website. A study showed that customers who receive even just a $10 coupon are a lot less stressed when making purchasing decisions. It’s incredible how much something as simple as a $10 coupon can accomplish.
As I’m sure you can imagine, having a website for your business can save you a whole lot of time in the long run and help drive more sales your way. Websites are unspeakably effective for small businesses, and more and more businesses are realizing this and hopping on the bandwagon. Every business needs a website; go ahead and get a website for your business today!
Let me know how it turns out for you in the comments below!
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