Today, if you want to know what the specials are at your favorite restaurant, what appointments are open at the closest salon, or how much an air filter is from your local repair shop, you could look up their business and find out on their website. Or so you would think, right?
What the Research Shows…
As it turns out, a survey was conducted earlier this year by Clutch, a B2B research company which studies development, design, and marketing firms. Of the 350+ small businesses surveyed, a shocking 46% of them did not have a website! The most shocking fact was that when asked why, 32% stated they did not feel that a website was relevant to their business/industry. Cost was listed as being the second factor. Another survey conducted by Cisco Systems, Inc., in 2014, showed that of the 1,174 consumers surveyed, “Eighty percent of shoppers fall into what we term the Digital Mass category, in which shoppers regularly buy (from browsing to purchasing) through digital means.” With the understanding that owning and operating a small business does have its struggles, and cost is always a factor, not having an online presence could be a detriment to your business. This blog will discuss why it is important for a business to have a website.
Looking to the Present…
At one time, it was not common for more than one employee at any business to have any computing knowledge, nor was it necessary to have office-wide computer access. Now, it would be unheard of for a large business to operate without a phone number, computer-based payroll or inventory, or email access. It would be very difficult to obtain a college degree or even a high school diploma these days without access to the Internet or a computer. The same can be said for any business today and the necessity of a website.
Check Out that Website!
A website is a virtual business card or digital storefront that can offer your customers a look at who you are and what your business is about. A website is their first impression of what they can expect. Websites can list office/store locations, hours, contact information, updates, products, reviews, history, social media links, and/or a place to make a purchase directly. Having an online presence, even in a small 1-2 page website, brings credibility to a business and can show consumers why your business is different from competitors. Unlike a physical location which has a fluctuating month-to-month cost, the cost to establish a professional website as well as the cost to maintain it is fixed. A website allows products and services to be marketed to potential customers whether the business is open or not. Customers can access your business from around the world without traveling to you. A website allows your customers to visit your business from their home, car, or local coffee shop. More visitors leads to more customers and a better bottom line. New channels are constantly being opened through operating a website, a virtual place that your customers can visit at any time no matter where they are, and on any device!
About the Author
Allyson obtained her Bachelors of Science in Business Administration in 2009 with an emphasis in marketing management. She holds art degrees in both Graphic Design and Web Development, and is certified in both disciplines. Areas of special knowledge include: typography, illustrating, photo-editing, page layout, and creative problem solving.