Currently in the midst of the ‘the digital age’ we are more reliant on modern technology than ever before, and in truth, without it, society as we know it could come crumbling down. The internet has been a real game changer over the last couple of decades, and when you look at why that is, it makes perfect sense. In the past, websites were considered luxuries for businesses, and for years businesses big and small, continued to trade as normal, without a website or any real online presence at all.
As time went on however, business owners began seeing the importance in having a website, and because of this they were no longer considered luxuries but rather a necessity. But why does your business need a website, and why, in particular, do small businesses benefit so much from having a website? Well, let’s take a look. Here are some powerful reasons why every small business should have a website.
It Serves as a Great Form of Advertising
In the business world, marketing and advertising is hugely important, yet it doesn’t come cheap. No matter how great your business may be, if your potential customers don’t know who you are, or what you’re offering, how can they be expected to purchase from you?
By having a website, your customers and potential customers can browse and see who you are, what you’re offering, and can learn more about deals and promotions you may be offering. Your website will also help to build brand awareness, as people will get to know your brand, your company logo and colours, and will then remember you for future reference.
Your Website Could Function as a Second Store
Some e-commerce businesses operate exclusively online and only sell their products online. Other businesses however, simply choose to open an online store to function as an extension of their existing store. This is great because basically it serves as a second store for you, as people can buy online, as well as in store.
By opening online and offering a delivery service, people from across the country, even the world, can buy from you, rather than people who just happen to be in the area where your store is located.
Improved Customer Service
By having a website for your business, you can also offer your customers an enhanced customer service experience. This is very beneficial because it allows you to answer their questions and queries, you can deal with any issues they may be having much easier, and you can respond to them much easier as well. Rather than constantly having to answer questions and queries, you can post an FAQ page to tell them everything they need to know.
Rather than customers having to browse the web in the hopes of coming across your address or number, they can easily find what they need on your site, and by using the ‘contact us’ pages. You can even keep them constantly in the loop by offering weekly newsletters and updates on your business.
It Looks Professional
Nowadays pretty much every business, large and small, has a website and some form of social media presence. Your customers will expect this from you as it is how they find out more about you, and hopefully, it’s one way in which they can buy from you as well. Without a website, your small business will look unprofessional, and it will likely result in your potential customers heading over to your competitor’s websites instead.
Think about it from a customer’s perspective. Are you more likely to purchase from a company with no website, whom you know very little about, or are you more likely to buy from a company with a professional website, with plenty of info available? Obviously you’ll go with the business with a website, which is why it’s so important that you have a working site yourself. You don’t need to hire an expensive designer to create a professional looking website, you can simply follow the four steps listed in my beginner’s how-to guide to create a website.
A Website Opens Up Data Collection Possibilities
Another reason why small businesses should make sure they have a functional and fully optimized business website in use is to ensure that they can potentially collect info about their clients. With a website, customers may be required to enter their email addresses for marketing purposes, or to confirm orders have been processed.
With customer email addresses, you can then use this as a form of marketing and advertising. Every email address you collect can be used to send customers and potential customers info about products, newsletters, deals, sales, and promotions. The more people that are aware of any sales and promotions you may be running, the more likely you will be to make multiple sales.
Your ‘doors’ Are Always Open
With a physical business, obviously you can’t be there 24 hours a day, 7 days per week, and it’s unlikely your employees will want to be either. This means that when you aren’t in, customers can’t find out what they need to know. For example, a potential customer may try calling you to see when you open and close. If you are closed, you can’t take the call, and can’t give the caller an answer, so they will likely go elsewhere. This means you have just lost a potential customer. With a website, people can simply head over to your site find out everything the need to know about your business including hours of operation.