“Why do I need a website for my business?” I am asked this question all the time, mostly by small business owners, so I would like to take some time to address this question. Many small business owners with a brick and mortar location feel that they do not need a website as they are not selling a service online. However, this is a major misconception; every business small or large should have a website.
First, just because your business is not selling things online does not mean that it is not an option in the future. Many businesses have added some sort of online sales to supplement their services. Restaurants are now offering the ability to place orders for pick-up online, gyms are offering their membership services online, while other businesses offer the way to purchase goods or pay bills online. However, selling your products/services is not the only reason to have a website.
A website can also be used as a way to build the credibility of your business. When a potential customer is looking for a business to go to for their needs there is a good chance that they will be looking online for a business, whether it be on their computer or phone. When looking for these businesses they will often do a search on a search engine. Most of the search engines will put local listings in the results, along with the other websites. While your company may be listed as a local business on the yellow pages or other similar sites the potential viewer will notice that there is not a link to your business. This will usually lead to a loss of credibility as another business that has a website can be found and display their services/products. Also, imagine you are at an event and you meet someone that is interested in your services. You then briefly explain your services/products to them and hand them a business card. They then go home and cannot remember all of the services/products that you offer so they decide to look up your business online. Now since you do not have a website they cannot find your business anywhere, instead they find your competitors. Looking at your competitors sites they then find the services/products they need and since this competitor has taken the time to put up a website they feel more comfortable going with them.
Credibility is one of the major points to having a website created; however, there are many other benefits also. First, when someone is looking for information on your business outside of normal operating hours you can still have your information online. This can allow people to plan a time to come in and visit your business during your normal hours. You can also reduce your cost by having a website to answer frequently asked questions. This can help by reducing the amount of time you have to either spend answering these questions or paying an employee to answer the questions. You can also use the website to offer promotions and drive more business your way.
In the end your business can benefit in many ways by having a website. However, please keep in mind that if you plan on having a website, you will want to ensure that it is a quality website providing quality information. Having a website that is not enticing or appealing to your potential clients can end up doing more damage than good. You will want to ensure that you are working with a professional design company that can help bring your goals to reality. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have or to help with getting your website started.