Recent surveys show that nearly 71% of small businesses have a website. But if you’re a business owner in the minority, you may be thinking, “Do I need a website at all?” If your business is successful without an online presence, you may assume that you have no need to invest in one. However, an online presence is only becoming more essential as time goes on and the internet becomes even more a part of our daily lives. Read on to learn about why your business needs a website, and while we’re at it, we’ll debunk some of the most common reasons small business owners skip having a website altogether.
If you’re a new business owner, a website can be a highly beneficial tool for you to market your products and services, leveraging your brand’s features, advantages, and prior experience to entice new customers to work with you. Here are some reasons why creating a website may be helpful:
If you’re a small business owner, chances are most of your customers live locally — by some criteria, local businesses are those which primarily service folks who live within 30 minutes of their location. By creating a website, you’re immediately opening the doors to customers who live way beyond those boundaries, increasing opportunities to boost your bottom line. In addition, a website allows your customers to purchase products online, even when your store isn’t physically open. Theoretically, you can reach customers 24/7 while you sleep and enjoy time with your family off the clock.
On a busy business day, the last thing you want to do is answer frequently asked questions every few minutes on the phone. Whether customers are calling for your hours, a basic list of services, or directions to your store, all that time on the phone, while great for customer service, can turn out to be a real time-waster when you have a thousand other things to do. Minimize the distractions in your day by putting all that important information front and center on a website. Give customers exactly what they need to know quickly, and you can end up saving yourself and your employees many valuable hours.
The simpler you make it for customers to contact you and get their questions answered, the better it is for your business. Offering an address, phone number, email, and other customer service functions like live chat or text functions directly in their browser gives customers easy avenues they can take to get to know what you offer, whether you can fulfill a special order, or how your service stands apart from competitors. This can all be done on a single “About Us'' page. It also provides an overall positive experience for your customers, who are looking to use products and services from businesses that are helpful and receptive to their needs.
You may be surprised to learn that potential customers may question if you're a real business or not if you don’t have a website. In fact, 56% of customers don’t trust a business that doesn’t have a website. That can make it hard to convince someone who’s evaluating you and your competitors that you’re the right choice for them.
Now, this doesn’t mean you need to hire a website development firm to build you a website from the ground up. A simple website builder will do the trick. Easy drag-and-drop elements, a bit of text, and voila — you’re up and running online!
One of the most powerful things a website can do for your brand is to clearly communicate to your customers who you are as a company and why you do what you do. Take advantage of your website to tell your whole story, providing testimonials, case studies, and other information that can help bring in new clients. It can be easy for a prospective customer to skip over your company if you don’t share some of this information online.
If you’re selling some of the same products and services as your competitors, it’s good business to make the case about why your company offers something better. Having a website is the perfect place to make the case to newcomers and returning customers alike that your company is the right choice.
To help set you apart, consider adding the following to your website:
The best part about a website is that it’s totally yours. You get to control what you say and what you do. If you rely on social media or third-party review sites, you could be affected by less-than-stellar reviews that you cannot edit or delete. On your website, you only need to showcase the best reviews, top-of-the-line achievements, and anything else that showcases your company’s brightest side.
Take your IRL sales into the digital world through your website. Leverage your website to conduct and coordinate your digital marketing efforts. For example, your website can be a tool to collect email addresses from customers, which you can then use to send out newsletters, sale information, and exclusive discounts.
Getting to the top of search engine results takes some time, patience, and a little bit of hustle. Part of that involves sharing interesting and informative content on your site. As you add products, blogs, videos, and other engaging content to your website, you can improve your website’s “value” online and help push it up the ranks for some of the key products and services you offer, both locally and to a wider audience. This is the basic logic of search engine optimization.
Despite the many benefits of having a website, many small business owners still may not see the need for one. They may be concerned about expenses, maintenance, or simply being too busy to attract more customers. Sure, those are legitimate concerns, but there are simple solutions that are worth exploring before you put the idea of a website out of sight and out of mind. Here are the most common concerns along with our rebuttals as to why every business needs a website.
Although your business may be booming, a savvy business owner always thinks about the future. How can they encourage an environment of healthy and responsible growth? One of the best ways to do so is to build a way to attract new customers, even if your schedule is a bit too full for new business at the present moment.
Having a website isn’t just for bringing in more customers. Many times, people like to look up businesses before going there to see the hours they’re open and find directions to the destination. If you’re a restaurant owner, customers might check your website to preview what’s on the menu for the evening. As we mentioned earlier in this guide, this can cut down on the amount of time you or your staff spends talking to your customers on the phone.
If you once considered building a website but received an astronomical quote, you may be a little hesitant to try again. Understandably so — many business owners don’t want to shell out thousands of dollars for something that’s not essential for day-to-day business.
Trust us — it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg to be online. Tools like the Namecheap Site Maker make it simple to get online for as little as $3.88 a month. Now, that’s a reasonable expense that’ll be well worth what you spend!
It can be a little intimidating to learn a whole new system just to put some information about your business on the internet. But there are many business owners out there who are in the exact same boat as you — they don’t know how to build a website, but they still have beautiful designs and relevant information up on the web for all to see.
Drag-and-drop builders make it simple for any business to get online in minutes — no experience necessary. Just be sure to go into the process with a good plan for what you want to include on your website. Compile the basic information you want to add, images you want to share, and any other pertinent details, and you can quickly be on your way to a beautiful new website in just a few clicks. Updates are that simple as well — you can use the same drag-and-drop builder to make changes to operating hours, feature a customer testimonial, and add other updates that make your website relevant to new and current customers alike.
While you may think that your customers aren’t online, that reality is rapidly changing in real-time. Nearly 81% of customers will research online before going in-store to purchase — that’s more than 8 out of 10 customers who are considering doing business with you! Even if you find many of your customers at trade shows, networking meetings, from foot traffic, or other sources that don’t necessarily require the internet, the odds are that some of your new customers will find you this way — and that reality will come to a head soon.
No business is too small to have a website! If individuals can build personal websites about their achievements, careers, and hobbies, your company could certainly benefit from one as well. Whether you’re a solopreneur with a handful of products or your company has a bustling, growing staff, a website supports and bolsters your company, and in some cases, may make you look larger than you are.
If you ask us, the answer is yes! Especially in an era where more customers are looking for, researching, and interacting with companies like yours online, there’s only something to gain if you build a website for your company. Regardless of your business type, there are plenty of benefits to having a website, from putting your best foot forward online to answering important questions that your potential and current customers are asking every day. And with the many helpful tools that make website ownership and management simple and affordable, the reasons to not have a website are truly shrinking.
Instead of asking if your business needs a website, you may want to think about it in another way: Will my business continue to thrive offline, and without connecting to customers virtually? When you think about it this way, it becomes clear that a beautiful, informative website is your business’s way into the future. If you want to boost your customer base and positively impact your business, visit Namecheap’s Visual, a suite of creative design tools to jumpstart your company’s online presence.