Many Small businesses across the world are struggling, yes because of the economy but also because they don't understand the importance of having a website to promote their business online. This post is about why a quality website is so important to a small business and why your business needs to get one today. Here are my top 10 reasons why your small business needs a website.
Reach More Potential Customers Whether you are targeting locals or the whole world, having a website for your small business means you can reach more of your audience, much more easily and cheaply. The children of the 90's are now in their 20's and have disposable income. They grew up with the internet and it's their primary tool to find information, products and compare almost everything - so if they are part of your target audience a website is a must.
It's Always there Your office / shop may have hours of 9 to 5, Monday to Friday but why should that mean you have to stop selling or stop telling people why to do business with you? Exactly, you shouldn't have to stop - a website is your 24/7 salesman, that costs a small percentage of a real sales man.
Generate a Professional Image A professionally designed business website is a sure way to instil confidence in new customers who may not be familiar with your business. Maybe they are comparing you with another business who don't have a website, your website will help to give an impression that they are dealing with a company they can trust. A professional image will also generate a subconscious level of trust in your company.
No More Yellow Pages!
Remember in the 90's we'd get a huge yellow book on our door step, it got thinner and thinner until today it's ... well tiny. The reason for this is the Yellow Pages, just like other telephone directories, are a thing of the past. If someone wants to find a "Piano Lessons in Hyde" they search for it online, they usually don't even consider looking at a paper directory. Also due to the decline in size of the paper directory less and less are being delivered, so what was once in every household is no in relatively few.
Always up to date! Most quality websites are designed using a Content Management System, basically an administration area so that you are in control of the website. If you need a change to some content or to add products or view orders placed on a website, you can without needing to ask your website designer! Day or Night you can always update, add or delete content - making your website Always Up to Date! One example of a CMS is Wordpress, it is the most widely used CMS in the world and is estimate to power over 30 million websites, including this website!
Improved Customer Service Your website is an omnipresent member of your business team. It's the salesman, your customer service and often the engine behind your business - aka the thing that pays the bills. It is due to it's always being there that you can use it to improve customer service, adding a FAQ section or even just information about returns and delivery policies can stop hundreds of questions via phone calls to your already busy team. So instead of your team spending 3 hours a day on the phone, maybe they just need to take one call from an upset customer correcting an order - saving you hundreds and hundreds of pounds a day!
Instant Gratification for Users People are busier today than they have ever been in the past, our hectic schedules and hours of travelling mean we want information now and not to wait. Give your users what they want, information. By providing information that customers want you are giving them some kind of gratification instantly, making them slightly happier such that they release endorphins, and so the better quality your information the more likely you are to get that users custom!
Automation = More £££'s! You can highly automate some parts of your business online which in turn will free up other resources / staff to other parts of your business. An online store allows people to view information on an order, pay online and not really require sales staff - this alone could save hours of resource time. Systems can integrate with websites, so accounting and stock control can be integrated meaning life is much easier and there is no need for dual input! You can automate the calling of orders to your warehouse, if you've robots like Amazon great its all done for you, if you're not so big you may still need more staff to pick and pack. Other examples of integration are booking systems, your beauty salon can book appointments, if you do training sessions you can book people in without needing to take potentially thousands of phone calls.
Advertising Costs Go Down The better your website the less need for external advertising, such as newspaper classified. There will always be advantages to having say a TV advert of big billboard, but must of us small businesses can't afford that. Your website should become the key calling card for your business - its your business card that sells itself and you - add yourself to lots of free directories (I advise you not to pay - ever for an online directory submission) get your name known on blogs and in forums. Soon your website will become more popular, you'll get more custom and your turnover and profits will go skywards.
Inexpensive and Almost Risk Free! All of the above benefits are great, but you probably think it will cost you thousands of pounds. You'd be wrong though, websites can be fairly cheap to set up - there are of course companies who charge buckets for not very much - but there are also small design business such as my own which have much lower overheads and enjoy a much closer connection to clients - we tend to charge much much less. Once your website is set up, the annual cost of keeping it going can be relatively love - depending on your agreement it can cost as little as your hosting and domain costs.
If you are looking for a website for your small business, I offer solutions from as little as £95 (one off) or you can pay monthly for as little as £25! So you don't need to spend those thousands on a small business website - none of my clients have so why should you? Take a look at some of my client work by visiting Andy Kinsey Designs today, if you like what you see why not get your website up and running by contacting me for a free quote.