Need a Website For Your Business
I’ll make this easy for you- yes. Every business needs a website. From local businesses to corporate chains, dentists, contractors, retailers, supply companies- every business. This is regardless of whether or not you plan to do commerce online.
The fact is, your customers are online, and that is where they are looking for you. For the last several years, internet usage has hung right around 80% in American households. That’s right- 4 out of 5 of your potential customers are researching products and services online. Google alone boasts more than 1 billion web searches per day. Customers may even just be looking for mundane details like your hours or phone number. It is reasonable for them to be able to expect to find this information online. And if they don’t find it, there will be someone else there ready to take their business.
Even though you may be a local business, you are now competing in the global marketplace. It’s not just you and the other hardware store across town. It’s not even you versus Wal-Mart anymore. It’s you versus eBay, amazon, and millions of other entrepreneurs all over the globe. Many of these businesses solely exist online.
Having both an online presence, as well a brick and mortar location, helps to reinforce your brand to your potential customers. A professional website shows that you are serious about your business, and that you understand the new level of customer service that is expected.
This goes for local service providers as well. While you may not have a global market like retailers do, you are still competing against your local market online. If Judy’s Nails is your competitor, and they have a website that has ‘Tips for Long Lasting Polish’ and allows you to browse their color selection, as well as some samples of their work, who do you think will get appointments for those 4 out of 5 people who are researching products online? It won’t even come down to who has the best service, prices, or quality because if you aren’t online, then you aren’t even in the race.
This goes for national brands as well. While many big businesses with products to sell have already made the move to online, there are many types of big business that is not taking full advantage of the online marketplace. Remember, it’s not just consumers who do their research online- it is also other businesses. If you are a wholesaler or a manufacturer, you are missing out on potential customers if you don’t have a website.
As new competitors make the manufacturing business more competitive, it is important to compete in the marketplace where business is happening. Alibaba and other import sites have made importing products for resale easier than ever before. Many of them will design and make whatever products you have in mind, just like companies here in the states would. With 33.1% of manufacturing jobs lost to overseas competitors in the last decade, this is no small matter. So you can get online and aggressively market your business, or you can let someone else have your customers.
Contractors are one of the highest areas of opportunity in the online marketplace. Since many do not have a storefront, virtually the only way to find them is online. Even if a customer sees your sign, or gets your flyer, if you don’t have a website for them to visit to get more information about your company and exactly what you have to offer, then you have pretty much wasted your marketing budget.
For example, say a customer sees a corrugated sign advertising your business as they are stopped at a traffic light. They may see your name, and recognize some services that are of interest to them, but they will not get your phone number. This is because they are assuming that they can get more information about you online, and plan to Google your company name when they get back home.
You know that this is how a customer will behave because this is how you would behave in the same situation. So it only makes sense that you would be proactive and have a complete marketing plan that includes a website. This is a chance for you to really set yourself apart from the competitors and begin to compete with larger firms that already have a web presence developed.
Entrepreneurs need websites for a different reason than many of the other categories we’ve discussed. Entrepreneurs need websites because it is a great platform for testing. Rather than renting/buying space in a brick and mortar location, investing in fixtures and displays, as well as staff to run your store, you can pop a website up for a much lower cost and begin to assess interest in your product/concept in an even larger market place!
While running individual websites for all of your ideas may not be realistic, you do have other options for getting your products seen. You can have one website with different pages for each product/idea, and as you track the popularity of those pages, you can see what ideas are viable, and then begin to pursue those with a full-fledged online marketing campaign.
Yes, You Need a Business Website
If you do not have a website for your business, then put this on your to-do list today. The cost of a website is virtually nothing compared to the business that you may be losing without one, and the business you stand to gain with one. It is an investment in the future of your business, and should be treated as an opportunity to grow. Websites do not need to be complicated and complex, they just need to sell your business. No marketing plan is complete without one.
Everything you need to get your business website started
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