To this very day I am astounded by the sheer number of people who feel that there is no need for their business to have a website. True, the Internet landscape has evolved with other technologies and there are options, but the thought that a fundamental way of extending business objectives has been so casually dismissed my many is shocking.
You may have gotten away with that as far as just a few years ago, but did you know that as much as 97% of consumers go online to find a local business? I could go on with more statistics, but the sheer number of indicators that point towards this channel as an undeniable source of revenue is simply irrefutable.
The greater issue I see is that many businesses aren’t aware of the nuances of ‘online’ and have difficulties differentiating between channels and strategies to be employed on each. For example, how you leverage on a website isn’t the same as the way you would make use of a social media channel.
Numbers show that in this era of the Internet, an increasing number of consumers won’t even consider a business that doesn’t have its own website. People are spending an ever-increasing number of hours online and thanks to advances in mobile technology, these figures are only growing say the app developers at one firm.
To avoid confusion, I say it is better to start at the beginning, and I do recommend that all businesses have at least the fundamental – a website that represents them in the digital realm. There are several ways to do this but in order to look out for the largest segment of businesses – let’s start with the most basic.
The DIY Website
Don’t be shocked. Small businesses don’t have the luxury of large marketing budgets and the like so many will be familiar with the Do It Yourself (DIY) concept. When it comes to websites, things aren’t all that much different, and I’ll show you how easy it can be.
To being with, rather than having to factor in all the multitudes of dealing with web hosting, domain names and the like, let’s keep our focus on building the actual site itself. To do so, I recommend that you start with a website builder such as Wix.
Wix is a one-stop website shop, meaning that it offers users everything that they need to build their very first website. From design templates to a drag-and-drop builder, anyone can use Wix to build a website quickly and efficiently. Even with zero technical skills.
Basically, learning how to use Wix is one of the easiest ways to build your first website.
In a nutshell, you sign up for the service and then choose a template to work with. After that, you fine tune it to look the way you want, say what you want. Finally, you choose a plan that you want to use and then publish the site. Viola – Website done in quick, easy steps.
5 Benefits of Having a Business Website
Now that you see how easy it can be, let me reinforce the thought of why you need a website by sharing some of the benefits it can bring to your business.
#1. Makes Your Business Accessible Anytime
By having ready information online, potential customers (or even existing customers) can get information from you anytime. How useful your site will be to them is defined by how comprehensive the information you have on your website is. If you’re used to standing in the store and answering questions on the phone, picture this – customers can get that information from your website easily and your website is open 24/7, not just during store opening hours!
#2. Build Credibility
Gone are the days when websites were only for large businesses – websites today as we have shown, are cheap and easy to build. The age of technology has also changed the perception of younger users so much that business that don’t have websites, in their eyes, lack credibility. A website is a static resource that reassures customers that you’re there and aren’t going away anytime soon.
#3. Expand Beyond Your Physical Borders
If you’re a retail shop, your business is traditionally only as good as customers are willing to travel to get to you. That’s a small radius when you compare it to the reaches of the Internet. If you decide to retail your products on your website, you are opening an entirely new market beyond your original reach. Now that’s truly borderless business.
#4. Increase Marketing Potential
When you have a new sale or perhaps a new product, your customers usually must walk in to your store to realise it. With a website, you can market it instantly and anyone who takes the time to visit it (rather than must come down to the store) is a potential customer. Better yet, regular customers who realise this will check back often for new promotions, which will likely increase your business significantly.
#5. Offer Customers Better Support
Customers will always have questions or issues with some services or products. Instead of forcing them to wait until your store opens to come in and speak to you, including a FAW or support guide on your website can help them help themselves. This may serve to decrease your need for personalized customer support and can help your customers get help more quickly at anytime.
Conclusion: The Benefits Far Outweigh the Cost
Building in hosting a website on a platform like Wix can cost as little as $5 per month and there are other similar platforms if you would like to shop around. That small fee weighs against a massive stack of potential benefits to your business.
The business world is extremely competitive and if you aren’t going to put that foot forward and give it a try, you’ll likely be left behind by the competition if you haven’t already felt the pinch. Consider your business website a gateway to the future of your company and give it a go today.