These days, it appears that having a company web site is almost as common as having a business card. Surprisingly, this isn’t true. According to a 2009 Ad-ology study, 46% of small business owners DO NOT have a web site! If you’re one of the 46%, consider the following reasons for creating your web site before the end of the month:
- Customers can reach you 24/7. There’s no need for a potential customer to wait until your store opens or the customer service line activates to find out basic information about your business. A web site can be as simple as a page listing your location, contact information, current specials and products/services offered.
- You can make money in your sleep. Perhaps there is someone 2000 miles away who needs what you have to offer. Having a web site with the ability to take orders online gives you the ability to service that customer, even if he or she is not in your local area.
- You’re currently missing out on customers. Say you do run a business that thrives on local customers, such as a restaurant or pest control venture. Though much of your business could come from walk-ins or word-of-mouth, you’re missing out on many potential customers who look to the Internet for these types of services. A BIA/Kelsey and Constat study found that 90% of Internet users search online for nearby businesses. That means that 90% of Internet users looking for a meal or a way to get rid of pests is jumping online…and not finding you because you’re not there. This is business you could easily capture by just building a web site.
Small business expert, Vanessa Fox, gives several tips on getting started with your web site, including the type of content to put up. She also lists keyword research links to help you develop the right content for your customers and analytics tools to understand who visits your site once it’s up. I’m an advocate for hiring a professional to build your website, but there are several resources if you’re a do-it-yourselfer. Some hosting companies, like Network Solutions and 1&1, offer site builder plans. You choose a template and photos and add your own text content. A site can also be built as a blog at Blogspot or WordPress and Yola offers many free HTML and CSS templates. You just have to choose the option that best fits your business strategy.
If you don’t have a website and are ready to take the plunge, I encourage you to check out my free video training on the 7 Things Your Website MUST Have to Succeed. This approximately 30 minute video will walk you through the essential elements needed to make your website attractive and relevant to potential customers. It’s part of a monthly video series, so if you find the video helpful, hit the subscribe link at the bottom of the video page to get new trainings delivered straight to your email inbox each month.
Did your business always have a website? If not, what made your company take the plunge and create one?
Disclaimer: My blog is a part of an online influencer network for Business on Main. I receive incentives to share my views on a monthly basis. The opinions, however, are all mine.