Nowadays it is almost instinctive for any business to create a website. Basically every person that is asked if a business should have one would doubt very little to reply affirmatively. But when asked “Why?” the doubt starts to grow.
It is so simple and so powerful that is hard to imagine why not, but in this humble post we will try to explain why it is not only important to have a website but a good one.
Before the internet was born businesses used strategies to promote themselves like having a big sign on top of the store, advertise on newspapers or TV, mail coupons or fliers, have a nice window display and rely on the happy customers to spread the word about it. This strategies are still being used today but they are moving online.
Having a website for your business is like opening a new virtual office or store. Visitors will come in, look around and eventually convert to customers or leave. It doesn’t matter if you sell shoes or plumbing services. Visitors will come in, and if your website works properly, you will get new customers.
And the beauty is that not only are you opening a virtual office for visitors around you but for a world wide audience. You might have the biggest sign on your town, but from two miles away it is hardly ever seen. You might have the biggest ad on the local paper but no one will call you from out of state. A website can open a business virtually unlimited opportunities.
The value of an internet presence is much more tangible for retail stores since they are opening their doors 24/7 to customers all over the world without much hassle. If your store is in Kentucky you wouldn’t care to ship your products to Bangladesh, there is almost no difference that shipping it to New York. For a small investment your possible customer base is expanded borderless.
So, what will a site provide you? First of all, presence. If you have your website it will be there when someone is looking for your products or services. It will also let you tell the story, it is not just a phone or address in the Yellow Pages but a display of what you want to tell your customers. If they have a warmer feeling about your website they will pick you instead of the competition, the battleground has changed. And lastly, it is a great tool to communicate with your patrons. Not only you can tell your message to them, but you can also hear them back, receive feedback about your work and how to improve it.
With the present status of the internet the communication is not only between you and your customers, but between them. The mouth to mouth marketing has moved to social networks like Facebook and Twitter. If you fix computers and someone was happy about your work they will talk about it and your site can be the hub of that information, and if someone was unhappy you can prevent the word from spreading by just saying sorry.
It is now clear that you must have a website. The quality and functionality of it will depend on your budget and willingness but if it is just a free one with the business description and a phone you are on the right track.