Nov 9th, 2011
ALL businesses need a website.
What kind of website your business needs depends completely on the type of business you own, the services or products you offer, and your business plan and goals.
However, there are 3 reasons your business needs a website, no matter what your business is:
Some of your potential customers will look for your business, or your products and services, online. If they can't find you, they can't contact you.
It's a fact that you will have to reckon with: Search engines like Google and Yahoo are used millions of times daily by consumers. Some use the search engines like an online white pages and are searching for the contact information of a particular business. They already know the name and may just need a phone number or address. Others use it like an online yellow pages; they do not have a specific name in mind and are looking for a particular product or service, and don't know who to call, which means their business needs, and their money, is up for grabs.
What results will your potential customers get if they look for your business name online? What will they get if they look for a product or service that you could provide? Is your business even in the running?
Some of your potential customers need more information before they make a buying decision.
Many times your business' contact information will be one of the results returned by the search engines in the form of a 'listing' when a potential customer searches by your business' name. The problem with listings is that they give very little information, such as only your address and phone number. This may be enough information for some, but many will want a little more information about your company and what it provides before they become actual customers.
What if your competition's listing has a link to their website? That means a customer that should be yours is one click away from lots of useful information. Will they still be interested in doing business with you?
What if that customer that you just lost was a referral from another customer? Not only did you lose their business, you may have lost all future referrals that they may give.
Referrals are valuable, so make sure your protect them.
Although making sure that a customer can find you when they need you is reason enough to have a website, it's not the only reason.
Having a website improves your company's image and gives you more credibility.
What if you met someone who's services you might be interested in and asked them for a business card, and they didn't have one? Would you still be interested in doing business with them? Would you get the notion that they don't care about their business or invest back into it? That's what many potential customers will think if you don't have a website. Websites have become the new business card, and many people refuse to do business with companies they consider 'living in the Stone Age'.
When a potential customer notices that you have a website address listed on your business card, on your stationery, or in a print ad, they'll get the idea that you are competent and professional, even if they never actually visit your website.
Now that you know you need a website, what kind of website do you need?