You’re an entrepreneur or small business owner. You’re thinking of creating a website. You’re not sure it’s worth the investment because your business is in its infancy, you don’t have the time, or maybe you think it’s an unnecessary expense. Think again.
Regardless of the type of business you’re in, you need a website if you expect your business to thrive and grow. Are you still unsure? Consider the following five reasons why every small business owner needs a website.
1. Brand Your Business.
There was a time that when people went shopping they actually drove to a brick and mortar store. However, experts suggest that this has changed over the last 10 years as online shopping has grown some 300 percent. Therefore, a website may be the only face that customers see. It’s important you create a website that reflects your brand positively. Branding is all about how you present yourself and your small business to the world. As a 2008 MIT Sloan Management Review puts it, “Brand is a ‘customercentric’ concept that focuses on what a product, service or company has promised to its customers and what that commitment means to them.”
2. Build Your Reputation.
Sometimes people become confused about brand and reputation. Although they are complementary, they are different. While your business brand focuses on what you promise, your business reputation is all about living up to that promise. It’s about credibility. Your small business website can help build your reputation by telling customers what you offer (brand) and demonstrating your commitment through things such as written and video testimonials, the ease of your online shopping program, and the quality of your customer service response.
3. Advertise Your Company.
Creating a great website is one of the best ways to advertise your small business. Marketing your website via tools such as social media, business marketing materials, a company blog, and links in properly placed business articles allows you to advertise your business and drive customers to your site. However, advertising through your website requires diligence. You can’t just throw something together and place it online. A quality small business website needs frequent maintenance as well as updates in content, design, and links.
4. Grow Your Market.
Growing your customer base is one of the best reasons to create a small business website. It allows you to showcase current and new products and services. Additionally, small business owners can offer discounts, coupons, free items, and other incentives to keep their customers engaged and coming back for more. Another reason every small business owner needs a website is to collect demographics about their customers. By adding a survey or questionnaire, you can gather information about purchases and interests in order to better target your customers’ likes.
5. Create Easy Accessibility.
You want customers to find you. Since experts suggest that approximately 85 percent of Americans are online and more than 90 percent are mobile, if your business isn’t there, you won’t be found. Neither will your products and services. Once customers find your website online, make sure your website is easy to navigate as well. It encourages shoppers to hang around. If it’s too complicated, difficult to maneuver, or cluttered with popups and stuffed with SEO, they’re not likely to return.