Why Every Business Needs a Website
Over the past 9 years of being in the web design business, I’ve heard every excuse as to why a business does not need a website or need to improve their website. This list includes, but is not limited to:
- I have enough business, I don’t need more
- I don’t have time to put towards a website right now
- It will cost too much money
First of all I’d like to say to these people, “WAKE UP! It’s 2016”, but that does not explain to them why they need a website and how it would benefit them. So to debunk all the bad excuses out there as to why someone might not need a website, I’ve put together answers to each of them.
This post will also include why it is important to have a quality website. More and more we see businesses starting out with a free website (which isn’t a bad idea if you’ve got no capital at all), but in 6 months or less, many businesses that start out this way come to us to build it right. This is simply a waste of their time and resources. Getting a website done right the first time would have put them six months ahead.
Now on to the excuses…
Excuse #1: I have enough business, I don’t need more
This is my personal favorite and it also makes me smile.
Websites are not just for helping you make more sales. Although they can do that, and it is often the main purpose, they can serve many other purposes for businesses including:
- Answering common questions
- Directing communication to the right department
- Employee recruitment
- Investor relations
- Client communication portals
- Getting found by your customers in the first place
To expand on a few…
Answering Common Questions
How many phone calls do you get a day asking simple questions about your business like: What are your business hours? Do you provide this service? Do you do that? A website can answer all these questions. Even if you had a simple website with a home page that described your services, an FAQ page that answered most questions you get asked on a regular basis, and a contact form, most of the people calling about the menial details will stop calling and free up your time.
We have clients whose main reason they have a website is simply for employee recruitment. Their website tells people who they are, what makes them a great place to work, and promotes current available positions. People then have the info they need to apply for those positions or submit their resume for future consideration.
Client Communication Portals
Creating a client portal is an excellent way to share files and organize communication with clients. There are other third party websites and software that can also help you achieve these same goals, but you often need multiple tools to accomplish everything you need to do. If you build a custom client portal onto your website, your options are limitless. If your website is also a sales tool, this brings your client back to your website where they may see something new that they might want to purchase.
Some people might argue, “Well I can create a Facebook Business page and post all that info there”. This is great, and you should, but what happens if Facebook decides tomorrow that they no longer want to provide free business pages or have any business pages at all? Your info will be gone and no one will find you anymore. Also the format of information sharing on Facebook, known as your “timeline”, is not organized in a user friendly/logical way like it would be on your website. It shows your posts chronologically based on date you post something. Do you expect people to scroll through 2 years of posts to find that one post where you communicated a particular issue/product info/etc. Lastly, your Facebook page isn’t going to rank well on Google if someone is looking for your business unless someone searches your exact name.
Excuse #2: I Don’t Have Time for That
First, that is a completely invalid excuse. A quality website saves you time, not wastes it. With an effective website, you will actually end up having more time, freeing you up to do the most important activities within your business. Instead of working more hours or hiring more people to get everything you need to get done in your business, build a website. A website can effectively tackle the items listed in my first excuse and you can save your organization a lot of dough.
Second, starting a basic website now will pay off in the long term. You probably won’t get listed on the first page of Google just by launching a simple site, however how long your website has been online does hold SEO value when Google indexes websites. So, if your website has been around awhile and has slowly built up traffic, you’ll find yourself higher up in Google searches.
There are other reasons it will pay off in the long run as well. I suggest if you don’t have time, start with a basic one page WordPress website. WordPress is a content management system that allows you to manage the content of your website. This means you can add new pages and content when you slow down and have time to do so.
Excuse #3: It will Cost too Much Money
I understand that a website is an investment and you may not have the capital to invest in a website when you first start your business. I feel that if you are spending any money on advertising at all though, you MUST have a website or else you’re throwing your money away.
Radio ads, newspaper ads, business cards, and brochures all become more effective if you can put a website address on them. I’ve seen this many times where new businesses hustle when they first get started by creating business cards and pounding the streets. They attend networking events, conferences, maybe even go door to door and start talking to people and handing out their cards. This can be somewhat effective, but if your business card does not have a website address on it, it becomes less effective.
Let’s pretend you only had one minute to chat with someone and you give them your business card. If they wanted to find out more, it is unlikely they are going to call or email you to start asking questions. People want to go to your website to find out more about you. You could be missing out.
Also in terms of advertising dollars, a website is quite affordable. Go back 10, 20, even 30 years ago when the main way to reach potential customers was the Yellow Pages. Businesses were spending literally thousands of dollars EACH MONTH for a decent ad placement. Considering you can get a quality website built for a ONE TIME payment of two-three thousand dollars, I think that is money well spent.
Lastly, as stated above, your website can help you save time. There is a price tag on everyone’s time, and as a business owner you probably wear a lot of hats and have a hard time completing everything that needs to get done in a day. Now, if having a website can save you X number of hours a week, how quickly will you see a Return on Investment on your website if you calculate those hours by your billable rate?
Your website can also be your most valuable sales tool. You could be missing out on much needed leads and revenue by not having a website.
The Importance of a Quality Website
In the last couple years there has been an emergence of free or really cheap, website solutions. Options like Wix, Weebly and Godaddy all flaunt their products for just a few dollars a month, but when you go with a service like this though you miss out on some really key features that can help your business succeed, including:
Your website is most often the first impression any new client is going to have of your business. When someone Google’s your business and comes to your website, what reaction will they have? If your website looks like it’s cheap and poorly done, it’s reasonable to think that is the same perception they will have of your business.
I’m going to leave it there for now as this leads into another topic that deserves its own article. Next week I will be sharing that post on this blog so make sure to sign up for our newsletter below to get notified of when that article is released.
The topics above cover why every business should have a website. Not every business needs a website for the same reason, but every business needs a website. I’d love to hear if this post has struck any nerves, or made you take action. Leave your comments below.
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