“If your business isn’t on the internet, it doesn’t exist”. You may argue with this, but the fact is, your business needs a website. As a business owner in the 21st century, you’re leaving a lot of money on the table by not having a website. If you’ve been wondering why you need a website or whether to get one, this article will point out some reasons why a website is important for your small business.
1. An online CV or portfolio to help you get a job or clients
A website works great as an online curriculum vitae, or portfolio to showcase your work.
You could even create a simple one-page site with your basic information, qualifications and contact details.
This also works for small businesses that simply want to explain what they do, show some of their past work, and leave information on how potential clients can contact them.
2. Build credibility and establish yourself as an authority
Potential employers or clients that don’t know you personally may need convincing that you’re good for the job.
You can achieve this by adding a blog on your website where you write articles relating to your work. If done right, this establishes you as an authority in your field and proves that you know your onions.
These articles can also improve your search engine rankings and lead more people to you.
3. Create a final destination for your marketing efforts
Social media platforms come and go, and some may introduce new rules or algorithms that negatively affect your business.
This is why it’s important to have your own site that you own and control. It’s important to direct your social media followers to your website and your mailing list, so that you don’t risk losing them when they move on to other social media platforms.
4. Connect with new customers (and keep existing customers)
Your website makes it easy for new customers to find you through search or advertising.
You can also capture leads by giving visitors to your site the option to subscribe to your website or email list.
With your blog and your email list, you can engage potential and existing customers, and even make them offers that entice them to keep returning to your business.
5. Help your local business to compete with large brands
Another reason why you need a website is to be able to compete with bigger brands in search engine results pages.
Search engines prioritize local business in search results, so if you have a website that is search engine optimized, you’re very likely to show up in results when people search for your business and location (Eg “hair salons in Lagos”, or “hair salons near me”).
6. Simple and affordable to set up
Contrary to what you might think, websites are quite affordable to set up. All you need to start is a domain name and hosting.
Many hosting plans offer you a free domain name on your first payment, and hosting can cost as little as $3 monthly.
Other costs may come up based on your preferences or needs, but a basic website doesn’t have to cost you an arm.
If you don’t want to go through the hassle of setting up the website yourself, you can pay someone to do it for you. Depending on your requirements, you can still get yourself an affordable deal.
7. Automate your business processes
As a small business owner, it gets tiring having to do everything yourself. You promote your brand, send pictures of your products to clients, convince them to choose you, send invoices, deal with shipping and fulfillment, handle customer complaints… it’s endless.
One of the major reasons why you need a website for your business is to automate your business processes.
Picture this- someone wants to buy shoes.
They search on Google and find your website.
They go through your online shop and see the shoes you have in stock, with their prices.
They add some shoes to their cart, but they’re not sure whether to click ‘buy’, afterall, they don’t know you.
They click on “About us” and read about your business- who you are, what inspired you to start, what they gain by shopping with you.
They like your story, but they want to hear from people that have shopped with you. So they scroll to your testimonials and read what previous customers have to say.
Convinced, they make payment and the fulfilment process begins.
Before they leave, a pop-up appears asking them to refer their friends and get 10% off their next purchase. And if they join your mailing list, they get a free “Guide to Choosing the Perfect Work Shoes”.
Now that they’re part of your mailing list, you can keep them coming back with new arrivals and special offers.
Without even getting out of bed, you’d have gone through the entire process of acquiring a lead, introducing your business, presenting your products, convincing the customer, closing a sale and retaining the customer, just because you have a website set up to handle all that.
Your website can take a big chunk of work off your hands. With the right software and automations, your website can be optimized to handle all the above tasks and more, freeing up your time for the stuff that matters.
All I’m saying…
Your small business needs a website to reach more customers. Your already successful business needs a website to automate processes. If you’re too busy, your website can free up some of your time. If you’re on a budget, your website can save you lots of money on marketing, office space, and even hiring costs. If you’re already active on social media, your website can serve as a ‘store’ for your many followers, so that you never have to worry about losing them.
The question isn’t why you need a website, it’s why don’t you already have one? If you don’t already have an optimized website for your business, consider making it a priority to get one.