Why Do I Need a Website for My Small Business?
After bringing your business this far without a website, you’re probably wondering “does my small business need a website?” After all, what’s the point of having a website if you’ve already had success without one?
The simplest answer is that the world we live in today demands a website. Since the internet went live in 1983, it's become the largest and most effective connector of people, places, and businesses around the world. A website works FOR you, even when you're asleep.
If the internet is the most inter-connected community on earth, then your website serves as your own piece of real estate in this prime location. Think about how beneficial it would be if your business was sited in an exclusive location where you have access to all the best paying customers. That’s exactly what the internet offers you: a chance to put your business where it benefits you most. Having a website is critical to taking advantage of that.
Still unconvinced? Here are 7 more reasons why it’s time to invest in a website for your small business.
Attract new customers on auto-pilot
No matter how many customers you already have now, there’s no doubt that you’ll always need more. All businesses, even those with a high number of loyal, repeat customers experience churn. This means some customers will leave your business, either because they get attracted to another business, or because... life. Life sometimes simply changes for people.
Having a website gives you the opportunity to maintain a constant pipeline of customers so you never run out of people to sell to. Why’s this? Results from a survey found that a whopping 81% of Canadians go online to check out a business before making a purchase decision. That’s roughly 26 million people prospecting for businesses like yours.
A website gives you that “always on” advertising that allows you showcase your business exactly how you want, and keep new customers coming in continuously.
Have a dominant local profile
Most small businesses are built and sustained by their local community. Without the great people in your community who stopped by and gave you their money in exchange for great service, you likely won’t have much of a small business. As a result, small businesses love their community, as we expect you would.
The great thing about a website is it gives you a solid platform that allows you consolidate your business within your community. Google reports that 46% of all people searching for businesses online are looking for local businesses. Whether these are tourists, visitors, or people who just moved into the neighborhood, they want great local service.
Even better, 74% of those looking for local businesses intend to make a purchase on that same day, or very soon after. But you simply cannot enjoy any part of this search activity unless you have a website, and it is optimized for local search.
Add instant credibility to your business
Did you know that customers feel (whether they're right or wrong is up for debate) that having a website lends credibility to your business. Nope, we’re not joking. Research by Verisign found that 56% of people do not trust businesses that don’t have a website.
As a business owner, you know it matters very little whether this belief is justified or not. What matters is that’s what your customers are thinking. The job of a good business is to give customers what they want. If you don’t believe that not having a website affects your credibility, conduct a survey amongst your patrons to see what they really feel.
You’ll find that they would prefer you to be online so they can engage better with your brand, access your products or services quicker, and even refer your business easier. Have you ever tried to describe how to find a location to someone? Yeah, you know how that feels.
Save your business time and money
On that last point, having a website lets you quickly provide basic information about your business to those that require it. Think about it. Does it really make sense that people who want to inquire about your hours, menu, location, or vegetarian/vegan options have to call you up every single time?
Apart from the sheer waste in employee hours that this represents, doesn’t the thought of spending all that time unnecessarily tire you? With a website, you can provide all of this information in a clear, easily accessible manner. You can even embed a map on your webpages so your visitors can find accurate directions to your business at the touch of a finger.
With your important information online, you spend less time tending to the phone and more time whipping up more of the good stuff that your customers love. You also get to save on the costs of all those phone bills and the labor required to man the phone at all hours.
Gain competitive advantage
We cannot stress this enough. If you fail to secure a prime piece of internet real estate for your business, your competitors will soon muscle you out of the way and steal your dinner. Even if you believe your business is too dominant in your community for this to happen, you only need to wait a few years to see.
We can guarantee that your competitors are already online, and if you don’t find your way there, it may prove damaging to your business. Here’s a practical example of why that’s the case. Assume someone new comes into town and is looking for a great place to have good food, unwind, and bring all their friends and business mates to. They go online and search for “best restaurant in (your city)”. Guess what businesses they’ll see? Definitely not yours.
It won’t matter that people in your community know you’re the best. And if this happens for long enough, people probably won’t even think you’re the best anymore. Especially during Covid - people NEED to know whether you're open for business!
Boost business growth and revenue
This is a personal favorite of ours. In a study by global consultancy firm Deloitte, it was found that digitally advanced small businesses (those with strong online presence) enjoyed a range of business benefits from being online. These businesses earned twice as much revenue per employee compared to businesses that were offline.
They experienced almost four times growth in revenue, year on year, compared to their peers. They were also nearly three times as likely to create new jobs compared to the previous year. Lastly, these businesses enjoyed an average employment growth rate that was more than six times higher than other businesses.
Why did these businesses do better than others? Being able to take advantage of the internet through a well-designed website allowed them to attract more - and better quality - customers. They were able to increase operations as a result, expand their workforce, and earn more revenue. Essentially, they accessed real growth opportunities by moving online.
I run thriving social media accounts. Isn’t that enough?
Now, there’s just one last thing before we let you go. You may be thinking your Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram accounts are doing well already. You have thousands of followers and are wondering if it’s still necessary to go on to build a website. After all, you’re already online. Well, the answer to that is a big fat YES!
If you're successful on social media, leading them TO your website will only amplify your efforts.
The social media account is hosted on another company’s platform, and they’re the ones who will enjoy the engagement your business creates. Building a website secures your own piece of internet real estate where you now have the flexibility (and space) to go all out for your customers and give them service to remember.
It’s easier than ever before to create a website
You could even create one for yourself. With builders like WordPress and Wix, you could build a decent website all by yourself. We won't deny that!
If you don’t have the time or inclination to do this on your own, or if you want the full benefits of what a custom-built website can do for you, we can help. Not only are the sites custom, the plan is too - just like your business!
I said this to someone a couple of days ago: Sure! We want money. We're a business, who doesn't? But our goal isn't to take it from you - we want to be a valuable investment into your business so that what we're doing is making YOU money!
If you want to find out how we make that happen, send me a message or Book a Free Discovery Call.