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Looking at this question, it might seem that the answer is already clear – YES definitely, but for many owners of small businesses who have relied on word-of-mouth, marketed themselves at brick brick-and-mortar shows, and who use social media well to effectively build a client base, I think it is a question worth taking seriously.
How should I go about it? How much is a decent amount to pay? Who can I trust? How long will it take? Can my business really afford it? And what will the return on my investment really be?
What Good Will Having A Website Do My Business?
If you have been on the fence about whether implementing a small business website is a good decision, now is an excellent time to break through the inertia of inaction. Here are some of the things a website can do for your business.
1. Your Website Increases Accessibility
Your website is no for your use, it’s for your customers. It lets customers, business partners, potential employees, and perhaps even investors quickly and easily get more information about your business and the products or services you have to offer them. They can find directions on your website, get product information, learn about your hours of operation, your return policies, design process, and a lot more. Your website works for you all round the clock. It is a digital shop front for your business.
2. Your website Communicates Credibility
Credibility here simply refers to the quality of being trusted and believed in. Your website communicates to customers, clients, investors, collaborators and all other interested visitors that your business is genuine, that it actually really exist. It builds trust. Trust is important because it gives potential clients the confidence to take the next step towards doing business with you. That next step could be anything from hiring your service to purchasing your product to even sponsoring or partnering with your business.
Putting a website up for your business adds another layer of legitimacy not only for clients but for you as the business owner.
3. Your Website Increases your Business’ Reliability
The ability to relate to a defined audience and build relationships is a game changing benefit of creating and maintaining a small business website. Using your site to tell a story about you and your business begins the relationship.
Understanding your audience and how your product or service could provide a benefit to their lives continues to strengthen the relationship. Using your website to earn and retain a customer is the ultimate goal and the result of successfully relating to and serving the customer.
Consumers are more likely to visit your website to learn about your business than they are to pick up the phone and call. Replying to emails and social media comments is a great way to build trust and personalize your small business experience.
4. Increases Business Flexibility
While your business may still have a need for printed advertising materials, these items tend to be costly, especially when they need to be updated. In today’s world consumers expect to see fresh marketing campaigns and information on a continuous basis. Small business websites allow for demographic information, services offered, business hours, and pricing to be edited at any time for no cost.
Easy to use website platforms, such as WordPress, are user friendly even from mobile devices and allow for ongoing updates. Having the flexibility to keep your audience informed encourages strong relationships and keeps your customers coming back.
5. Your Website puts you in front of the Global Market
With a well-designed website, the whole world can be your market. Your business is no longer confined to your geographical location, to word of mouth sales (as excellent as that is), even to your friends and family (as wonderful as they are!). Anyone from anywhere in the world can shop your products, or use your services.