I strongly recommend that every business has its own website. I know it can feel daunting to add another thing to your expenses, especially when you’re starting a business, but it’s worth the investment of your time and money.
Here are a few very practical reasons why:
Your website can be a model employee.
I hear all the time from brick & mortar business owners how hard it is to find good help. With the right setup, your website help fill in the gaps of your missing workforce by serving as a salesperson, answering questions that your potential customers have before they even leave the house. According to GE Capital Retail Bank, 81% of retail shoppers conduct online research before buying. A simple FAQ page can help avoid the disruption of phone calls from customers when you’re in the middle of rearranging your store, or meeting with another customer. If you take orders or require reservations in your business, your website can do this for you too. Last, but not least, of course, you can sell products, services or gift cards on your website.
Social media is not yours. Your website is.
I say it all the time, but I’ll say it again here for the people in the back: Your social media account is not yours to own. It can be taken away either by the social media company itself, or by a hacker, at a moment’s notice, and you have little to no recourse when this happens. You’ll be left without a way to communicate with your customers, and maybe lose all of your contacts too, if they’re not backed up.
It’s so easy to set up a social media account, and use it every day. And if it works for you and your business, you should do that. But, to reduce your risk, you really need a website to be your main online presence. And, yes I know, your website can be hacked too, but you can have more control over being able to restore it than you do a social media account.
Your website can be your marketing manager.
A lot of brick & mortar business owners tell me they “need marketing”, but then balk at the idea of a website. A website is a MARKETING MACHINE!
You can use your website to collect customer email addresses, share freebies with potential customers, promote your own offers, tell customers about yourself, move your business up in Google searches (this takes some work), and so much more. A good web designer can set up your website to do all these things and more.
There are so many places you can share your business online. And, over the past few years, the trends have all been to try the latest social media channel. While that can work for some time, it’s really just not sustainable long-term. A website – when done right – can be a true asset to your business and alleviate some of the workload for you and your team.
Questions? I’m always happy to chat. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org