Why you need a website for your small business

by on August 5, 2010

Small business websitesI don’t care who you are or what you do – if you are a business owner, no matter how small, you need a website.

If you just bristled and came up with a really good reason why you don’t need/want one, let’s talk about it. Maybe you think…

  • You can’t afford it. Rebuttal: Crazy expensive websites are a thing of the past. Sure big companies still spend lots of money on site design, but you don’t have to. Technology has made it easy to set up websites really cheaply. If you’re really savvy, you can set one up by yourself for little (if any) money. Check out some recommended small business website options.
  • You have your market cornered – your competitors don’t come anywhere close to what you do and you lead your industry, making a website pointless. Rebuttal: clickety, click, clack goes the keyboard of the savvy marketing guru creating a killer new website for your competitor that’s gonna blow your target market’s mind. You can’t sit on your heels because of the way things are now.
  • You don’t have the time to maintain it and worry about it . Rebuttal: you can easily hire a consultant to help you with web updates, or just keep it mostly static (there are reasons why this is not a good strategy, but I still think a static site is better than nothing)

These are only some of the objections I’ve heard from small business owners – I’m sure there are lots more floating around out there, otherwise all businesses would have websites.

OK, let’s get to the main point of this post – why small businesses need websites.

Here are a few things that a website can do for your small business:

  • Share your business story – let people know what you do, why and how you can help them
  • Get new customers – people are looking online for your services (when was the last time you picked up a telephone book?)
  • Share your company’s news, promotions, new products/services etc… Keep you customers updated
  • Educate people about what you do (and hopefully get new customers in the process)
  • Gather important information about what your customers need and want
  • Create a database
  • Make it easy for people to find you or contact you
  • Enhance credibility – prove that you are a real company and you care enough about what you do to maintain a presence (if I can’t find a business online, alarm bells always go off)
  • Reduce the number of customer service calls you get
  • Become an important source of information in your industry

There are lots of other reasons. Lisa Barone over at Outspoken Media did a great post outlining why you need a website and how to get started.

To finish, I’m going to concede some situations where you might not need a website for your small business (and I really, truly had to wrack my brain for these):

  • All of your customers are over 80 (and even so, I know there are tons of savvy senior citizens out there on Facebook and Twitter, so maybe this isn’t really a point)
  • You live in a small town where  you only cater to the local community and every one knows exactly what you do. You have absolutely no interest in growing that business beyond your community.

Clearly, I believe very much in what I do for a living and in the power of websites for small business. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Comments, likes and tweets are always appreciated! Did I mention that I LOVE your feedback?

Image source: jscreationzs / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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