On an average, a person spends 24 hours online every week (The 2017 Digital Future Report) and if your business is not on the internet yet then that’s a lot of opportunities you’re missing out on. Having an online presence has become mandatory for growing businesses, whether they’re big or small, old or new. After all, you need to be exactly where your potential customers are – be it the crowded street corner or the world wide web.
While many small businesses feel that this isn’t relevant to them as they don’t need to have an expansive search, nothing could be farther from the truth. In this digital age, your online presence asserts your business credibility and professional website stamps it with legitimacy. A website is the contemporary equivalent of a business card, and here are five reasons why even small businesses need one:
- Even if you’re a local business, creating an online buzz is important to help your business get more new and loyal customers. People don’t use yellow pages anymore to look for where to buy anymore, 81% of customers search for products/services online nowadays (Hubspot Marketing Stats).
Pro-tip: List your business on Google My Business for better local search results and select the most relevant category for your business.
- Give your potential customers the digital face of your business – a website that lists your location, contact info, and other required information – so they know who you are and what you do. It helps them acquire trust and lends your business legitimacy.
Pro-tip: Customers seek social proof in the form of reviews and testimonies; list them on your website in addition to setting up ORM to manage conversations around/about your business and brand.
- Getting a website helps you establish a free marketing channel for your business. While traditional forms of marketing like print advertisements and billboards are still relevant, online options like Search Engine Optimization, blogs, social media and online ads add more vigor to it.
Pro-tip: Increase the SEO ranking of your website so it shows up in online searches by curating it with rich relevant content and optimized images.
- Websites are not just for marketing but also serve a sales purpose now. The days of cold calling are over, you can now urge interested customers to leave you a lead to follow up later. So, even if your office hours are over, your website is open for business 24/7.
Pro-tip: Use a strategic approach to figure out where to place a “click here” button on your website that leads to a lead generation form. The customer usually submits the form with their details in exchange for access to more information – be it a blog or a free coupon.
- Your business website doubles up as a catalog of your products and services, showcasing what you can offer to your customers. In addition to that, you can also set-up an e-commerce website and reach out to a wider range of customers (maybe even globally). Most consumers are spending more time and money on online shopping, even you can join the ranks of small businesses that are growing exponentially each day.
Pro-tip: You don’t even need to set-up an on-ground office/store, all you need is a computer, an internet connection and a back room with your products that are ready for delivery.
- Unless you’re very tech-savvy and understand a thing or two about digital marketing, DIY websites can only take you so far. Your website should mirror the personality and professionality of your business. Investing in an efficient website that has the professional touch of a seasoned digital agency is highly recommended. Because apart from an online identity, your website is also your gateway to more business, and for that to grow manifolds the right digital marketing strategy joining hands with your business strategy.Pro-tip: A free-host website with a web address extension like weebly.com, lends an amateur air to your business. Buy a proper domain name for your business, it’s a small investment that will cement the digital footprint of your business.
So if you’re a small business that’s ready to grow, no matter the odds and competition – take your business online and watch what happens. While it sounds like a big task that requires big money and might distract you from your real business goals, that’s simply not the case. All you need to do is to outsource your website development and management to a digital agency, while you focus on running the business.
From there, it’ll all take a life of its own.