The aim of all small businesses is to grow and move from success to success. While a web prescience may not be vital to your growth, we’re exploring the compelling reasons a website could prove beneficial.
If you’re reading this, chances are, you own a small business. Whether you’re a small team of professionals or going it alone as a freelancer, you may think digital marketing isn’t a top priority. But every business today should be online, the Internet is the world’s go-to destination for information, and if you’re selling, you’d better be selling via the biggest network in the world.
Let’s take a look at our top 5 reasons why your business needs a great online presence…
1) Your bark can seem bigger than your bite online
So you’re a small player in your industry, you may have competitors with 10 times the number of staff, but customers don’t know that when looking at your business from the other side of a computer screen. A well thought through, professionally designed website can help you up your game, leading to faster growth. If you’re ready to take on more work, hire more staff and put your business ‘on steroids’, investing in your digital presence is a no-brainer.
2) People search online
Do you remember the Yellow Pages? Times have changed a lot over the past 20 years, the internet is now the go-to source of all information. We’re glued to our devices and have no patience for looking or asking around for advice. Sure you may still get referrals – that’s great – but relying on referrals means you significantly reduce your exposure to potential customers. And if you have a website already, make sure it’s found! Read our blog here on why you should be investing more in marketing in 2017.
In the past few years we’ve seen a strange phenomenon happen, people no longer trust institutions as much as they trust individuals. So even if you have the professional qualifications, the ISOs and the experience, your customers prefer to hear it from real people. A website and digital presence are the perfect way to display your skills via reviews from real people. Having a website and an online reputation to maintain also helps customers feel more at-ease that your business is reliable and accountable.
4) Customers make decisions based on digital presence
Think about it, if you need a plumber and you Google your local choices, are you going to pick the plumber you’ve found in a directory listing whose phone number and business name is listed, or will you pick the one with a website of information, price-guide, services offered and customer reviews?
The same applies to your company, a simple business card doesn’t get you far today, customers want to see your website, subscribe to your blog and perhaps even check out your twitter feed before deciding whether or not to go into business with you.
5) Your competitors are doing it
Each of the above points filter nicely into this final point, if your competitors are doing it, perhaps you should too.
But remember, it’s not good enough these days to have a bog-standard page acting as a digital business card. Your website should show your business as professional, which means it’ll need a professional design, should be mobile responsive, easy to navigate and answer the commonest questions your customers might have. And, unless you’re a website developer, it is wise to pass off this project to a professional – all too often small business owners decide to make their own website and either make mistakes or don’t take the time to finish their new websites.
How much will a professional website cost?
Prices vary greatly depending on the developer you choose, the level of complexity you require on your website and how frequently you wish to make changes/updates. Generally speaking, a freelance developer can set you up with something basic from around £1000.
The costs of developing and maintaining your business’s site are deductible from your tax bill, so what are you waiting for? And as if you prove a point, we bet you’ll choose to do business with a freelance website developer or a web development agency with a fantastic website.