It is Saturday evening and you are looking for a local restaurant to have dinner at. The first thing you do is to check the Internet and you find some names of local restaurants.
The next step you take is go and check their websites. If you find that the local restaurant does not have a website, you discount it immediately. Many people assume automatically that it is not a good, professional business. With the Internet being a strong player in all sectors, small businesses should definitely have websites. This makes them more visible on the Web and so they have a chance to show themselves amongst their big brothers and sisters.
Research done by Yodl, an online marketing forum, shows that 52% of the Small and Medium Business owners in the US do not have a website and 56% does not check the results of their marketing results. One out of ten SMB-owners knows how to deal with social media and how to use online marketing to promote their product. Many people think that the impact of small businesses is not that big, but fact is that all the SMB’s in the US count for 54% of all sales in the US in one year and they also provide 55% of all jobs and 66% of all newly created jobs. You would say that SMB’s would have an online strategy in order to improve their business and product, fact is that many of them do not use the – often free – technology that is available at all time.
In a society where people are more online than offline, it is killing for a business not to have a website. One of the main reasons is that you have to be accessible for everyone at any time. This way, users (and possible customers) can access your website including your services/products whenever they want. The most important characteristic is that you need a professional, clear website that is easy to be found. In some cases, the website could even function as a receptionist that is online 24/7 when you create a booking tool on your website, for example.
In the late 20th century and the early 21th century the information age was at its highest point. People got used to all the information they could access any time, but at the same time they expect that information to be available for them already. When you do not have a website, you are a ghost. People see right through you, meaning that when they are looking for specific information (for example for a specific service/product) and they do not find you, they will not know you exist. Besides, when you have a website you cannot only sell more often to local and existing customers, but also seek additional customers. People will be able to decide when they want to visit your website and when they want to buy something (in case you have a webshop).
Additionally, when you do not have a website, you give your competitors the opportunity to develop themselves and gain new customers that might have been your customers, because they might have preferred your products and services over those of the competitor. These are all chances that are available in order to make your business an even better business.
Some companies do not sell products/services online and therefore they do not have a website. However, when you do not sell products online you can still show your products/services online, on your own website, so that people will know that you are selling a particular good or service. Otherwise, they will not know what you are selling and they will automatically go to another company. The same goes for SMB’s that have customers that do not go online very often. However, these SMB-owners completely forget all the possible customers that simply cannot find you when you do not have a website. Additionally, many companies say that their product cannot be sold online easily. Nowadays, this argument is not valid anymore (in many cases). Even private jets, natural gas, etc. is been sold online, so it totally depends on your marketing strategy whether you would be able to sell your product online or not.
Many SMB’s do not have a website, because they simply do not know how to create it, how to create content, how to deal with online marketing and what steps to take. Fact is, there are many (local) companies that offer expert advice on how to build a website, how to write the content, how to interpret the outcomes of marketing activities and which steps that need to be taken in the process of creating a website. Also, SMB’s complain that SEO is very hard to practice and implement by yourself. However, it is not very hard to think about the search terms people will use in their search for, for example, a new dry cleaner. In the current society, people go more online than offline and it is more likely that a person will look up something online rather than to ask someone. See here some more tips for small businesses: http://www.bloomberg.com/small-business
Another argument is that the presence of a website also gives the opportunity for visitors/customers to write online reviews. These reviews can be used by the SMB-owner to improve products/services. Yodle has also done research after this matter. Their research ‘Small Business and Online Review Survey’ shows that only half of the small business owners think that online reviews are important.
SMB-owners say that they do not have money for a website. However, the costs of a website can be under $100 a month (sometimes even much less). Having a website will save you money, because a newspaper ad will cost much more and is only visible for one day. Besides, it also saves you much time and time makes money. When you have a website with all important information about your company, your goods/services, possibly upcoming events, etc., you will spend less time answering e-mails, creating brochures and answering phone calls from people asking for more information about your company.
Many small businesses do not have a website and this makes that many of them do not even know what they are missing when we speak about possible customers who cannot even find these small businesses. The society is changing and people tend to be more online than offline. Also, you give competitors enough room to create their websites and to gain more and more customers, while these customers do not even know you exist; they might even prefer your products/services. When a small business does not have its own website, it misses opportunities, new customers, market share, brand awareness and the value of online reviews from customers.
You can chose to build a small business website yourself by following courses on Linda like:
Or you can always chose to contact Logo BKK and ask us for a qwoute to build you small business website design.