Your business – regardless of whether it’s a local store, a corporate chain, a retailer, a supplier, or a service provider – needs a website whether you plan to do commerce online or not.
The simple fact is that your customers are online even if you’re not, and online is where they’ll be looking for you. If you’re not technically-inclined, think of websites today as the yellow pages of the past – simple and effective advertising to get your business seen by thousands (or tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands) of people. Over the last decade Internet usage has been climbing exponentially, and Google currently serves more than 1 billion web searches per day. Given these numbers, it’s safe to assume that a majority of potential customers are researching products and services online before making a buying decision, no matter what industry you’re in.
Customers may even just be looking for mundane details like your operating hours or phone number, and it’s reasonable to be able to expect to find this information online – if they can’t find yours, they will certainly find your competitor’s. Even without paid advertising, your website will serve a useful purpose in being a place that potential customers can find and visit 24/7 to learn more about what you do and contact you.
Although you may be a local business, you are now competing in the national or global marketplace. It’s you versus eBay, Amazon, and millions of other entrepreneurs all over the globe, and many of these competitors exist solely online. Even if you don’t do commerce online, having a professional website shows that you are serious about your business and that you understand the level of customer service people expect.
The same goes for local service providers: while you may not have a global market like retailers do, you are still competing against your local market. If “Carla’s Nails” is your competitor and they have a website that allows visitors to browse colors and designs online, who do you think will get appointments from the 4 out of 5 people who are researching services online? In cases like these service, price, and quality don’t even enter the equation – if you aren’t online, you aren’t even in the race.
It’s not just consumers who do their research online, it’s also other businesses. If you are a wholesaler or manufacturer you’re likely missing out on potential customers if you don’t have a website.
As new competitors make the manufacturing business more competitive, it’s important to stay relevant. Online import services have made importing products for resale easier than ever before, and many companies will now design and make whatever products their customers have in mind. You can either get online and aggressively market the things that make your business stand out, or you can let someone else have your customers.
Contractors are one of the highest areas of opportunity in the online marketplace. Since most contractors and freelancers don’t have a storefront, virtually the only way to find them is online. Even if a customer sees your signs or flyers, if you don’t have a website for them to visit in order to get more information about your company and exactly what you have to offer, you have pretty much wasted your marketing budget.
For example, say a potential customer sees a sign advertising your business while they’re waiting for a red light. They may see your name and recognize some services that are of interest to them, but they will likely not remember your phone number – most potential customers will assume that by just remembering your name they’ll be able to get more information about you online later.
Having a website as a contractor or freelancer is a way for you to set yourself apart from your less tech-savvy competitors, begin competing with larger firms that already have a web presence, and make it easier for potential customers to find you.
Get Started Today
If you do not have a website for your business, you should put this on your to-do list today. The cost of a website is virtually nothing compared to the business that you might be losing without one, and the business you stand to gain with one. It’s an investment in the future of your business, and should be treated as an opportunity to grow.
Websites do not need to be complicated and complex, they just need to sell your business and provide potential customers with a way to contact you.
If you’re interested in getting a website developed for your business, we’re giving away a free website each month, apply here. If you have any questions or want to discuss a larger project, you can get in touch with us here.