Starting-up or running your own business is no mean feat, and at times, the obstacles or ‘to do list’ can seem overwhelming. But, if there is one thing that you cannot skip or compromise on, it’s your website. This element is crucial in creating online visibility and enables you to position yourself with a strong, professional destination that gives potential clients the impression that you mean business and the motivation to want to engage more with your business.
With this in mind, consider the following reasons why having a strong website is important:
First Impressions Count
Let’s face it – we live in a world where people Google before they shop, visit online review sites before they buy and ‘check-in’ via Facebook as they go about their day. Because of this, you want your first impression to be the best it can be. Beginning with your website, consumers are passing judgement and making decisions about whether or not they will even visit your store or restaurant, buy your product, or engage your service. They’re likely to dismiss you entirely, as well, should they believe your website doesn’t reflect the kind of experience your business – or a business like yours – should offer.
For home-based businesses, this is particularly so since you do not have a store front to promote your products or services.
Also, think of your website as being your online brochure or catalogue. It is much easier and quicker to update information about your products and services on your website than in print material, making it an effective way of letting your clients know about the arrival of new products, upcoming events, special promotions, or any new services you now offer. Unlike print ads which quickly become outdated, your website can provide current information and news.
A Website Can Actually Save You Money
As a small business owner, you probably think you can’t afford a professional website, but the truth is, you can’t afford NOT to. Although the cost of designing a website varies, once it’s up and running, a website for a small business generally costs around $100 a month and, in some cases, as little as $40. Compared with the cost of a newspaper ad, when you consider the potential market you can reach with a website, it is a very cost effective way to promote your business.
No Website Means Losing Business
It should be clear by now that if you don’t have a website, you’re missing out on opportunities for potential clients to identify who you are and if they want to spend money with you. This being said, if you have a bad website it is better to have no website. While no website equals missed opportunities, a bad website can actually be worse since it literally makes your business look bad. If you can’t proudly promote the website you have available for the world to see, take it down. A bad website is far worse than no website – but let’s be clear… both are bad for business.
Whether you are a one man or woman show or operate with 100 employees, your website should appear as if you have a team dedicated exclusively to keeping your online presence strong and noteworthy. The key here is “appear” versus actually having someone updating your website everyday. For most small businesses, this is simply not necessary. However, having a professional, strong and polished looking website that functions easily and offers clients easy navigation, strong photo images, professional quality content and an overall experience that engages them enough for them to want to do business with you, is key.
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Acknowledgement to www.forbes.com