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The small business world is rapidly changing as more people enter and competition gets tougher and small business owners have to be more forward thinking now than ever before just to keep up with their competition.
One of the best ways to move your business forward and increase your revenue and profitability is by getting your own website. A custom and functional website is not as expensive as you think and when done properly can give you more return on your investment than any other form of advertising you can find.
The Top 10 Reasons Your Business Needs A Website TODAY!
1. A Website can help you Generate a Professional Image and Creditability
A professionally designed website is one of the best ways to instill confidence in your new customers who are not familiar with your company already or even increase the confidence of your existing customer base. It gives the customer the impression that they are dealing with a firm they can trust and will generate a sense of respectability with your service and/or product.
2. Business Information is available 24/7
You are able to communicate address, phone numbers, hours of operation and client’s awareness of special offerings. How much time do you spend on the phone giving out all of this information? Directions, what you do and don’t do, what hours you are open, the price of some service, how one of your services “works”, directions once again, and yes you are open on Sundays too. What if you could hire someone for just a few hundred dollars a year to take an increasing number of those calls for you? You would do it in a heartbeat wouldn’t you? You’d be surprised how much a website will take off your shoulders while simultaneously driving business to you.
3. No More Yellow Pages
People say “Google it” not “yellow Page it”. People don’t use the yellow pages as much as you think and many refer to the overpriced print pages as a dead form of advertising. Almost every employee in the country that gets paid more than $30,000/year has a computer at their desk and a whopping 85% of college students have their own personal PC while few have a copy of the yellow pages nearby. As habit, they will simply type in “haircut, detroit, michigan” in Google long before they hunt down the one copy of the yellow pages that was left in the breakroom or on their dorm floor.
4. The Future is Automation (less work = More Money)
You can highly automate some parts of your business online which in turn will free up other resources to other parts of your business. You could give your customers the option to pay their bills online and check account balances. You can automate deliveries to them. You can allow them to book appointments with your salon online or even make restaurant registrations at their favorite table. You can give customers the option to be notified that their dry cleaning is ready for pickup. It is only getting easier and more convenient for customers to shop at places that serve them around their lifestyle and research shows that Generation Y and even a lot of baby boomers are looking for these kind of conveniences when choosing a company to do business with.
5. Reach desirable Demographic Markets
The World Wide Web is arguably the highest mass-market demographic available. Mostly consisting of college educated or currently being college educated consumers making high salaries or soon to be making high salaries. These demographics are the ones who will be going online to do product and service research, looking for general business information, and seeking that automation and convenience I touched on in #4.
6. Create a 24 Hour Service
Web pages serve the client, customer and partner 24 hours a day, seven days a week and you don’t even have to pay it overtime wages either. Consumers are increasingly becoming busier and busier every day and by providing information and services online you are able to attract the people who are simply just too busy to handle all their needs during their 9-5 workday while working around your 8-6 office hours.
7. Feed Back from the Customer
With a good web presence you are able to ask for feedback in a non-confrontational way and receive information instantly without extra cost. This could be something as simple as a dynamic contact and feedback form or individual product and service rating systems that give the customer the anonymity they desire and the information and feedback crucial to your businesses success.
8. Provide Research information
Consumers spend hours of time researching potential businesses, products and services prior to making an educated purchase. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to give your customers and potential customers the information they want and need to make an educated purchase decision by foregoing a company website.
9. Existence is Everything
Without a website, you simply do not exist to the average consumer. Before you look back at all your success and totally disregard what I am saying just hear me out on this. It’s 4:00pm, Friday evening and I have to get a last minute reservation for an anniversary dinner with my wife (just an example, never would happen). I type in my favorite search engine at work: “restaurant, Detroit Michigan”. The first two links all look great. I look at their hours, their location, read a little about them and they’ve been in business for over 15 years, experience is great, so I pick up the phone and make a reservation.
What I didn’t know though is that a great new restaurant opened up just a few miles away last month. I didn’t know that because your website either didn’t come up in the search engine or perhaps you do not have a website at all. For me and many other consumers, you didn’t even exist when I was making a decision on whom to do business with.
10. Inexpensive and Almost Risk Free
All the above benefits to having a website for your small business are great. When people first began to adopt the internet these benefits would have been very costly and out of reach of the average small business owner. However, while every other advertising medium has increased in price over the past decade, website development and hosting has decreased significantly.
For just a few dollars a year, you can get all the benefits above and much more. There is virtually “no risk” in website marketing. You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars and wonder if you should have bought a bigger yellow pages ad but can’t change it until the next year rolls around. You can easily customize your website and make changes at your convenience. You can do as much or as little as your business goals and budget allow.