As a small business marketing company, we are fortunate to work with a wide range of small businesses and entrepreneurs. Some businesses are well established with a robust web presence, while others are just starting out and are questioning whether they even need a website. When business owners approach us and ask if they really need to invest in a website, I always do my best to explain to them why small businesses need a website, and how they too can have a web presence.
The internet is a great equalizer between small and large businesses
When it comes to having a presence in front of possible clients, the internet is a great way to allow small businesses to compete with their larger competitors. Even having a basic, informative, easy to navigate website can put your business on equal ground with companies much larger than you. Searchers cannot tell by looking at your website if you’re a sole proprietor working out of your home, or if you have an established team of professionals to get the work done. All they see is that when they searched for you to learn more about your business, they found your website, and were able to hopefully get the information they needed to engage your services or buy your products.
Having a website gives your small business credibility
For potential clients, it’s all about perception, and having a website shows you’re a serious, legitimate business, not a fly by night company that will disappear overnight. An article by Entrepreneur magazine lists a few reasons why even the smallest of businesses can benefit from a Web presence:
- Visibility: People like to do their research before the buy a product or service, and having a website gives them one more avenue to conduct that research and learn more about your small business.
- Reach: With a website, you are no longer limited if you have a brick and mortar location. Even if your store or business office is in one city, people can find you and engage with you from all over the state or country if you desire.
- Customer service: Websites aren’t just for potential clients. Retaining or upselling existing clients is easier with a website as you continue to stay in front of them and offer opportunities to continue doing business with you.
- Competition: A professional looking site can level the playing field for smaller companies trying to compete against larger enterprises as mentioned before. If they don’t find you, they’ll find your competition.
- Credibility: You can showcase your capabilities, professionalism and overall business offerings on your site, and include customer testimonials that lend themselves to making you more credible to potential clients.
Websites can be affordable for small businesses
As a small business just starting out, you don’t need to break the bank to create a website. There are several do-it-yourself websites that you can start with if you have a very limited budget. Though their capabilities are limited and you’ll likely outgrow them at some point, sites such as Wix, SquareSpace or GoDaddy Website Builder are a fine place to start. Many professionals (including us) recommend using a WordPress platform for your website. This is a very popular platform and with may web developers familiar with WordPress, getting a fully functional website can be very affordable to build and maintain. The benefit of a WordPress site is that you won’t outgrow it, as there are multiple plugins and widgets that can help you grow your site as your business grows.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, 47% of small businesses don’t have a website. Don’t be one of those businesses! Establishing a web presence is easier than ever these days and there are so many tools out there that will make it quicker and more influential on your bottom line than ever before.
There are many reasons why small businesses need a website. Set your business up for success by investing in a web presence. If you need help with this effort, engage a small business marketing professional to help you decide what’s right for your small business.