In my last article, I wrote about internet marketing and the benefits it can bring to small businesses. This week I would like to take that theme forward and present the tool required to participate in the online space, a business website.
If you are a small business owner and you do not have a website yet, I hope reading this article will spur you into action. I will highlight just 5 reasons why you need a website now. Gone are the days when having a website was a vanity thing. Today it is an opportunity to reach more customers, serve more people with the goods or services you provide and increase sales at the same time. Read more to discover the 5 reasons why your business must have a website.
Having A Website Removes the Invisibility Cloak
Any fan of the Harry Potter novels will recall the edition where the young wizard uses an invisibility cloak to go about unnoticed. By not having a website that’s exactly what you are doing to your business. No one else apart from the people in your local community knows you exist. How can you really hope to increase your customer base if the 47% of shoppers who research online first before buying offline cannot find you? Having a website allows you to become visible to a larger audience and with a little work you can easily dominate the search results for the goods and services you provide in your local area.
Proactive Reputation Management
The truth of the matter is, it has now become very easy for unhappy customers to vent their anger/frustration at poor products and service at the click of a button. Social Media and review sites are an accessible outlet for disgruntled consumers. If you are not online with your own website or on Social Media then you are missing an opportunity to address customer concerns before they damage your business reputation. Having a website gives your customers a platform to interact with you. You become aware of potentially damaging problems sooner on a platform you control and can take steps to get things right before too much damage is done.
Add Another String To Your Sales Bow
Who else wants another avenue to make more sales? With internet marketing you have a whole new medium to reach potential customers. These are people who wouldn’t otherwise have known about you and the services you provide. Coming back to the 47% statistic of people who search online and buy offline, you can tap into that with your website. Creating a website allows you to inform, educate, and sell to your website visitors all in one go.
Become An Authority
If you have been in business for a long time you are a fountain of knowledge. You might not regard yourself as one but the mere fact you are still in business means you are attending to your customer’s pain. You answer questions on your product or service on a daily basis and so in a sense you are an authoritative figure. So why not embrace and assert that authority. Your website is a platform for you to speak directly to your customers. You become more accessible as a source of information as your website is available outside normal trading hours. Share your knowledge and experiences about the industry, this is what your customers want.
You Build An Email List
How many times have you bought products or services because you received an email with a money off voucher? If you are like the majority of people then that could be more than once. That should be enough proof that email marketing works. And how do you get the email addresses of your current or potential customers? You collect them via your website in exchange for a Free gift or subscribing to a newsletter. Having a website will take you straight to your customer every time you have a new product or offer. It allows you to offer more value to your customers, increase sales and the profitability of your business.
I hope this article has laid bare the opportunities having your own website present. If you would like to discuss any of the points I raise in this article in detail please connect with me via Twitter @TeamChiwanza. I also urge you to share this article with your friends and colleagues. I look forward to reading your comments below and interacting with you.