It’s staggering that 59% of small businesses do not have a commercial website. Instead of just telling you that it’s 2018 and listing all of the advantages of having a website, we’ll discuss more common misconceptions of people who still do not have a website for their company.
While there are not many of them, the consequences of having and sticking to those convictions will have a lasting effect on the company.
Common misconceptions among small business owners or marketing managers we have encountered usually begin with: “We don’t need it” and it’s mostly reasoned in two ways:
And both couldn’t be farther from the truth. Let’s begin with what function do commercial websites for small businesses have.
You could look at a website as a sort of a billboard, working 24/7 to bring your company into the spotlight and potential customers to you.
A way to give your company credibility you’d have to earn in some other way or an extra layer of professionalism.
Another way to look at it is as an incredibly powerful marketing platform. Your website is all of these, combined.
And the reasoning behind it is that we live in a digital age, where everyone has a cell phone, a tablet, a computer. According to SalesForce Deskfacts, 90% of the people will check out a company online before getting in touch with them.
I am sure that everyone does that, even without realizing.
Having a website, first and foremost, puts you on the global map, allows every potential customer you may have to find out more about you and your products and buy them online if possible or get in touch with you if they feel satisfied with what they see.
But only having a website isn’t enough. Responsive websites are a must in this day and age, because browsing on devices that are not desktop is gaining in popularity rapidly. Also, make sure your website is optimized and that its loading speed is fast.
Now, add to that a modern and clean design, something you could never go wrong with. Web design is constantly evolving and changing, and keeping up with the trends is sometimes necessary. A simple minimalist design will always be trendy, and it is also the most effective and eye catching, because you don’t want your customers to visit a website cluttered with unneeded images, text and buttons that have no use.
If you aren’t sure what you want your website to look like, you can look up WordPress themes and get some inspiration. There are even some free WordPress themes, and all are responsive and perform well.
If you don’t have a website, they may go elsewhere with their money and business. Wouldn’t you?
Same here. Even though the initial investment is high (or higher, if you are using free or freeish solutions available on the web), the return of such investment is what matters.
Here is the thing: Let’s say you pay $1500 for a professional commercial website and it brings a new customer every day, which is a task easily done for almost any business – how much time would it take you to repay that investment?
Granted, one new customer a day is not the same thing for a burger place and a car salon, but still, let’s say it’s just one new customer – how long would it take before that website paid itself?
And then we’d have to take into the account everything above that a business owner would passively gain by solely having a professional website during all that time (credibility, another degree of professionalism, marketing platform, information provider…).
In terms of price, we’d heavily advise against free(ish) or monthly subscription solutions which allow you to make your own website.
They are also known as cookie-cutter solutions, for several reasons. For one, having such a website may look unprofessional, cheap or just badly designed, becoming a detriment to your company.
Also, even if you design a decent website with one of those solutions, that website will never be truly yours. Once you stop paying – you lose the website.
The third reason is that they are notoriously inflexible in terms of customizing them outside the specified parameters which would otherwise grant you beneficial effects, one of which is that your website can be an incredibly POWERFUL MARKETING PLATFORM.
You can look at it this way – using the billboard metaphor above, even though you’d get a billboard for small initial cost, you’d get one which was at best poorly designed, at its worst – one that would turn away your customers to your competitors.
We’ve mentioned above that having a professional website is a very potent marketing platform.
Advertising in digital formats is far superior to the conventional means of marketing such as flyers, newspaper, radio and TV commercials.
It’s cheaper to that extent that an average New York café owner would have to spend about $5.5 in conventional means of marketing to achieve the same effect that $1 of digital marketing has.
Digital marketing campaigns are also measurable. That means that you’ll know in any given second how much money you’ve spent, where you’ve spent it and you’d know in great detail what the results are.
Also, there is the matter of convenience, for both you and the customer. For you in a way that setting up and executing such campaigns take a lot less effort and time and for the customer in a way where the engagement also has the same results.
On the other hand, not using such solutions to your benefit would make your billboard one with a permanent spot in the desert, so to speak.
There are many other solutions with which digital marketing hold supremacy over the conventional marketing, but then this text would have to be quite long if we were to list them all.
Apart from that, there are many additional ways in which professional website can be customized, for example, adding plugin for scheduling appointments can really make a doctor’s life easier, adding a voting plugin can increase customer engagement in several businesses, for example – they could choose the best color for a product the company is releasing.
Customization options are really endless and that’s something that business owners may not be always aware of.
Ok, so you have a company which is operating very well, you have a quality product or service you are very proud of and a customer base recommending you to other people due to that quality.
That means that you are running your company well, keeping you afloat against the competition.
So, just imagine what results you would achieve if you went online and adopted a digital business model with the said successful company providing an excellent service or selling an excellent product?
In our opinion, there are only 4 valid reasons for your company NOT TO HAVE a professional commercial website:
Well, you can’t say we haven’t tried. In any case, you should definitely become one of those people with a business that has a website (if you already haven’t) and get ahead of those who don’t.
It’s a new, modern, wonderful world full of opportunities and going online is the easiest decision you could make to seize them.