Running a business on your own is not easy, and most small business owners ask themselves does my business need a website? when faced with spending the time, money or resources to develop one. The answer is most often yes, as most small businesses will benefit from having a professional online presence. Search engines such as Google serve over 11.2 billion searches per year, which means that potentially many of your customers are trying to find your company online and, if they dont, they may just opt for a competitor instead. So the answer to does my business need a website is often yes but it doesnt need to be an expensive or complex one.
Sometimes You Just Need An Online Presence
In some cases you may be able to just skip having a website altogether, and use a service such as Google+ business pages to display your contact details and a short blurb about your company. This will save you from having to pay for and maintain a full size website, and make sure people who are looking for your company (maybe because they saw the name on a flyer or on a newspaper advert) can find you. However, dont make the mistake of confusing this kind of platform with a free business website or blog, such as those offered by WordPress.com or Google Sites. If you are just trying to start a home business having a complex website that needs lots of time to stay up to date may very well become an unwanted distraction.
Why Does My Business Need A Website?
In order to decide whether your business needs a website or not youll need to decide first on what a business website can do for your company. Some of the things a business website can do for you are:
- Allow users to learn about your business and products online
- Offer help and support for existing clients
- Attract potential clients with useful and timely content on your niche
- Sell products, either digital downloads or physical goods
- Show where your physical store is located on a map
- Display your business contact details so people can contact you online or by phone
- Be found on search engines by people looking to purchase what you offer
Depending on your particular type of business, some of the above benefits will be much relevant than others. For example, if you spend a lot of time talking to people about your products you may find that a business website that acts as a customer support centre pays by itself in terms of saved time and resources, when people can find the answers they need by themselves. On the other hand, if you do business primarily in person you a simple brochure website with a map and your contact details may be all you require so people unsure about your store location can look you up on the Internet.
How Much Should You Spend On a Business Website?
The amount of money people invest on their online presence varies greatly, from absolutely nothing to five digits figures. If you know the reasons why your business needs a website you can evaluate how much money should you spend on it, but make sure your online presence is as professional as your offline one. Do not fall in the trap of free business websites that look obviously cheap or DIY alternatives unless you are a professional designer or have the required skills to make it work. Otherwise you risk hurting your credibility with a business website that makes people wonder if you are a legitimate company or not, or a security breach that puts your data and your customers in the hands of hackers. If you are looking at the best way to earn money fast consider investing heavily on good content and optimizing your conversion rates before getting carried away adding new and expensive features that your clients dont need yet.
If you are not sure whether your business needs a website you may want to get a simple, brochure style one and evaluate the effect it has on your sales, by asking your new clients if they found you online. You can then use that information to evaluate the benefits of having a business website, and expand it as necessary adding new functionality and content. Change the question from does my business need a website to what can a website do for my business and youll be able to answer it easily.