Monday, April 21, 2014
Sunday, April 20, 2014
Why Even Small Businesses Need a Website
It’s easy to see why a larger company might need a website, but it can be hard to see why a local shop or consultant might need one. If you’re running a locally-owned shop where most of your customers come in from around town, or if you’re a one-person micro-business acquiring clients through word-of-mouth or social media exclusively, what more could a website add?
The short answer: plenty. There are a number of reasons why having a home site is an excellent idea, from increasing the number of customers you get, giving them a better overall experience and encouraging loyalty to making your business appear more reputable overall.
To start, we’ve listed a few key reasons why you should make sure you’re online. Next week, we’ll dive more into the questions you should ask when planning out a great company site.
It goes without saying that these days, most people find new services and products online. If your name isn’t popping up in search results when potential customers look for similar products, you’re passing up an easy opportunity to reach people. Not to mention, if someone wants more information about your site, they may not want to find it secondhand from a listing or have to dig around to find your restaurant’s menu, your contact information, or samples of your work.
Stand out from the crowd
A professional design with solid content— whether a blog with tips and news, or other resources like recipe books, guides and ebooks— makes it easy to stand out from the crowd and inspires trust. Think about it: would you rather buy from a business after getting to know the ins and outs of their service from their site or from one with little more than a name and a phone number?
Social media isn’t enough
Social networks can greatly enhance your community-building efforts, but a Facebook page or Twitter handle is seldom enough. Social media should instead be used for growth after you have a solid base to link to. On business cards and when meeting new customers, you’ll want to refer people to your home site and not necessarily a social media handle. Remember that networks change as fast as they’re built. One day Facebook might provide the special feature that you want, but the next, it could be gone. Don’t be dependent upon a social network for what should be a core part of your business.