I’ve been designing websites for about five years, mostly for small businesses. I firmly believe that every business, no matter how small, needs a website.
It’s really easy for me to say that everyone needs a website. Afterall, I’m a web designer; it’s in my best interest because someone needs to design all these websites. But a lot of people are starting to realize a website is one of the best investments you can make in your business.
I have run into a lot of small business owners who don’t want a website. They don’t sell anything online, so they don’t think they need one.
Whether your business is a physical store, a service, or an online shopping site, your customers need to be able to find you online.
Websites are not just for selling goods. Your customers are searching for information about your business online. They may just want to know your hours, the services you offer, or directions to your store. They may want to know the products you carry, or even your business philosophy. Maybe they like to shop local, or they really love family-owned businesses. Any reason customers need to find you is reason enough for a website.
The first thing I do when I hear about something cool is search for it online. I like to check out what a place looks like and see what it offers before I wander in, especially if it’s a hard place to get to by public transportation. Most of the time I search for businesses, it’s to find their hours so I don’t spend all that time traveling just to arrive at locked doors. For example, I love going to restaurants. If I can’t find a website for the restaurant, I can’t find their hours, or even a phone number to call to find the hours. I often end up going somewhere else. You need to make it as easy as possible to find out information about your business.
Make it easy for your customers to share your business. People love sharing their newest find with their friends, whether it’s a funny video, an uplifting message, or a neat new store. Sending a link via email or posting a link on a social networking site like Facebook is a really easy way to share your enthusiasm. The way I see it, your goal as a business owner is to grow your business as much as possible. Get as many customers as possible. Get a website. Even a one-paged website will help people find you and spread the word. Excited customers and word of mouth are your best advertising tools.
Even if you don’t put up a website, people will still find your business online. Unfortunately, you can’t always control what they see. Every business is subject to reviews on Yelp and a growing number of other customer review websites. Make sure you control your brand and tell your side of the story. The first opinion a customer hears when he or she searches online for your business should be yours.
Don’t miss out on one of the easiest ways to grow your business. Get started on your website.