Do You Need a Website for Your Local Business?
For owner operated, local companies, the most overlooked vehicle for advertising is a website. Whether you are an accountant, dentist, minister, or lawyer, a website is something every business should have. Coffee shops, cafes, nightclubs, and restaurants also need their own site.
Making business transactions online is not a prerequisite or even necessarily a reason for having a website. Your customers expected to find you on the internet. It is like how the Yellow Pages used to be in days of yore. If you own the type of enterprise that would historically be listed on the Yellow Pages, then you need to have your own website.
But, Isn’t a Website too Expensive?
Think again if you think creating your own website is too expensive for you or outside your area of expertise. For construction of a simple website, a budget of $2,000 to $5,000 should be sufficient. Also, an additional $100 to $400 each month will cover updates and maintenance. These prices jump to $12,000 to $20,000 for initial construction and $500 to $2,000 for updates and maintenance for more versatile sites that include opt-in subscriber functions, streaming video, and other more complex features.
From the privacy of their own computers, a properly constructed website will allow potential customers to obtain the information they need from the privacy of their homes. For this reason, you need to include on your website well-crafted responses to questions your sales people hear every day. That way, future clients can gather this information 24 hours a day, seven days per week.
Make It Easier for Customers to Visit Your Store
Your website is the half step between your front door and your advertising. In this way, it can deepen your relationship with your customer base. It is harder to convince people to hop in their car, drive to your store, find parking, and enter your store than it is to get them to visit your site. And, even a simple website can convince them to come to your store.
49 percent of our population is made up of introverts. They love the internet because they can learn about businesses anonymously. Except as a last resort, they are unlikely to pick up the phone. And, going to a business and engaging a salesperson is even lower in likelihood. In essence, 49 percent of your potential customers want to know what they are going to buy before they even visit your store.
Nine out of every ten people uses the internet to research services and products when they are considering making a purchase. Even more surprising is that this number is consistently high across different age groups. That is right: even the older generations that are not generally considered to be heavy internet users are logging on in record numbers.
The long and short of it is you need to have a website. Otherwise, anyone in your area searching for you on the internet will likely end up going with your competitors who do have websites. Do not let that happen.