I came across an article in Entrepreneur recently that shared an incredible statistic: In 2016 nearly half of the small businesses in the US still didn’t have a website. The number one reason for not getting a website? That having a website wasn’t relevant to the small business owner’s industry.
So this fired me up to share why, yes, you really do need a website if you’re planning to conduct any kind of business in this day and age.
Reason #1: 80% of your potential clients will check you out online first.
If you’re thinking about taking friends to a new restaurant, what do you do first? You check out the restaurant’s website. You might be curious about their menu or want to see what the “cool factor” will be. If you’re needing to find a heat contractor to fix that cranky furnace, you search for the contractor’s website to see if they look legit. If you’re looking for an accountant, you visit their website to see if their ethos meshes with yours. And of course, you definitely want to make sure their professionalism matches the standard you expect in the handling of your money.
This is all obvious – and yet, many of us fail to make the connection to our own business. We may think, gosh, my business is all referral, so there’s no point in having a website. And I say: think again. A referral will come to a screeching halt if you don’t have a site to assure the potential client you’re for real and that you actually care about handling their business.
Reason #2: This is your chance to control the conversation.
With the proliferation of social media and review sites, it’s imperative that you have a home base where you have full control over the messaging you want to share with the outside world. No one has control over your site but you. So you get to turn all of the dials in terms of content you share, photos you display, and calls-to-action you deploy.
A website is the number one tool for building an ongoing conversation with your current and potential clients. The fact remains: we do business with the folks we like and trust. Your website is the perfect place to prove why you’re likeable and absolutely deserving of trust.
So much of our brand is dictated by random forces: a single customer service experience, trends in the marketplace, even the economy. So why not take advantage of a marketing tool that gives you absolute discretion over your brand?
Reason #3: Like it or not, technology is here to stay.
The Internet entered the scene in the 1990s and it’s not going away. In fact, more than half of the population around the globe has online access – and the number keeps rising.
Ask any brand expert or marketing strategist and they will unanimously agree that your number one marketing tool is your website. Your business card shows what? Your email, phone number, and yes, your website. Your brochure should be geared to drive a potential client to where? Yup. To your website. The best way for capturing emails? Through blog posts that live on – you guessed it, your website.
They don’t call it the World Wide Web for nothing. After leaving an era of printed products that memorialized itself in ink, a website is a crowning technological achievement for its flexibility, broad accessibility, and relatively low cost.
Hopefully my reasoning makes sense, and if you don’t have a website, you’re thinking – yes – I do need a website and I need it right now.
If you’ve got a compelling reason to not have a website, I’m all ears. But you’d better have some pretty convincing data…