Don’t have a website or blog?
An easy to navigate, informative blog is all you need to establish you or your business as a trusted authority.
If you are a small business owner and you don’t have a business blog or website you should take the 5 minutes it takes to read this page.
Because it will be well worth your while.
You may be a doctor, a hairdresser, a beauty salon owner, a car dismantler, a tyre replacement business, involved in waste disposal, a carpenter or plumber, a florist, involved in ladies fashions, a barber, in construction or a tradesman, a dog groomer, vet, accountant, architect, butcher…it really doesn’t matter what business you are involved in.
Or maybe you don’t have an existing business but you are thinking about starting one up.
One of the things that might hold you back from having a website is that you may be thinking..
…“I am not technical minded”, “I don’t know anything about that whole interweb thing”, “I haven’t a clue about social networks”, “I am afraid of being ripped off”, “I don’t know where to start”, “I don’t know what I need”, “I don’t know what a search engine is”.
These fears are entirely understandable.
I was in your shoes too once and understand your concerns all too well. And they are entirely groundless.
Let me explain: you see, there are web designers who are “tech people” who are turned on by graphic design, coding, html, css, and so on.
Small business owners like you and me are only really concerned with what a website can do in terms of growing your business.
The good news is that you don’t need to invest a huge amount of money for a fancy, technologically advanced site.
Fancy design is not necessary
What’s far more important is what’s actually on your site-is there helpful, informative information for your visitors?
A simple site or blog crammed with useful information for your visitors, and which is easy to navigate, is all you need.
Let me explain some benefits-21 in fact-of having a website or blog for your business, no matter how small it might be today.
- Lifetime value of one customer
Assume for one moment that your business is in a pretty small Irish town and you discover that there are very few people in your area searching for what your business has to offer.
For example “accountants Mullingar”, according to the Google keyword tool, is only searched 12 times per month in Ireland. You may assume that there is no point therefore having a website for your accountants business located in Mullingar or, if you already have one, ranking near the top of the search engine results page for that phrase.
But of course the lifetime value of one new client per month could be quite significant over the course of that client’s lifetime and the lifetime of your accountant’s practice.
- Being the top dog in your local market
When someone does search for “accountants Mullingar” do you want to be top dog or are you happy to let your competitor snap up that business. So even though the market may be relatively small in search engine terms it would be the height of folly to leave your competitor have the field to him/herself.
- Web address on your stationery
People who might consider doing business with you expect you to have a website-having a web address on all your correspondence, business cards, direct marketing materials, advertising, and so on will give your business a much more professional corporate image.
- Somewhere to refer your advertising traffic
Advertising is expensive and advertising in local newspapers or magazines is charged by the word and space; with a website you can run economical small ads and refer readers to your website where space is unlimited and you can tell your potential customers what you wish.
- Works around the clock for your business
A website will not need to be paid like an employee even though it works around the clock for you. You will never need to worry about holiday pay, sick pay, maternity pay, hangovers on a Monday morning, or any of the other problems that arise from time to time with humans.
- Demonstrating and explaining products
A website gives you a great opportunity to demonstrate and explain your products and/or services. You can do this by text, video, audio, PowerPoint, or whatever you choose.
- Contact details
All your contact details are always available.
You can utilize video to market yourself or your business, carry out demonstrations, educate, entertain..try doing that with the Westmeath Examiner.
A picture can be worth a thousand words.
And you can use unlimited amounts of images.
A hairdresser’s business can be greatly enhanced with plenty of photos showing examples of the various cuts and hair treatments you provide. And a picture can replace a thousand words..
- List building for newsletter
You can build a list of subscribers and let them know of special offers, build a relationship with them and always ensure that your business is in the forefront of their mind when they do decide to purchase.
- Automated Appointment booking
You could set up an automated appointment making system for people seeking suitable times for whatever treatment/consultation they require.
- Restricted area for employees
You can create a restricted area, a forum for example, for your employees on the ground to exchange ideas and information.
- Customer queries
You can encourage and answer customer/potential customer queries and questions.
- Frequently asked questions
A comprehensive frequently asked questions section on your website can be very helpful in assisting potential and existing customers..and saving valuable staff time in answering the most common ones by phone or email.
- Eliminate buyer’s remorse
Many buyers suffer from “buyer’s remorse”; if your new customer is having second thoughts about their purchase or your business a good, professional website to which they can refer can be reassuring.
- Tell people about you, your business, and your employees
Your site can let people know more about you, your expertise, your business, and your employees. And you are in complete control of this valuable information which will be available around the clock.
- Special offers only available online
Your website will allow you to make certain special offers available online only. This can be a great way to also generate new subscribers for your newsletter. (Your newsletter by the way can be delivered electronically or physically or both ways).
- Shopping cart
Setting up a shopping cart on a website is very easy nowadays with many secure payment options allowing you to grow your market and reduce the need to carry physical stock.
- Damaging reviews on first page of Google
You lessen the chances of a crappy review from a dissatisfied customer ranking no. 1 in the search results when your business is searched for.
Without a website there is a strong chance of this happening when the searcher looks for your business. With a website telling allowing you to put your best foot forward the chances of your site ranking above the poor review is much, much higher.
- Product brochure
Your website can also serve as a comprehensive product brochure for all your business’s products and services. This can easily be added to over time by your own secretarial and/or receptionist staff in less quieter periods.
- Professional appearance
No matter how small you business might be right now your potential new clients or leads will fully expect you to have a website. It gives reassurance to your customer/lead and demonstrates that they are dealing with a professional.
What sort of message do you give your leads when looking to generate new customers and you have not invested in a website for your business? Would this be a turn off for your potential customers? I fear so.
Having a Facebook page is fine. But everyone knows that anyone can set up a Facebook page for free. You need to consider whether this is going through your leads mind when you are speaking to them.
Don’t misunderstand me: having a website is not a silver bullet. It won’t solve all your problems and it will not give your business all the drive and impetus it needs. That is up to you..
But it is an essential for any business that wants to be taken seriously and be seen as a business on the move, a business that is professional and serious about it’s approach to serving it’s customers.