If you run a business or thinking of starting a business, regardless of size, not thinking about or having a website for an online presence could be costing you. Even if your website lists little more than your address, opening hours and contact details, having a website will give you the edge over your competitors who don’t.
This is also a follow on, although a step further back, from our previous post about how using free email providers for business, is bad for business.
We’ve listed a few examples of why having a website and an online presence is not to be forgotten or undervalued;
- Your Business is Open to the World 24/7, 365 Days a Year – Unlike your company’s office that may be open from 9-5, Monday to Friday, your company ‘s website is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year even on Christmas Day. If you trade internationally, there are many different time zones that may affect your business, which is why being on the web makes it time convenient for everyone. People can also email you outside of working hours who you can respond to as soon as convienient
- It’s Your Online Brochure / Catalogue That Can Be Changed at Anytime – A website is easier, cheaper and quicker to update than print material. Its’ capacities are almost limitless which allow you to provide users with more comprehensive information. This will save you money on printing and distribution costs whenever anything changes
- Starting on a Shoestring – The cost to put together a professional website is cheaper than buying or renting premises and will attract more business and from further afield than having a single high street store
- Reach New Markets with a Global Audience – On the Internet, you aren’t that local little business anymore. You have the potential to be seen by millions around the world. Did you ever think your company would have the possibility of doing business around the world? Well, now you can. Without a doubt, the Internet is the most cost effective way to trade locally, nationally and internationally
- Improved Customer Service – By providing answers to questions on your website, sales and information requests can be processed automatically and immediately, whether someone is in the office or not. Online forms can be used to allow customers to request quotations or ask further information. Save costs by allowing potential or existing customers to access particular content or material
- Present a Professional Image – For any business, a well-designed web site is a great way of instilling confidence and looking bigger than you may actually be. In this day in age, customers assume that you already have a website and email. By now, your primary competitors probably already have a presence on the Internet. If they do, keep up with them and find ways to make yours better
- Build a Recognisable Logo and Brand – Create an appearance and logo that is a theme throughout all your stationary and marketing material. So an advert in a magazine, an online advert, a Facebook page or Twitter account, the brand logo and appearance will be instantly recognisable
- Sell Your Products – Why pay expensive rent, overheads, utility bills, and all the other costs associated with owning a bricks-n-mortar business? Selling on the internet is much cheaper and a good way to supplement your offline business. Providing secure online ordering is very affordable for even the smallest of businesses
- Promote Your Services – Lawyers, doctors, financial consultants, entertainers, estate agents and all service oriented businesses should let customers know that they have a choice. Millions of users are referring to the web and are using company’s websites to make major decisions when they need a specialised service
- Gather Information and Generate Valuable Leads – You can gather information about your customers and potential customers by using forms, surveys and newsletters. Rather than going out and getting leads, let them come to you. This is a great tool for prospecting targeted customers looking to use your products and services
- Provides Instant Gratification – People are busy and don’t like to wait for information. Give them what they want, when they want it. If your product is suitable, offer them free samples or trials to download. This includes pictures, brochures, software, videos, Power Point slides, music and more
- Great Recruiting Tool – Whether you are looking for talent or posting job opportunities with your company, your website is a great recruiting tool for building your business
- Become Social and the Expert in your Field – Create a blog page on your site and write short articles with news or announcements from you, your business or your industry. Have these articles pushed to social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, which will often trigger interaction with existing or potential customers. All this not only keeps the site fresh, current and active, but helps immensely with Google rankings and makes you the ‘go to’ person
With our years of experience helping businesses get connected and online and our very own experts in the field of web design, social media and online presence in general, we’ll work closely with you to ensure the best results are achieved and you and your business benefit. We offer a number of bespoke hosting solutions, all of which are proven robust, reliable and fast, so you don’t need to worry if your website is offline or email is down.
More importantly, we can offer a number of options to meet any budget from a single holding page with contact information to a fully fledged online shop to allow safe, online transactions. Each case is custom and bespoke to make sure you and your business, regardless of size, get the best solution.
Please contact us to discuss your requirements or if you’ve any questions, as we’ll be more than happy to help and provide a free quote. Or if you know someone who is starting out, having problems with there existing provider or looking for a change, ask them to get in touch and share this article.