Does Every Business Need a Website?
I do believe in every case you should have a website for your business. However, there are probably some certain circumstances that you may not really need one or you can wait until later to get one going for your business. In this post, we are going to go through why a company needs a website and why it may not.
We often think the only reason for a website is for a general marketing tool, to attract new clients, or get someone to shop at your ecommerce or walk-in store, but there are definitely many other reasons. Knowing these reasons may help you make an educated decision on the purpose of a website for your business. In a nutshell, your website is for your customers. If you want your business to thrive, you must always be thinking about your customers’ needs, and not just your own.
New Customers and Eyes on your business
Yes, absolutely one of the purposes of a website is to attract new customers. If you have a site, you are likely to get people visits through the search engine just looking for something and not you specifically. Having a decent site with information about your business can help possible clients see your business when they otherwise would not have. This is especially helpful if your location is not directly easy to access in-person, as you will likely get more in-person visits by first getting web traffic. Even if they don’t buy or use your services that second, they may remember the name to buy or refer to you at a later date.
In this day and age, if a business doesn’t have a website at all, the business becomes questionable in people’s minds. They start wondering why that business doesn’t have a website, or they can’t find any answers to their questions online, so move on to another company that does. Many people want to either find answers online or check out a business and get some info. I know I have looked for businesses before, and when I found no website I have wondered if the company was even still open. Sure, you can have a Facebook or other social media account, but having that site very specific to your business helps solidify that you are a real business that exists and wants to provide information to their customers. Having a website to answer people’s questions before they contact you is simply good customer service.
I often will go to a site to get some simple information, or see if there’s an answer to a simple question I have for that business. If there is no site, or they don’t have simple questions answered on their website, then I have to call or message the company. This takes up their precious time, as well as my own. If your site has an FAQ or a chunk of content that answers the most common questions your customers may have, this saves you and your customers time. Again, this is super quality customer service; the more you can provide a solution to your customers’ problems before they want to work with you, the more they’ll trust you with what they do need your business for. Sometimes having prices on a site can also weed out those who want to pay far less than your service, which can be a time saver for you and your customers as well. Putting prices on your website is completely your call though—many businesses don’t, and some do.
Showcase Portfolio and Reviews
Your customers want to see the work you do and exactly what you offer. It is much easier and quicker to have reviews, examples of your services, or your portfolio of projects right on your site. A customer can quickly see if you are a good fit just by seeing what type of work you do and what your clients think about you. Do make sure you’re honest in your portfolio, reviews, and services to make sure you’re expressing yourself and your business honestly to your potential customers.
Quick Contact info
It is very important that customers can quickly find your contact information right off the bat. They need to be able to figure out how to contact you right away, and not have to go searching for a phone number or email address. Aside from having your phone number, physical address, and email address, having a contact form that requests helpful information to you, the business, will help you and your customer save time.
Sell Something or Take Payments
If you want to sell something away from just your local area, a website is almost imperative to do that. You may be able to increase your revenue by making more sales online thus being able to buy bulk materials or product saving you money and increasing your revenue. Also being able to take a quick payment from a customer right online may be a good idea for your business as it could save you and your customers some hassle trying to get a check or cash.
Though these days for many companies announcements can be done well on social media, not everybody is on social media. Having announcements on your website ensures your customers will receive the information they need quickly. This can easily be done on the front page or an events/announcements page.
So even if you say “I have sooo many clients, I can’t take anymore” having a website can be beneficial in many other ways. The main way I see is in efficiency and time saved by answering simple questions and weeding out tire kickers who weren’t going to buy anyway. With this being said are there any times you don’t need a site? I can think of a few scenarios.
Tiny home business
If you are selling cookies from your home and you really don’t want to grow the business and just want it to stay smaller, only using social media may be a great option as you can easily showcase your product on these sites for free. You can do everything by Facebook/Instagram Messenger, and there are plenty of small one person businesses that work well doing this and not overwhelming the owner. Though you will likely still need accounting software and/or payment processor for this as well.
Business with strict policy for new people and referrals
If you have a company that you only want referrals from existing clients or if you have very strict new customer policies and you really don’t want anybody else to inquire into the business, having a website is probably not at all beneficial to you.
Business doesn’t make enough to justify cost
Again, like a tiny home business, if your business doesn’t make enough or maybe is a side gig that you want to keep that way, having a website is probably not worth it at that time.
As you can see there really isn’t a great reason not to have a site if you are a profitable business. They’re also highly useful to those that want their business to grow. When you have a website, when someone searches for your business specifically, it is usually quite easy to be the first link when the prospective customer searches, so putting the information you want them to see is almost always of value. Remember, your website is a great tool to you as the business owner, and you should create your website with that in mind, but your website is an even great tool for your customer. When you create your website, you want to think about the information your customer/prospective customers need to know about. This is the first step in creating trust with your future customers, which is one key way to lead to a successful business.