Want to know what is the purpose of a website? If your business is very small, and your customers are all frequent users of social media, probably you don't have plans to grow – posting on social may be enough. In other words, if it's not broken, don’t fix it. But don’t be too quick to assume all is well. Most small businesses will. Here are five reasons why small businesses need to invest in websites.
1. You don’t exist if you’re not online
People expect to be able to find a business online. Not having a website is like not having your telephone number listed in the phone book - it’s unprofessional and odd and it makes it really hard to connect with you. If you are very active on social media or have listed your company in Google Local or similar services, your business may show up in search results even if you don’t have a web page. But if a potential customer doesn’t search specifically for your or your business name, can they still find you? Have a few friends run a search for the type of products or services you sell and see what comes up. Not happy with the results? It’s time to get a website.
2. A strong online presence increases profits
In a study on small business technology trends commissioned by Google, Deloitte found that small businesses with a strong online presence gained significant benefits. Compared to businesses of the same size, “connected” companies:
Earned two times as much revenue per employee.
Experienced revenue growth over the previous year that was nearly four times as high.
Were almost three times as likely to be creating jobs over the previous year.
3. Websites take less effort than social media
Posting great content to a few social media platforms daily and investing money in promoting those posts to make sure your messages actually get seen by the people you want to see them, is more difficult and expensive in the long run than having and maintaining a website. You’re never done with social media, it's an ongoing effort to keep engaging people with fresh new content, replying to comments and keeping everyone happy. Websites do need to be updated so they don’t get stale and/or for SEO reasons but are far less demanding to manage than social. And you can hire someone to maintain your website, which takes virtually all of the burden off of you.
4. Your website puts you in control
Your own home on the web allows you to promote your business, reach new customers, connect with the media, access new opportunities and tell your company’s story the way you want to tell it. You can showcase great reviews from your customers. You can offer brochures, instructions on how to use or troubleshoot products and services, videos showing your offerings, and so much more. They don’t have to follow you or try to find your posts in the flood of new content they see whenever they check their social feeds. The information you want to communicate is always there (website content doesn’t scroll off the page and vanish like social posts). And it’s all in one place, making it easier for people to find the information you want to share with them.
5. Your website is always on duty
Your website is the foundation of all of your marketing efforts. It’s your digital business card, press releases, catalog and 24/365 virtual salesperson – all wrapped up in one attractive package. It is never closed, gone for the holidays, or out to lunch. People who are interested in your offerings can check out your site whenever its convenient for them and get the details they need on what you offer and who you are -and why they should do business with you.
Getting your website online, or updating your current site, isn’t hard or cost prohibitive. Ready to market your business online? Great. If you need additional working capital, you can turn to One Park Financial to access alternative funding options designed for small businesses.
Accept an offer from One Park Financial’s network of funders, and you can have the money in your business account within 72 hours. Apply today to qualify for the funding you need to grow and maintain your business success!