No Website Yet? Why It Matters
What goes through your mind when you try to find the website for a small business and there isn’t one? Maybe there’s a Facebook page or some local reviews, but no dedicated piece of online real estate with the company’s name in the domain. You may think that:
- It’s too new.
- The search engine just isn’t finding it.
- I’m misspelling the name.
Or you may think darker thoughts. They don’t really want any new business. They can’t afford a website. Their products or services or prices just aren’t that great, and they don’t want to keep people from coming in anyway.
Or the worst: They’ve gone out of business.
Be There, Or You’re Not
If your small business didn’t have a website in 2000, it was understandable. The internet was still fairly young. The design tools were expensive and difficult to use. Skilled web designers charged a lot because their numbers were still fairly few.
15 years later, none of that is true. Babies who were born at the same time as the World Wide Web are in college or have joined the workforce. Domains are cheaper than some lattes.Anyone can create a simple point-of-presence website for free. And professional design help is affordable.
So if you haven’t yet claimed a domain and populated it with your brand, you will lose business. Potential customers will think those dark thoughts about you. They will look for your competitors, and they will find them.
Websites Complete You
- Websites legitimize companies, give them credibility. A really good website can make your business look like a million bucks, even if you’re only clearing $50,000/year.
- Websites help people find you. There’s your address and phone number, big as life, and a map to your location. No memorizing your address and typing it into Google Maps.
- Websites are your 24/7/365 salesforce. You have to sleep sometime. Websites don’t.
- Websites can shield you from potentially exasperating customers. If you provide a descriptive accounting of your products and services online and a prospect who will become an annoying prospect already knows that he or she doesn’t want what you’re selling, that bad mojo won’t darken your door.
- Conversely, websites can attract customers who weren’t on fire about your storefront. Websites are cheaper than dazzling signs and stunning window displays. You can showcase what you do – honestly — but with the spark you can’t afford for your brick-and-mortar’s exterior.
- Websites save time. Say you sell one-of-a-kind items that might draw a lot of questions from customers. Answer them on your website, and you won’t waste time on the details when informed prospects come in the door. They’ll make a beeline for your treasure. Even if you sell mass-produced items, you won’t have to give the same spiel over and over.
Finally, websites are as important today as phones were in 1960. Ignore them at your peril.