Your Small Business Needs a Website in 2021, Even if You’ve Been Existing Without One For Years
Whether you’re just starting out, or have been operating a small business without a webpage for years, there are many reasons to consider building a webpage for your business that reflects your brand and offerings. You might have a strong social media presence, or just be a neighborhood bodega operating by word of mouth, which can work for businesses for some time. But whether you’re trying to grow your customer base, interact more with your existing customers, create brand awareness, or just get your location to pin on a google map search, maintaining a website for your small to medium-sized business is absolutely essential to attract potential customers.
While there are dozens of other reasons a website would benefit your small business, we took the time to cover a few of the most important reasons here.
Reach a Bigger Audience and Service Existing Customers, 24/7
The small businesses of our childhood didn’t have websites, and somehow they seemed to do just fine, right? This may be true, but today, our methods of communication have changed. Over the last 15+ years, we have experienced a fundamental shift in how we communicate and engage with other humans and businesses. We are all digitally connected and it's hard to imagine a world without an internet connection. According to an article published by Forbes, we're spending an average of 7 hours per day online! It's an incredible behavioral shift in how we consume content and communicate.
With this growing trend of online consumption, a website and digital marketing strategy is an important marketing tool to engage with your customer base and reach prospective customers. Even though you may have been a long-standing neighborhood business for many years, locals are likely to google business like yours when the need arises. Not having a website that is accessible via a mobile device with a search engine optimization strategy almost completely eliminates the discoverability of your business online. A website provides opportunities for customers to engage with your business.
For those businesses that have an interest in building their clientele, here's another immediate advantage to building an online presence. Building and maintaining your website means having a resource about your business that your customers can reference 24 hours a day, 7 days per week, without you having to field dozens of phone calls, emails, or social media messages. Your webpage not only reduces the time you take answering the same few questions repeatedly (like holiday hours, current promotions or sales questions, or whether or not you’re hiring,) but gives your existing customers the peace of mind of a constant, reputable reference about your operation, your brand, and your character.
Control the Narrative Surrounding Your Business
Today’s consumer is tech-savvy, economically conscious decision-makers, who care about who they are buying from than ever before. They are passionate about supporting a business with purpose and values. Your business’s character, goals, and story are important to potential clients in your community. Small business websites are a great way to showcase your story: where you came from, how you got here, and what drives the culture in your business.
Small businesses today are expected to be contributing members of the community, just like the people who live there. Creating a page dedicated to your story can help the community, and the world, understand who you are.
You might think that your social media channels and social media marketing efforts are enough to cover that. But the truth is, different social media platforms are used in different ways and reach different demographics. The good news is that a professional website design can reach potential consumers of all ages.
Another supporting factor of a professional web design is the growing trend of online searches. The vast majority of first-time client interactions begin with organic traffic from a search engine query of products or services. Without a website, you are likely not to show up on those searches with any credibility or priority. So if you’re only using social media for your online presence, you’re forfeiting upwards of 90 percent of potential clients online.
Give Your Business More Credibility
The vast majority of online consumers recognize a business that lacks a professional website is a deciding factor of trust in the business. Without a professional site design or positive user experience, consumers recognize that you could just be an unregulated, unprofessional entity, selling a product or service from your home office. There’s no way to make formal inquiries, verify your credibility, create the right user experience, or confirm that you’re not just an online scam artist, looking to victimize the unsuspecting web browser.
Let’s assume for a moment that you are a small business, operating from your home office for the first time. If your intent is to create a professional image and build your business through credibility within the community and beyond, a professionally designed website with search engine marketing techniques is a major first step. Even if you’re dreaming of building an entrepreneurial empire out of your studio apartment, your webpage can act as the perfect storefront, giving customers and new visitors the experience you’re hoping to create with your brand. It's your perfect channel for sales. Looking to build an email marketing campaign? That's great! Your website can capture those names and emails too.
A well-designed website by a reputable design agency or marketing services agency can deliver the springboard your business needs to turn a business venture into a professional and consistent lead generator without the costs of buying or renting a costly office space.
Standardize Your First Impression, Regardless of Who’s New to the Team
If there’s one thing small business owners understand, it’s the need for staffing changes and additions as you grow and establish your identity. Whether you’re working to expand your brand, or your single payrolled employee is going off to college this year, staffing needs will change, and so will the “faces” of your business from time to time. Creating a webpage means that no matter who on your team is coming or going, you’ll always make a great first impression.
Deciding to take control of your first impressions begins with a vision for your business, which can only come from the entrepreneurs themselves. Mapping out a clear picture of who you are and what you want to represent as a business in your community is as easy as standardizing your webpage. Not only does it reduce the liability of a newly trained employee having to answer specific questions about the business, but it also gives the employee a reference point that they can refer back to, and point customers to. You can even automate your webpage to send customer inquiries directly to your email so that you never miss an opportunity to give a customer the correct information when they need it.
Generate Passive Income With an Online Presence
A business website is a 24/7 resource for your customers means that you’re still answering questions and providing information about your business, even when you’re off duty. For some small businesses, it even means being able to be off duty for the first time since you decided to build a small business. Entrepreneurs can take well-deserved breaks outside of normal business hours, knowing that their clients and potential clients will have access to the information they need at any time.
Building the right webpage for your business will add consistency and reassurance to your existing and potential clients, it can work hard for you while you sleep. Many webpages can be easily optimized to accept order forms according to your supply/availability, answer frequently asked customer service questions, accept employment applications, generate invoices, and even help manage online marketing automation. Whether you’re looking to reach a bigger audience, nurture your existing customer base, or just build brand awareness, your webpage can accomplish those tasks while you sleep.
Other Important Benefits
While there are hundreds of benefits to creating a webpage for your small to medium sized business, we know you’re busy. We won’t cover them all here, but we would like for you to consider a few other key ideas before you go. These include the following:
- Your competitors are already using their websites to reach clients that you could be reaching. This includes visibility on local maps and search engines queries like “such-and-such products near me.”
- Not only does your webpage help build credibility among consumers, it helps build your company’s credibility among quality job-seeking candidates. Without a website, you could struggle to find good help beyond word of mouth among your most loyal customers
- Consistency is always a huge reassurance for your customer base, and standardizing your online presence (web page, social media content, and online marketing) creates trust in the client-business relationship
- You can build credibility through content marketing, customer reviews, project gallery, and much more by making the face of your business publicly available to target customers. If you know you’re doing a great job, let your business success speak for itself and use your website as a marketing tactic.
- Transitioning to online marketing and advertising can add efficiencies to your online marketing plan, reach more qualified customers, increase sales, and much more.
If you’re looking for a growth opportunity, start with your online presence and website. A clean, professional image with a great first impression will help you achieve your next level of success. There are many digital marketing companies to choose from and we encourage you to do your research to find the right partner.
If you'd like to explore if we're a good fit, send us a message! Splurge Media has helped many small and mid-sized businesses in your industry build an online destination that accurately reflects the brand and functions as a marketing tool to achieve your company's goal and ambitions. Send us a message and let us know about your project, or check out some of our work.