This is a great question and I hear this being asked a lot by many small business owners. The simple straight forward answer is yes, every small business needs a website. The only instance that a website would not be needed is if your business is raking in the money without it. My guess is that 99% of business are not in that position but definitely would like to be. Obviously any businesses that engages in selling products on the Internet would have to have a website. But what about the local mom and pop pizza place or local dry cleaners? Do they really need a website if their business serves only a small area and dependent on foot traffic? The simple and direct answer is yes they do. Below, are just a few reasons why a business should have a website. For the purpose of this post, I am not taking into account any costs or technical skills needed to build a website and merely stressing the importance of having a website.
A Website is cheap advertising
A website is a cross between your virtual storefront and a business card. It tells people what your business is all about. You can craft any message you want. Tell people about a great deal or new offer or just updates on what’s going on at your store. The possibilities are endless. Also, there are a ton of great tools out there that can measure traffic and other useful metrics about your site. One great tool is Google Analytics. It is very robust and best of all, it’s free. Every website should have this hooked up to their site.
Just like with print ads you are trying to get a message across to your audience and get them to take an action. In most cases its to come into the store. With your own business website you can present your business how you want and not be confined to space limitations or even time. Because ads only last as long as you are willing to shell out the cash to keep them running. Websites do have costs like hosting and domain fees but those costs are a fraction of what it costs to have an ad running in the local paper.
A Website is available 24/7
Once a website is up and running it becomes part of the world wide web. So anyone can find it and access it at anytime and anywhere. Your customers are no longer tied to their home computers but are now able to access the web on portable devices like tablets and smartphones. So you have the potential to be found by them no matter where they may be.
Fast updates about your business
Things can change at anytime and on a website, it can be changed instantly. So if you want to share info about a new promotion or let people know about new business hours it can be easily done on the website.
Your customers are talking about your business
Even if you are not on the web, there is a good chance that your business is already being talked about via review sites, social media and even local directories. An easy way to found out is to just do a search on Google.com for your business name. You might be surprised at the results. Isn’t it a good idea to have a presence when people are looking for you?