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2.0 DOES MY BUSINESS NEED A WEBSITE?
Good question. Read below!
Sure, many businesses could benefit from a web site. And just as many businesses don’t need a web site. And, unfortunately, many businesses that couldn’t really benefit from a site develop one. And many of those who could really benefit from a site decide not to develop one.
It is important when deciding on a website you have a clear idea as to the purpose and goals of that website. The website then needs to be designed around those goals. Some of the goals others have include:
Generating sales leads – A good website that meets the needs of potential customers searching the internet for your product or service will enable you to generate more sales leads. You can target a geographically dispersed customer base – Users from all over the world will be able to access your website.
To Inform – A website can be built to communicate with potential products, services and Industry.
Establish Internet Presence – All local businesses, (dry cleaners, key cutters etc) can benefit from having an internet presence. A website can show information about the business such as location, opening times, services provided and any special offers.
So let’s make a start
In assessing whether you need a web site for your business you have to ask yourself these questions:
1. How could a web site benefit me?
2. Is there a quantifiable benefit that having a web site will provide?
3. What do I want the web site to do?
3.0 NINE (9) GOOD REASONS
So you can answer the above we’ll take a look at the ways a web site can benefit businesses
1. Sell Products/Services – A custom website will be the most valuable marketing tool your business owns, since it allows you to connect your advertisements to an online order form, thus speeding up the entire process in which you generate sales.
2. Persuade – a web site can be a great way to position your business in the best possible light. Convince prospects “just looking” at your products/services that they will meet their needs.
3. Inform – a web site can be a fantastic source of information for visitors.
4. Generate well-qualified leads – a visitor searching for information might happily sign up for a newsletter sent from your site. This is a fantastic way of establishing credibility and will enable you to position your company as an expert in your field with the experience they can trust.
5. Reduces workload – of personnel, customer service staff
6. Build brand awareness – a quality site reflects very positively on the brand of your business
7. Increase Efficiency – a website allows you to deal more efficiently with orders/bookings/etc.
8. Increase Market Size – a website allows you to increase marketing penetration for goods or services to a world-wide market, rather than the traditional 5mile radius of your physical location.
9. Advertise/Promote – a website is a tremendous way to make others aware for the first time of your business.
4.0 NOT EVERY BUSINESS
Now of course not every business is suited to benefit from a web site.
If you cannot identify from the above list, or your own thinking, a real benefit for why your business should have a web site, then it may not be for you. And, importantly, if the cost of a web site outweighs the benefit it could provide even more of a reason for “No”.
Your local independent neighbourhood bakery might be an example. I’d say that almost no-one will make a decision on purchasing pies or based upon the web site of a bakery. It simply does not matter – it’s a walk-in traffic business.
Having said that I can think of some good reasons for the bakery to have a web site – order from your office and walk in and pay, promoting web specials could be handed out to passing traffic, great recipes on the site, enter a competition on the site, subscribe to the “Fresh Bakery News!”
Here are some other possibilities:
1. Maybe your customers just aren’t on the internet. Not everyone is.
2. You don’t own a computer
3. You don’t know how to use the internet
Even all of those answers above don’t really convince me. I’d say the biggest reason for not getting a web site is if you cannot identify a clear cost/benefit for the investment it takes to develop a site. Then you probably should not waste your time and money! This is one great reason not to get a web site!!
Now the criteria on what constitutes a ‘good’ web site various greatly from business to business.