We are in the era of the internet and every one is going online to become more visible in the business world where it is so easy to be swallowed up. Getting your business online is very important and necessary and the earlier you do, the earlier you start to reap the rewards.
The competitions among businesses have intensified over the years as brands are offering packages, counter packages, discounts and counter discounts to edge out competitors. Every business owner needs to create a niche and reach out to the intended target market using online tools and resources, one of which is a business website. To get a proper understanding of what a business website is/does and why you need one, we first need need to see:
What a business is…
… a profit making venture, that trades some goods or/and services in exchange for money or some valued assets.
What a website is…
… simply an Internet accessible platform for displaying, collecting and processing information.
Therefore, a business website is an online platform for displaying information about a business goods or/and services in order to attract paying customers for the purpose of making profit or for building reputation.
It’s actually more than that. A business website can help you do more..
We have compiled 11 various reasons why you need a business website. Incidentally, this corresponds to functions of a business website.
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So here we go…
11 Reasons Why You Need a Business Website
- All round availability: Your business website stays online, open for your clients and potential clients to visit and get information, make enquiries every hour of the day and night. It’s available 24/7 unlike your physical office.
- Easy Discover-ability: People will find your business faster than ever if your business operates a website. People are always searching for businesses near them to patronize and you may just be losing these potential searchers – customers if you are not online.
- Global reach/office: Believe it or not, your business website no matter how small it is, has a global reach. I fondly call it a “global business office” because it can be accessed from anywhere in the world. So if your business provides goods and services that is internationally demanded for and your physical office looks smaller than a restroom, you may be getting international demands nonetheless because of your online presence.
- Greater marketing strength: Unlike the traditional business owner who rely entirely on word of mouth, flyers, handbills, and expensive media adverts, a smart business owner knows that his business website is a marketing tool on its own. With a little help from search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo search and with blogs and social media, your little marketing strengths will yield massively.
- More Sales: You stand a greater chance of selling more of your products and services online than offline. Remember I said above that your business website gives you a global reach? This often translates to sale. A product review can help in this too. Write about why your products are unique and what problems they solve. As people who search online for what you have written about land on your website and are convinced, the chances for a sale are more than 75%.
- Followership Base: A business website gives you the luxury of building followers through connecting your business social media handles all in one place. People who like what you do, what you write about, or sell on your website can follow your pages. These people will receive any update you make on your website and with time become customers and patronize you.
- Customer Trust & Assurance: When you tell a customer to visit your website, you give them a reason to believe that your business is credible and trustworthy. They begin to see you more like a serious brand. This gives them a “virtual” assurance that you know what you are doing and you are not like the shop/office down their street.
- More Networking and Partnership Opportunities: Your business presence online opens it up to more networking and partnership opportunities from other brands who wants to help you reach out more or from those who provide products and services that complements yours. This opportunity naturally won’t be available if your business doesn’t have its own website.
- Makes Proposals & Bidding Easier: The other phrase i wanted to use was ‘It acts as a source of reference‘. Yes! When submitting your business proposal, or bidding on a project, most times the recipient wants to know if your company has handled such in the past. You can easily point them to the relevant pages on your website to go check it out. It reduces the number of pages on your proposal and bid document and having to attach numerous pictures as proof of previous projects.
- Sales and Payment Outlet: There may be times a customer will visit your office or shop and realize s/he’s out of cash and incidentally your POS machine isn’t functioning. Instead of losing that sale, you could simply refer them to the product / service page on your website so they can pay online (if you have enabled online payment gateway).
- Building Mailing Lists: A Mailing list is the easiest way to turn visitors and enquirers to customers. It’s simply done by placing a form on your website where visitors can enter in their email address in order to receive future updates from the website. Smart business owners use these email addresses and send information about their products and services to them periodically. Businesses who utilize mailing lists for their business make more sales than those who don’t. But you need a website for your business to be able to build your mailing list in the first place. It’s similar to handing over a paper form to everyone who visits your shop and asking them to submit their information so you could contact them when what they need becomes available. It works like magic!
Now, that you probably know why you should be getting a business website, it’s also important you know how to setup it up.
How can I setup a website for my business?
- Do it Yourself Site builder softwares: There are several do-it-yourself website design softwares you can use to get started. One of them is Wix. The free version is a bit limiting, may contain irrelevant ads, and your website will be hosted on a sub-domain on their domain. However, you can upgrade to get rid of the limitations. I must admit, Wix so easy to use and you can do it all by yourself in a matter of hours / minutes.
- Hire a professional website designer: You can hire or outsource to a professional website designer to give you a professional website. The advantage of this over the do-it-yourself softwares is that you request for and incorporate custom out-of-the-box functionalities without any restrictions. In addition, you are in control of your domain and hosting account and can use it in whatsoever way you wish. The only downside is that the cost of design/development is usually on the high side.
- Use Free WordPress: If you are looking for something entirely free and still a bit flexible than option 1 above, WordPress may be what you need. It’s easy to setup. Visit WordPress.com to get started. WordPress was developed originally for creating blogs but now accommodates all the functionalities of a full website. The downside is that your website will remain a subdomain as “mywebsite.wordpress.com” till you upgrade. Again, you can’t host script adverts like Adsense on free WordPress.
Smpreneurs.com offers website design services (corporate websites, e-commerce stores, blogs, forums, portals, payment pages, etc) for business owners. You can visit our parent company or request quote here.
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