These days almost every business has a website, irrespective of how small or big it is. The main reason for this is that your customers won’t trust you if you don’t have a crisp, clean, and fast-loading website. However, many small businesses are surviving in the market without one. Let’s see what difference a website can make for a small business:
1. First Impression Matters
If visitors find your website appealing and engaging, the chances are that they will contact you to know more about your business. You can provide your contact details like email id and phone number on your website so that the potential leads can contact you whenever they feel like it.
Moreover, a well-designed and smooth website will leave a more promising impression on your audience rather than salespeople who tend to fumble with details at times.
2. Keeps Your Business Up-to-Date
It is necessary to have a website that can incorporate new changes and information in real time to keep your business up-to-date. If you convey your requirements to a skilled developer, they will incorporate some customisable tools so that you can make changes whenever you need them.
For example, if you want to update the new address of your physical store, you can do it in seconds now. Also, adding new images, text, and designs to a website has become a lot more convenient these days. These technical improvisations will help you to maintain the relevancy of your business in changing times.
3. Better Than Traditional Advertising Platforms
Purchasing ad columns in Yellow Pages and other traditional advertising platforms is getting increasingly expensive day-by-day. Advertising with the help of a website and online mediums is much cheaper, and your website will keep advertising your latest products and services even when you are not promoting them.
Also, you can increase your reach quickly in a short span by using online adverts. Therefore, a website proves to be much more convenient and budget-friendly than conventional advertising mediums.
4. Using Sales Tools to Inform Customers About Your Products/Services
These days, people prefer to acquire complete knowledge about a product or service before purchasing it. Video tutorials, how-to guides, uploading a catalog of your products and services via a PDF file, etc., can be provided via a website.
This can make it convenient for them to choose your products instead of experimenting with other products/services that they don’t know much about.
The product details and specifications can even be used as training material for your newly joined employees and vendors.
5. Improves Brand Recognition
If you have just started a business, you will want your friends and relatives to know about it. However, if you don’t own a website, nobody will be interested. This is because nobody wants to hear about a business from the businessmen’s mouth.
Here’s where a website comes into play. It allows your friends, relatives, and even strangers to look at your website (products, services, past projects, etc.) as per their comfort.
If you forward your website URL through social media networks and messages, your near and dear ones will remember that you have started a business, and they might order from you whenever they need a product or service that you are offering.
6. Boosts Online Sales
Most people prefer to purchase goods and services online instead of visiting a store physically. You can utilise SEO techniques to get visited by thousands of people every day.
This traffic can be converted into actual sales if you explain each and every feature of your product/service impressively. As a result, your website can actually be your second shop, which will ultimately boost your revenue.
7. Targeting Local Customers
A customer will often search for nearby stores for a particular service or product. They will most probably use the internet to search for it, as it is convenient for them. If you have a website, then it might be easy for that person to find and reach you.
For that, you will have to use some SEO tactics to position your website higher in the search engine results. Therefore, whenever a person types a product and region from where they expect to purchase it, they will be able to find your website, which will ultimately improve your sales.
8. 24/7 Access
A website provides your customers with 24/7 access to your business. They can view your products and services anytime, anywhere.
If you use your website as an online store, your customers can purchase it anytime without having to step outside their house.
It means that your website can work like a store that is available 24/7 throughout the year! Apart from closing-in time restrictions, a website also diminishes the geographical boundaries. You can use it to sell your products anywhere without any issues if you take help from a company that provides logistic services.
Moreover, the advent of smartphone apps has made it convenient for customers to reach you. All these benefits can be reaped by launching a simple website with the right kind of information and product/service options.
9. Create Your Own Audience
By providing thought provoking ideas and content on your website via blogs, you can create your own audience. Most people rely on the internet for any information they require.
It is good if you make your website mobile-ready, as most people use their smartphones as their friend and guide whenever they are in a fix or dilemma.
If your content manages to solve some of their doubts and problems, it will improve your goodwill in the market. Also, your audience will get impressed by your informative blogs and might be compelled to try out your goods/services whenever they need them.
10. For Understanding Customer Behaviour and Feedbacks
If you need an honest opinion of the customers about your products or services, then you simply need to provide an online platform to them.
Your website can be a platform for your customers to express their views and expectations without any issues and apprehensions.
You can also use your website and social media presence to analyse the behaviour, geographical details, age, gender, and other data of your customers.
Google Analytics and many other website tools are available these days to find these details. These statistics can help you a lot to plan your future products and promotional strategies.
11. For Resolving Customer Queries
It is a good idea to start a customer service for addressing the queries of new customers and complaints of your existing customers. As a small businessman/businesswoman, you might not be able to afford to hire a support team.
However, you can always give your contact number and email id so that all calls and emails get directed to you. Apart from that, you can also use your website to find employees, salespeople, and experts.
You may not realise it now, but sooner or later, you will have to start a website for your business. So, why not now? You can start a simple website and upgrade it as your business gets bigger. With stiff competition in both local and global markets, it is not easy to survive for a small business. However, a website and smart use of social media channels and SEO can help you stay afloat irrespective of how good or bad the situation is.
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Q. Can social media be an alternative to a website?
Ans. Social media pages might seem to be an alternative to a website, but in reality, customers don’t trust a social media page as much as they trust a website. This is because there are many fake business pages on social media channels. However, it is always better to combine social media pages and one official website to enhance your online presence.
Q. How can a website prove to be useful for a small business?
Ans. A small business can use a website to promote their products/services, to educate customers about their brand and values, to sell products/services directly by setting up an online store, or just to gather details of your potential customers or visitors.
Q. Can a website be used to target local customers?
Ans. Yes, because local SEO techniques can be utilised to boost your online sales.
Q. Can my small business survive without a website?
Ans. It may survive for some time due to the mouth publicity done by your existing customers or due to the quality of your products/services. However, for long term goals, you must think of launching a website.
Q. Is starting a free website possible?
Ans. Yes, it is possible, as many website developing sites offer free tools to create a website without spending any money. However, you will have to spend some money to purchase hosting services and a domain name.
Q. Can a website grow my online sales?
Ans. Yes, if you have an informative, effective, efficient, and compelling website with fast loading pages, then it will increase your online sales.