If you are currently running a business or looking to start one soon, you are probably considering if you need a website for your small business or not. In this article, we explore some of the reasons why you need a website for your small business. We will breakdown each of these reasons in order to make sure you understand the importance of a website for your small business.
Running a small business is a lot of work. It requires a lot of processes and daily tasks. However, the aim of all these processes and task is universal: to make a profit. Every other thing a business owner does is targeted at hitting this particular target. In fact, this target informs how a business operates and interacts with its customers.
In the world today, we are in experiencing a shift to digital. Everyone is online nowadays, we can interact with ourselves online, work from home, buy things online, and a million other mindblowing things. It is therefore a no-brainer that a business owner meets his audience where they are: on the internet. There are several ways to reach your customers online but a website is central and important to each of them. Let’s highlight the reasons why a website is important for small business owners to make the most of the internet.
Let’s dive in.
1. A website fosters trust and helps you appear professional
As more people join the internet and become active in several spaces like social media and forums, they realize that they need to verify businesses and people before dealing with them.
Having a standard website for your business ensures that customers can easily verify your business and have trust in you. In a 2015 survey by Verisign, 84% of buyers online believe that a business with a website has credibility. This means a website makes it easy for buyers online to trust your business and buy from you. Asides from the website, most hosting and domain plans include professional emails that help to foster trust with your customers.
Essentially, a website ensures customers trust your business.
2. You can showcase your products and services
Potential customers want to see and understand what they are buying before they pay. They want to know everything your product/service can do and how it can solve their problems. This used to be a disadvantage that physical shops had over online marketplaces but not anymore.
With a standard website, you can easily showcase your small business’s products and services. You can show them comprehensive pictures and descriptions. You can also provide them with information on how to make the most of your product. This is a win both for you and the customer, as the website helps you meet their needs without stress.
3. You control how your business is perceived
Social media has become very instrumental in building businesses and even personal interactions. People converse daily about their life, dreams, politics, businesses, etc. However, you can not control how your business is being discussed, you can not control the posts your prospective customers see on social media. The best you can do is to participate in those conversations.
However, with your own business website, you have 100 percent control over what prospective customers see and perceive about your business. You can showcase your product beautifully and share reviews that will encourage buyers. You can also run a blog that can help you develop thought leadership in your space. As a small business, you can show customers how important your products are to them and how passionate you are about solving their problems.
4. Access to billions of potential customers
No matter how big your physical store or mall is, there is a limit to the number of people who can come in to patronize you at once. In fact, physical stores are limited to the people around your store. With a website, you have access to the billions of people using the internet daily.
There are about 4.5 billion people with access to the internet. Over 3.5 billion Google searches are run daily. Depending on your product/service, a website makes sure you have access and can handle an unimaginable number of customers seamlessly. Also, your website is up 24 hours every day. This ensures that your customers can access your business whenever they want.
5. You can benefit from Google Searches
Google search is the biggest “marketplace” for your business today. There are 3.5 billion Google searches running everyday. That means for every second that passes, over 40,000 Google searches are being made. A good portion of this number are looking for products or answers that your business offers. Its even more interesting that you don’t need to pay a dime to be part of this market.
However, you can only have access to this market if you have a website. With a website, content creation and a SEO strategy in place, you can start gunning for Google search listings which is a gateway to thousands of customers. This is very important because a lot of buyers are relying on Google searches to find answers and make purchase decisions. A website ensures you can get a piece of that action.
6. Measure your success better
In a physical store, its almost impossible to measure how people feel about your brand, how many people have developed interests and which of your posters or billboards your customers liked the most. With social media accounts, you have more insight. However a website has more powerful analytics and tools that measure what your customers like and what they do not.
You can easily measure which one of your marketing efforts attracted the most prospects, which product your customers have taken interest in the most, which of your blogposts they like and even their interests. All of these can help you restrategize and build a better brand for your business.
7. A website is affordable and easy to create
In the past, it used to be very difficult to set up a website. Typically you will need to spend a lot of money and hire experts. This made a lot of people belive small businesses shouldn’t bother with setting up a website. However nowadays, websites have become very easy and affordable to create. Asides the fact that there are more professionals today, there also countless no-code tools for building websites. With these tools, people with no technical experience can design a functional website.
In terms of cost, a website is not just affordable nowadays, it is a very smart business decision. Compared to cost of setting up a physical store, creating a website for your small business is cheap and will give you high ROI that will easily offset your costs. It has never been so important to small businesses to own websites and it has never been easier to create functional website.
As we have seen above, it is important for a small businesse to have a website and its important that you create your own today.
At Truehost Nigeria, we help businesses and individuals set up websites to reach their target audience. We offer hosting and domain registration services that make it possible to create website. You can learn more about setting up a website with us here.