You have a small business, and it’s doing well. Word of mouth has been good to you. You’ve built a great network from the ground up, and you maintain enough business to comfortably get by. Do you really need a website?
Surely you’ve heard the online marketing gurus tout the benefits of audience-attracting, user-engaging, high-performing websites. There’s well over 2 billion people online at any given time, other businesses are tricking-out their websites, and if you don’t join us all here in cyberspace you’ll soon fade into oblivion.
But is that really the case? After all, word of mouth still rules the marketing world, right?
Yes. And here’s why that means you do indeed need a professional website.
Stay a Part of the Conversation
Even if business is good now, the existence of a polished, straightforward, informative website will help you sustain that good business by establishing your company right where today’s conversations are happening—online.
Customers research product and service providers online before making purchase decisions. Even if someone gets a personal recommendation for a landscaper, an auto mechanic or a lawyer, chances are the first thing they’re going to do with that information is look that referral up online.
Despite this referral coming from a friend, if there is little to no representation online, it can be easy for that same potential customer to opt to do business with someone that has a clean, easy-to-use website that explains the business, details each service available, and makes it easy to contact them.
When you invest in your online presence with a well-made website, it is clear to you customers and your prospects that you acknowledge the world they live in and you want to be a part of it, too.
Additionally, you also express the confidence you have in your business. It’s here to stay, and you happily tell the story of your business on your About page. You showcase your projects and successes. You post testimonials. Prospects feel they can get to know you before they call for that free estimate, trial, or sample. And that helps them build confidence in you.
Showcase Your Material
Have you ever spontaneously entered into a profitable conversation with a prospect, but you didn’t have your marketing materials with you? Wouldn’t it be easier if you could instantly refer that person to your website to view your portfolio or project gallery?
Right during that serendipitous conversation, you could pull up your website on your phone or tablet. Show off that before/after picture. Scroll down to your service guarantee, posted for all to see. Ensure that prospect right then and there that yes, you are what they have been looking for.
Streamline Your Marketing
Once your online home is established, the potential only grows. A business website serves as a hub for credibility, conversations and promotion. You can start a blog, run social media campaigns, build an email list and claim your Google, Yelp, Yellow Pages and other directory listings.
All of these online conversation platforms will point back to your website.
An active online presence like this allows your business to work even when you aren’t working. Potential customers can read your blog at midnight or share one of your posts at 6 a.m. And as an added perk, you no longer have to go through the same introductory spiel to your new customers—they’ll have already read it in your online material.
It’s for Your Customers
The above opportunities for efficiency and growth are enticing enough, but the bottom line is this—your customers expect you to have a website. While your current patrons do business with you anyway, since they already know how great you are, chances are they will be appreciative when you set up your online home base.
A good business caters to its customers, both current, past, and potential. By making things easier and more convenient for their schedules, their needs, and their curiosities, it’s a win-win.Carl Heyerdahl