The very notion of any business in the year 2015 not already having a website in full operation is borderline preposterous. Nevertheless, this is exactly the case for hundreds of thousands of businesses which for one reason or another seem to have purposefully sidestepped the online revolution and refused to jump on the bandwagon. Motivation ranges from sheer stubbornness to a sense of tradition and right through to not really understanding the power of the web, but whatever the reason for staying out of the party, it only stands to do any business damage going forward.
For the business that intends to be around long-term, a website is no longer optional – it really is as simple as that.
But rather than thinking of it as something of an unpleasant ‘do or die’ situation, it’s better to take on-board the genuine and quantifiable benefits that come with owning and operating a business website.
Here’s a quick top-ten to illustrate the point:
1 – Attract More Customers
Undoubtedly the most obvious benefit of all is that of more customers coming the way of most businesses with websites up and running. The reason being that the vast majority of consumers these days either shop online or at least use the web for research before going out to buy anything in person. All of this in turn means that if you’re not on the web, most consumers won’t be able to find you and hooking new business will be a challenge,
2 – Cost Cuts
Considering the fact that conventional marketing can cost millions while a good CMS-driven website can be 100% free of charge, it’s hard to imagine any form of marketing that’s more cost-effective. Even if you don’t plan to sell anything online directly, a website opens your brand, your business and your message up to a global audience of billions – all without having to spend a fortune in the process.
3 – Build Authority
It’s probably safe to say that no matter what it is you do or sell, there are plenty more out there doing the same. As such, the key to taking bold strides forward and standing out from the crowd lies in building authority and respect – show your audience you know what you’re talking about and provide them with plenty of information in correlation with their interests. A website allows you to do this for free.
4 – Catching Up
And just to carry on along the same lines for a moment, chances are about 90% of your closest rivals already have websites and are outshining you simply because you don’t. So even if it’s just for the sake of catching up and getting back in line, it’s a must.
5 – Mobile Movement
Data has shown how customers out on the High Street are increasingly turning to their mobile devices to help guide them in the direction of stores and businesses. It’s no longer enough to have a pretty shop front or a stellar array of products therein – it’s all about making sure they find you in the first place.
6 – Interaction
The days of being able to get away with one-way communication streams are over…very much so. These days, consumers expect to be able to ask questions pretty much in real time and converse with business owners/representatives without having to make a call, write an email or pay a penny. Even a simple website makes this kind of two-way interaction child’s play – interaction that can be pure gold for a brand’s reputation.
7 – Gather Feedback
Without a website, it is wholly improbable that any of your customers will take the time to write letters or make phone calls to give you honest feedback…unless you do something VERY wrong. By contrast, a simple web-based feedback forum helps you learn exactly what your customers are thinking day in and day out, in order to make adjustments and amends as necessary.
8 – Build Loyalty
To build a site with genuinely relevant and engaging content is to stand a much greater chance of earning loyal customers and repeat business. If you give them a good reason to keep coming back, they will.
9 – Online Sales
For any business that sells products of almost any kind, there’s so much to be said for selling online. A retail website can be set up for next to nothing, doesn’t require any on-going manpower like a standard store might and can massively boost sales overhead-free.
10 – 24/7 Opening Times
Last but not least, whereas your store or business will have certain hours of operation throughout the week, month and year, a website is in operation 24 hours a day and seven days a week. So while your store or business might not be able to attract anyone that doesn’t turn up between the hours of 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday, your website goes on working on your behalf every second of every day without fail.