How many Joes do you know? 

Would they be surprised to learn that they can boost their business big-time with a minimal investment (in both time and money) in a website? In fact, a website is pretty much a must-have to make a splash in today's increasingly competitive marketplace. Here are three reasons the “Joes” of the world can't afford to skip a website: 

1. A website is an easy, cost-effective way to market your products and services.

A template-based website building software program, or site builder, is generally inexpensive (hundreds, even thousands, of dollars cheaper than traditional advertising) and easy to use. And your marketing cost savings continue after your site goes live. You can make updates, such as to contact information, within minutes at little to no cost.

If Joe had a website, he could easily monitor and analyze the traffic on his site to figure out the most effective ways to appeal to his online audience—and ultimately, generate more sales.

2. A website makes your business accessible, 24/7.

When you’ve got a website, your business is accessible all day, every day, to potential customers worldwide. And you can be sure they’re going online to find the products and services they want. Recent stats show that 59 percent of consumers monthly turn to Google® to find a good local business. In this digital world, it’s also a must to have a mobile website to reach your customers where they’re looking. More than a third of U.S. smartphone owners use their mobile phones to find store locations online while they’re on the fly. 

At his brick-and-mortar store, Joe’s phone only gets answered from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday. There’s a good chance he’s missing out on business.

3. A website helps you connect with your customers.

With a website, you can engage in real-time with your customers through social networks such as Facebook®, Twitter®, and Yelp®. Many site builders include a feature to integrate your social media feeds on your site, so visitors easily can become social followers and see just what other “fans” are saying about your business. These social testimonials can work wonders at building your credibility—a key to attracting new customers.

You can even post customer reviews from sites like Yelp on your website’s awesome Testimonials page—appealing to the 51 percent of Yelp users who make purchasing decisions after visiting the popular site. In addition, creating a custom contact form on your website offers a personalized way for customers to connect with you.

Joe’s business is located within a mile of a hungry family searching for a pizza joint on their mobile phone—but they don’t know he’s there because he’s not online. 

After reading this article, Joe finally realizes he needs a website to achieve his business goals. Way to go, Joe!