Why You Need A Website
In the last few years, there has been an active push for consumers to “shop local” and support small businesses, and that is largely made possible through the internet. Being able to have an online storefront and market to customers outside of your geographic area is a huge opportunity for many entrepreneurs to grow their businesses. For all of these reasons, it is important that every small business have a website.
Having a strong online presence can truly be a make or break for any business. We’ve asked 12 small business leaders how important having a website is to them and what opportunities it has created for their organizations. Keep reading to learn how a website can take your business to the next level!
It's the Welcome Mat
The website is the gateway, door, and welcome mat of a business. It should educate the consumer as well as elicit emotion. It is the very first impression that will be made on the consumer and can determine with certainty whether or not the consumer will continue engagement.
- Michael Herion, Carrot Eye Center
It Shows You Actually Exists
A small business needs a website to drive business in today’s digital world. Without a website, you give up much, if not most, of your potential business because consumers will not be able to learn anything about you or your business’s offerings. If not for anything else, a website will show your audience that you really do exist.
- Court Will, Will & Will
It Shows Potential Clients If Your Business Is the Right Fit
A small business needs to have a platform that accurately represents who they are and why people should buy their products or use their services. When potential customers are searching for a product or service, you want your website available for them to click on. You want them to see a clean functional website that makes you feel like your business is the right choice for them. A website represents your brand in the digital space and without it, it would be difficult to have a strong online brand presence.
- Rex Murphy, Montauk Services
People Need to Find You on Google
In today’s digital world, people turn to Google to find practically anything and everything. From answers to questions to products and services near them. Search engines play an important role in the online success of businesses. Without a website, potential customers will be unable to find you in their searches. Creating a central location to store your address, your phone number, a contact form, a products/ service list, prices, etc. will open the door for people to find your business online.
- Kayla Centeno, Markitors
Increase in Business Credibility
Having a website increases your business credibility. In our digital age, not having a website for your business is grounds for suspicion and you will not be able to convert as many sales as you would if you had a more stable digital presence. Customers will seek you out online and having a website is one of the criteria for determining trustworthiness.
- Liz Riggleman, Arrowlift
It Allows You to Compete
Every business should have a website for the same reason you plant a seed. Getting a website is the first step toward putting your business in an environment where it can thrive. It allows you to promote your product, build credibility, distinguish yourself, and quite frankly - compete. If you’re not on the internet these days, you’re not being competitive and you will miss out on opportunities, even from loyal customers. If your customers can’t find you, they will find someone else.
- Sydney Stern Miller, Tech Talent South
It Expands Your Physical Location
Websites are one of the best investments in serendipity you can make. Here's what I mean: when you operate from a single location, your presence tends to be restricted to where you are. With a website, you might reach people in other countries or on the other side of the world. Some of these people may become customers, investors, or suppliers; and they never would have found you if you didn't have a website.
- Tasia Duske, Museum Hack
It Is a Reflection of the Service You Will Provide
A small business should utilize a website in order to effectively reach its client base and be able to react and communicate timely and effectively to its current and prospective clients. Moreover, today's consumers utilize websites not only to identify businesses with which to conduct a transaction but also to gauge the trustworthiness or 'fitness' of that small business. An inadequate or 'out of date' website may convey laziness or inattention to detail to today's consumer - traits that are extremely unattractive and lead the prospective client to 'swipe left'.
- Robert Rutila, Blythe Grace
It's Your Digital Brochure
At its basic core, a website replaces a brochure. It is informational in nature, offering people insights into who you are, why you are different, and what you provide or sell. At its best, a website can build community, connection, and loyalty when content is kept fresh and engaging. With the majority of people searching via mobile devices, websites must be mobile optimized.
- Lorraine Bossé-Smith, Leadership Development Coach
Your Own Domain Name Increases Credibility
Having a website gives your small business legitimacy. When someone is searching for your product or service online, you want to appear in those search results. Additionally, having your own domain name (company.com) gives your email address additional legitimacy — if you're sending an email from a personal email, potential customers may not take you as seriously.
Additionally, every small business needs a website and social media as well. I advise the entrepreneurs I work with to focus on their "core 4" social media channels: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Once you have launched your website, you can cross-promote it by sharing it on social media as well.
- Lauren Patrick, Curricula
It’s Free Advertising
Having a professional website will mean that people who are looking for you can find you and get the information they need. But if you optimize your website well, it can also mean you'll show up in search results for people who didn't even know they were looking for you.
Create pages that talk about the services you offer and where you offer them. Or publish pages that describe your products or explain how to solve problems you commonly solve. You can go from being an invisible plumber in Cleveland, for example, to a plumber in Cleveland who shows up whenever someone nearby searches for how to unclog a drain.
- Elliot Brown, OnPay
It's Crucial During a Pandemic
During the pandemic, it may be the only way that potential customers will find you. Beyond that, customers love the convenience of shopping from home. Businesses without a web presence will miss out on these customers. They also may be considered out of date or not "with it" by those who have grown up on the internet.
- Colleen McManus, Senior Consultant
Copyright © 2023 SCORE Association, SCORE.org
Funded, in part, through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.