5 Reasons Why Your Business Needs a Website.

It’s been over a decade since the boom of the Internet changed the face of everything from stock trading to ordering take-out Chinese food. Businesses have, mostly, enjoyed the wave of extensive publicity and far-reaching advertisement. No longer are businesses restricted by region and geography. If you have a product in Simi Valley that a customer in Hong Kong desires, that business is mere clicks away.

However, it is surprising how many businesses still do not have a website. A common objection we hear is the geographic constraint of the past: “I only serve a small regional area.” Other businesses think they are already invited to the party, when in reality they are not expanding their online visibility at all: “But I have a Facebook page.” Then there is the most dismissive excuse of them all: “Most of our customers are not web-savvy anyway.”

If you are in business, then you are looking to expand that business. In this day and age, the most effective way to do that is by having a quality website. Here are five reasons why it is time for your business to enter the online world.

1. No One Uses the Yellow Pages Anymore

The Internet is the first place that locals look when searching for a product or service. Even if you are in a business that is confined to servicing only a local region, any potential customer that has not already heard of you will only find out about you online. The days of referrals are diminishing. People don’t ask around like they used to. They ask Google.

Having a presence online can quickly offer your phone number, address, services/products offered, hours of operation, etc. to any potential local customer. Add to that, having a detailed website that a viewer can link to, and you are that much closer to having a viewer online evolve into a customer at your actual doorstep. Also, you can submit your website to a variety of local directories. Without a website, these expansive – and often free! – forms of advertisement will not exist. And to many potential customers, that will mean your business doesn’t exist at all.

2. Seeing is Believing, Believing is Buying

Maybe you’re not trying to expand online. Maybe you are a local coffee shop and don’t want to sell your beans online to a customer in Argentina. Or you’re a local hair salon that can’t service a prom-goer in need thousands of miles away. We get it. But even the local clients that you want to court want to SEE what you can do. Show us your artisan latté and organic blueberry muffin. Give us a gallery of the immaculate hairstyles that have garnered prom-queen honors already.

This is an image-obsessed society we live in. There are screens at every turn. Phones, televisions, tablets, computers, billboards, ad infinitum. What is on all of those screens? Images. If you are not showing us attractive images of what you are trying to sell, someone else is. Don’t get left out by only telling people about your business. Show, don’t tell.

3. Facebook: Let’s Just Be Friends

Facebook is great for keeping your local admirers up-to-date about what your business is doing these days. You tell them about discounts or special offers to solicit more business. But that’s just more business from the same business. Expansion is all about customer base. You don’t want to only draw more water from the same well. You need to expand the well. Oftentimes, giving your Facebook friends the hard sell on their news feed will turn them off. They may unfollow your posts or unlike your page outright.

Don’t inundate the same few people with updates about your business. Expand your customer base with a website that includes a portfolio of your products and services. Offer discounts and specials to new customers. Invite them to like your Facebook page and share with friends. Don’t keep singing to the same choir on Facebook.

4. Your Website is the Hardest Working Staff You Have

Do any of your staff work 24/7 365? Can you pay them pennies per hour? Well your website hasn’t heard of workers’ rights legislation. Your website doesn’t understand the concept of minimum wage. It will work for you diligently, around the clock, and achieve a workload that no human has the time or energy to achieve. A website allows you to keep your business in full-view even when your doors are closed. Page-view counters allow you to see just how many visitors there are to your website. Think of the value of arriving at your store 8am Monday morning, and having new customers waiting already. Your business’s website is your second location and it never closes.

5. Online is not Fringe, it is Professional

As aforementioned, being known and seen are as important in business as anything else is. The closer? Being trusted. The trust you want with a customer is best achieved after they have patronized your business. In lieu of that, and as a bridge to that, a website provides you with the professional reach necessary for your business to succeed. What’s worse than having no website? A shoddy website. Put some time, effort and – gasp! – money into your online presence and you won’t regret it. A little bit of investment can go longer than you’d anticipate.