These days, a good website is not just a good idea, but a vital necessity for any business – small, medium or large – that wishes to conduct business. Gone are the days when websites and online transactions were the preserve of a few multinational corporations with huge research and development budgets. With the recent innovations and the relative affordability in website development, maintenance and updates every small business now has the ability to have a web presence. There are plenty of reasons and benefits to having a good website.
Saves the business money and puts it ahead of the competition
- Websites can now be created and maintained for a very low amount of money. (For example, see http://www.sba.gov/blogs/how-start-website-free-or-low-cost-18-tools-consider) With the huge number of tools available online nowadays anyone can create their own website and there is no need to engage an expensive “computer professional” to create or maintain a website.
- Having a small business website is the cheapest way to advertise your business to the entire world. It is also a lot cheaper than print, TV, radio or any other form of advertising. A website is a permanent advertising platform that makes your business visible to anyone with an internet connection. Adding some of the easily available features of most modern websites such as Search Engine Optimization makes the website available and accessible to literally billions of web users who conduct searches online each day.
- A good website is the easiest way to get and stay ahead of the competition since it provides yet another channel for the small business to communicate and interact with potential customers. For a small business, even one with lots of competition, the question to ask is – how many of the competitors have websites? If so, which of these are better or more user-friendly than yours? Having an effective, state of the art small business website goes a long way in making the business more competitive and better represented in the market. In addition a website provides an opportunity to provide visitors with a lot more information about the business, the products or services they provide and even testimonials from previous customers. This is information that would otherwise be expensive to advertise in any other manner.
Gives the business visibility and provides a unique branding opportunity
A good website gives a degree of credibility to the small business, giving potential customers a good opportunity to learn more about the business entity before they engage in any transactions. The appeal and quality of the website provides a level of confidence to potential customers and will attract them to that particular business rather than the competition.
A good website, especially one with a catchy name also provides a good opportunity to brand itself and emphasize what features make it unique or make it stand out from the competition. A name such as going places.com for a travel and tourism website can thus give the business its own recognizable and distinctive identity. It can also be very useful for promotional materials and messages.
A website even offers a good avenue to direct customers to the physical location of the business. Having the full business address, directions and even a map on the website makes it easy for customers to locate the business and make their way there instead of having to rely on making a phone call to be given directions that may not be too clear. Thus the website also serves as a good way of directing traffic and potential custom to the business.
So there are a few reasons why a good website is essential. Stay tuned for part 2 where we explore more reasons.