One of the question frequently asked by a small business owner who currently don’t have a website is ‘Do I really need a website?’
The answer: ‘Can you afford not to have one?’.
However, underneath that first question, what the business owners are really saying is, ‘I really cannot afford a website right now. Maybe I should wait for a while until the business picks up before I have someone build it for me.‘
That mindset will create very serious consequences to your business. Guess what, before you know it, time passed by and your customers are getting more smarter with technology. Remember the phrase, ‘Let your fingers do the walking‘. It’s now, ‘Let your fingers do the clicking or tapping‘.
If you’re business does not need new customers, congratulations.
But if you’re one of those probably more than 90% who’s trying to gain more customers, we need to probe into these simple questions:
- Does your competition in your local area have a website?
- Will it be nice if your customers come to your place and say ‘We saw this on your website and the information was really helpful. Can I order these?’
- Would it help establish that your business exist at all?
I will not tell you if you need a website until you answer those 3 simple questions. Questions that I asked business owners numerous times. (Now, you see why I have to build this site, too, huh?).
So to make it easy to justify the site, let’s analyze it based on a simple rule of thumb for your return on investment.
- What is the value of a customer that you will be serving? How much profit or revenue does a customer bring when you serve them over a given time period. Why? Without these numbers, how can you measure ROI?
- Who are the type of customers that you would like to serve?
With that in mind, establish the goal for your website.
- Do you want to have your products available to them online so you could free yourself from order taking over the phone?
- Do you want your website to be able to generate leads so you could call them back or so they could call you right away.
- Do you just want to inform them about your services and show testimonials from happy customers that you have served.
Although these sounds so basic, yet most business owners fail to approach it from this standpoint thereby thinking that website development is a cost burden instead of understanding that it is a customer acquisition platform for their business.
So, gather all the marketing materials that you are currently using offline. Sort it out and check to see which one you could use in the online world.
While the online world approach maybe different, the important thing to remember is to craft your message with the potential target customers online.
This page maybe a little bit simplistic in approach, but believe me when I say, that setting this up from the get go helps you save time later in your website design.
Next time, we’ll tackle what the online search engines are doing to help your customers find your location online.
In the meantime, the homework starts now.