10 Reasons to have a professional website for your small business
As every day passes, and you cannot go an hour without glancing at your smart phone, you realize it is an internet world, and the world is on the internet. The internet continues to play a bigger role in our lives. A website or an app act as go-between for end users. At any one time, millions of connections are happening every second. Be it friends chatting on popular social media platforms or businesses and consumers exchanging emails as a form of digital communication.
It is estimated about 80% of consumers use the internet to search and inquire about products and services they need before they decide to buy. How many times have you searched for a tour agent, car rental service, house agent or where your closest bank branch is?
Most consumers today will assume your company has a website. Imagine the disappointment they would get when they proceed to search for your business online only to find you don’t exist on the World Wide Web. That leads them to seeking your competitor. And more often than not, your competitor does have a professional website setup.
Investing in a website is one of the best moves you can make for your business. Below is a list of 10 reasons why in this increasingly internet dependent world you and your business need a website.
Reaching more customers by increasing your customer base:
According to internetworldstats.com 3.9 billion people use the internet. And when you look closer inward, a country like Kenya has 43 million internet users. Having a website gives you a platform to reach these potential clients.
About 90% of online users have purchased an item or gone ahead to contact a company that is online. A website will make sure you are available in multiple locations to many people.
By not having a website, you’ll be missing out on a piece of this internet pie. And trust me, your competitors who have websites will be there waiting to sweep up your potential customers.
Always available Online Catalog and Brochure:
Many companies use a large sum of their marketing budget on printing and distributing catalogs and brochures. I am not saying this is obsolete, same way people still receive mail through the P.O Box. Although the number has significantly reduced.
Having a website acts as company brochure at the fraction of the cost. Brochure printing is relatively expensive. This is the case especially if you want to capture enough details about the goods and services you sell.
By having a website you can reduce the cost of doing brochures by capturing a large amount of details about your business on your website. Only critical and catchy information will be on your brochures, allowing you to direct clients to your website.
Also, by having a website, you can skip that entirely. Potential customers can find out about your business and the products you sell online. This will help you save and channel the money to other areas.
Increases your business’s online and offline credibility:
Closing a sale with a customer can be a very difficult task to accomplish. Having a well-designed website increases your credibility towards potential customers. It increases confidence in them purchasing from you as you can prove that indeed, you are the realest of deals.
The reality today is that, more and more consumers use the internet to search for products or services they need. Your website will represent you and your business the same way a physical office represents a service provider or a market stall represents a retailer. The benefit is that it’s much cheaper to acquire, construct and maintain. And now, it is more easily accessible than ever.
A customer can have peace of mind that they can always return and receive after-sales services from you. It is like owning your own affordable store or stall. In short, don’t be a hawker….here today, gone tomorrow. Establish a website where customers can constantly get in touch with you.
Become an influence:
Having a website gives you the chance to reach millions of people. It is your stage to share your thoughts, principles and business ideals. Incorporating different forms of media like video and info graphics can help you disperse your message and become an influencer in today’s digital world.
Add value to your brand:
A website, that is of high quality and well designed, has the potential of giving perceived value to a business. This puts you in the frontline to compete with the “big boys” of your niche.
You have no chance of building skyscrapers, but your website can break down the perceived wall between you and them.
One of the beauties of investing in a website is that it gives you a more lasting personality online compared to social media profiles. With this, you can appear of high value to online customers, employees and business partners. Potential investors can quickly and easily get in touch with you. A professionally done website makes your business be taken seriously.
Be in contact with your customers:
By having a website, that runs a blog consistently or news feed, it provides an avenue to update your customers. This includes valuable information to customers like your newest offers, products, promotions, events and recent photos.
Customers also have the need for after sale support or general inquiry about products. Having a website you can present the customer with valuable information 24/7. By availing an FAQ (frequently asked questions) section, ticketing system and live chat support that your customers can access when they require can boost customer communication.
Also setting up a detail catalog and a gallery with high quality pictures and details of your products, can help potential customers make a qualified decisions about buying your product or service. You can communicate and demonstrate what makes your business unique. And this information will be available to them 24/7 365 days a year.
A new marketing frontier:
For the longest time, marketing has been primarily done on print, radio or television. With the advancement of the World Wide Web, the internet has opened up a whole new world of marketing that didn’t exist before.
By implementing a host of low cost marketing techniques, your website can attract new business. This methods target niche audiences, and when done right can position your website as a sales generator and customer retainer.
Saves you money:
Getting your business online by having a professional website done may sound like an expensive undertaking. As a business owner, your first thought maybe that you can’t afford a professional website, but you can’t afford not to invest in one.
Initial cost of setting up a website starts as little as 19,999 KES. Compare this with the cost of a newspaper advert repeatedly for a year. You can clearly see where the savings will come in.
When you consider the potential market you can reach with a website (approx. 31 million in Kenya) it is a very cost effective way to promote your business.
A website is available to both your regular and potential customers 24/7/365. This provides both your customers, and potential customers the convenience of viewing your products and services when your physical store is closed. Given today’s busy and instant result lifestyle, this is a great selling point.
Saves you time:
Customers of your product always require your undivided attention. Whether you are communicating on the phone, face-to-face, on a printed brochure or writing emails. They want to know what services you are offering or what unique features your product has.
Having a professional website with an online catalogue, chat bot or a FAQ section can help your clients get the information they need. This means fewer inquiries and more sales calls. Imagine the savings you and your team will make.
When your website is up and running, it is available to your customers indefinitely, at any time, saving you time. And it is well known time equals money.
Professional email service:
Your business or blog may already have an email address running. Most likely it is on one of the popular email hosts ‘gmail’, ‘aol’ or ‘yahoo’. This email hosting platforms are normally tailored towards personal and private emails.
More often than not, the most ideal name is taken and you will have to settle for a makeshift address like ‘email@example.com’ or ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’. This doesn’t cut it as the most professional way to receive emails. Imagine if your bank, service provider, retailer or hotel contacted you with an address like that? What would you think? Not the best 1st impression.
Professional website services allow you to have email addresses that reflect your business name through the domain name e.g. ‘email@example.com’ or ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’. This gives a more professional feel to your emails.