Friday, January 27, 2012

Top 10 Reasons Your Business Needs A Website TODAY!

The small business world is rapidly changing as more people enter and competition gets tougher and small business owners have to be more forward thinking now than ever before just to keep up with their competition.

One of the best ways to move your business forward and increase your revenue is by getting your own small business website.A custom and functional website is not as expensive as you think and when done properly can give you more return on your investment than almost any other form of advertising and promotion you can find.

The following are the The Top 10 Reasons Your Business Needs A Website TODAY! I think you will find that some if not all of these can apply to your company!

1. A website can help you generate a professional image

A professionally designed website is one of the best ways to instill confidence in your new customers who are not familiar with your company already or even increase the confidence of your existing customer base. It gives the customer the impression that they are dealing with a firm they can trust and will generate a sense of respectability with your service and/or product.

2. Business Information is available 24/7

You are able to communicate address, phone numbers, fax numbers, hours of operation and client’s awareness of special offerings.How much time do you spend on the phone giving out all of this information? Directions, wat you do and don’t carry, what hours you are open, the price of some service, how one of your services “works”, directions once again, and yes you are open on Sundays too. What if you could hire someone for just a few hundred dollars a year to take an increasing number of those calls for you? You would do it in a heartbeat wouldn’t you? You’d be surprised how much a website will take off your shoulders while simultaneously driving business to you.

3. No More Yellow Pages

People don’t use the yellow pages as much as you think and many refer to the overpriced print pages as a dead form of advertising. Almost every employee in the country that gets paid more than $30,000/year has a computer at their desk and a whopping 85% of college students have their own personal PC while few have a copy of the yellow pages nearby. As habit, they will simply type in “Hair Salon Columbia, Missouri” in Google long before they hunt down the one copy of the yellow pages that was left in the breakroom or on their dorm floor.

4. The Future is Automation (less work = more $)

You can highly automate some parts of your business online which in turn will free up other resources to other parts of your business. You could give your customers the option to pay their bills online and check account balances. You can automate deliveries to them. You can allow them to book appointments with your salon online or even make restaurant registrations at their favorite table. You can give customers the option to be notified that their dry cleaning is ready for pickup. It is only getting easier and more convenient for customers to shop at places that serve them around their lifestyle and research shows that Generation Y and even a lot baby boomers are looking for these kind of conveniences when choosing a company to do business with.

5. Provide Research information

Consumers spend hours of time researching potential businesses, products and services prior to making an educated purchase. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to give your customers and potential customers the information they want and need to make an educated purchase decision by foregoing a company website.

6. Reach desirable Demographic Markets

The World Wide Web is arguably the highest mass-market demographic available. Mostly consisting of college educated or currently being college educated consumers making high salaries or soon to make high salaries. These demographics are the ones who will be going online to do product and service research, looking for general business information, and seeking that automation and convenience I touched on in #4.

7. Create a 24 Hour Service

Web pages serve the client, customer and partner 24 hours a day, seven days a week and you don’t even have to pay it overtime wages either. Consumers are increasingly becoming busier and busier every day and by providing information and services online you are able to attract the people who are simply just too busy to handle all their needs during their 9-5 workday while working around your 8-6 office hours.

8. Feed Back from the Customer

With a good web presence you are able to ask for feedback in a non-confrontational way and receive information instantly without extra cost. This could be something as simple as a dynamic contact and feedback form or individual product and service rating systems that give the customer the anonymity they desire and the information and feedback crucial to your businesses success.

9. Existence is Everything

Without a website, you simply do not exist to the average consumer. Before you look back at all your success and totally disregard what I am saying just hear me out on this. It’s 5:00pm, Friday evening and I have to get my dog groomed this weekend. I type in my favorite search engine at work: “Dog Groomer Columbia, Missouri”. The first two links all look great. I look at their hours, their location, read a little about the company and they’ve been in business for over 20 years, experience is great, so I pick up the phone and make an appointment.

What I didn’t know though is that you run a Pet Groomer just a few blocks from where I’ll be having lunch tomorrow. I didn’t know that because your website either didn’t come up in the search engine or perhaps you do not have a website at all. For me and many other consumers, you didn’t even exist when I was making a decision on whom to do business with.

10. Inexpensive and Almost Risk Free

All the above benefits to having a website for your small business are great. When people first began to adopt the internet these benefits would have been very costly and out of reach of the average small business owner. However, while every other advertising medium has increased in price over the past decade, website development and hosting has decreased significantly.

For just a few hundred dollars a year, you can get all the benefits above and much more. There is virtually “no risk” in website marketing. You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars and wonder if you should have bought a bigger yellow pages ad but can’t change it until the next year rolls around. You can easily customize your website and make changes at your convenience. You can do as much or as little as your business goals and budget allow.

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