The World Wide Web is an endless portal of information — and businesses without a website are missing out some big opportunities. For many consumers, if you’re not online, you don’t really exist. But the prospect of designing a website from scratch can be scary for businesses, especially small businesses. Still holding out on that website? Here are four myths about building a website for your business — and why every small business should be online.
Myth: Websites are expensive.
Truth: Websites can be as little as a few dollars a month — and most earn back several times their cost.
Hiring a professional web designer to maintain a large website can be expensive. But, the cost of a website can often match the size of the business. Small businesses don’t need the big, expensive websites of a large business. Hiring a freelancer (or another small business) to launch your website is often very affordable. DIY website builders are also getting better at helping small business owners build their own site — even an eCommerce site — with little technical experience and often for less than $20 a month. Once that website is up and running, most will result on a big return on investment by driving new customers to your brick and mortar location, opening another revenue stream through eCommerce or serving as another marketing strategy.
Myth: Websites take too much time.
Truth: Websites can often save time.
Say a potential customer wants to know what your hours are. More often than not, today, customers Google it first. Without a website, basic information isn’t easily accessible, which turns into time spent fielding calls about basics like hours and location. While a website takes time and occasional maintenance to stay up-to-date, making all that information easily accessible allows businesses to stop answering the same questions over and over.
Myth: My business is doing just fine, so I don’t need a website.
Truth: Traditional businesses can still benefit from the 24/7 availability of a website.
Many family-owned businesses were open for years before the internet became popular. But not opening a website is a mistake even for traditionally based businesses. Besides not attracting younger customers, current customer miss out on being able to access details 24/7 and the helpful insight that a blog could provide.
Myth: If my business has a Facebook page, I don’t need a website.
Truth: Social media marketing is great — but how do customers that hear about you from social media find out more if you don’t have a website?
Social media marketing is a great tool — but it’s not a replacement for an actual website. One recent study suggests that as many as 84 percent of consumers think that a small business is more credible when they have a website. Besides giving your business more credibility, having a website gives social media fans a place to go for more details. While you can put your location and hours on Facebook and even photographs displaying what you do, it’s probably not the best place for pricing information and company history — and it’s also not as good for popping up in those search results.
Creating a website for a small business can be a daunting task — but today, it’s a must. Even a simple website with just a page or two offering basics like hours, location and a business description can add credibility and drive more sales, all while saving time and costing less than the additional revenue a website creates.