Do I really need a website?
Let’s face it. In a world where google has become a verb, lacking web presence is like not being there. The big www is the virtual high street and millions of people naturally default to the web to find stuff, compare stuff, and buy stuff. A website is simply one of those non-negotiable business assets. Because if you want to let the world know you exist so your company can grow, you can’t say no.
A website is a business essential.
Technically, your business will not fail just because you are not on the web, but it will certainly be harder to get a bigger slice of the pie – especially internationally. Because it’s the place people go to research and compare businesses and their products or services, a website gives customers and potential investors a chance to ‘discover’ you. You might feel you have all the customers you need. But remember, being on the web is not just about expanding. You can also use it to stay in touch and retain your existing client base by smartly integrating some of the new generation social media applications.
Your best investment ever
Yes, you will have to spend some money, but it is one of the best investments you will ever make. You will have to budget for a one-off web design fee and then a monthly web-hosting fee, but in return you get a permanent, yet flexible marketing tool. Compare your web costs to what you would pay for a few radio spots (and who knows if anyone will hear it or had enough time to write down your phone number!) or a one-off newspaper ad (once it’s gone, it’s gone!) and even if you use newspaper advertising wisely, repetitive advertising will cost a lot more than your website.
What you get for your money
For those who are into numbers, check out www.internetworldstats.com/stats/htm.
For a more qualitative assessment, let’s weigh the pros and cons of having a website, starting with the benefits, of course.
A website defies geography. No matter where your clients are, they can reach you.
It is tireless and works like a dog – 24/7, 365 days of the year.
It lets your customers in: You can use your website to ask customers for their opinions, while you can blog about your latest and greatest product.
It respects your pocket. It is cheaper and far more flexible than other advertising media, and changing its looks doesn’t involve a long-winded production process.
It saves trees. Although it is always a good idea to augment a good website with other marketing tools, it does cut down the need for more traditional marketing like printing large volumes of literature.
It is everyone’s friend. People can shop and compare without having to find parking at five different stores while trying to get the kids to stay calm! As for the disadvantages: Apparently there are none. But don’t take our word for it; google it, and see for yourself!