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Does your business need a website?

wireframe sketch on paper

The short answer: yes.

Whether you are selling physical or digital goods, services, or software, having an online presence will have an impact on your business’ long-term success. Ever since the 2020 pandemic, e-commerce sales surged by 43% (or $244.2 billion). Although businesses have been opening up again and more people are going out, most people still prefer to make online purchases.

the benefits of being online

If you own a small business or are looking to start one, consider the benefits of starting and investing in a website:

it gives your business credibility

Of the 9.1 million e-commerce retailers in the world, about 2.5 million of them are in the United States alone. In today’s digital age, it’s not uncommon for customers to research a business online before making a purchase or decision. With all that competition, having a website will help to legitimize your business with potential customers. Without a website, your business may appear outdated or unprofessional, which can turn those potential customers away.

Alternatively, with a well-designed and informative website, you can give your business a professional and trustworthy edge. Things like showcasing your products and services, highlighting customer testimonials, and providing detailed information about your business’ history and values are great examples of ways you can build trust with potential customers and increase the likelihood of them doing business with you.

Speaking of doing business, you can provide customers with a way to contact you directly from your website through a contact form, email, or phone number. This not only makes it easier for customers to get in touch with you, but also shows that you are dedicated to providing excellent customer service.

Additionally, a website can serve as a platform for you to share news and updates about your business, such as new products or services, awards/recognitions, or upcoming events. By staying active and engaged with your customers digitally, you can establish yourself as a reliable and trustworthy business in your industry.

attract a global audience to your products or services

Having a website makes your business accessible to anyone with an internet connection, allowing you to expand your reach globally. By having an online presence, your business is no longer limited to local consumers, and potential customers all around the world can find and learn about your products and services. With the right marketing and search engine optimization strategies, you can attract a wider audience to your website and increase your organic traffic. This can translate into more leads, conversions, and sales with customers who would have never heard of your business otherwise.
Furthermore, having a website that is optimized for different languages and cultural nuances can help you reach even more people. By offering multilingual options, you can cater to a wider audience and build trust with customers who may not be fluent in your business’s primary language. This can also help to establish your business as a global player in your industry, and set you apart from competitors who may not have the same level of accessibility and language diversity. Overall, having a website is essential for businesses that want to attract a global audience and guarantee long-term success.

improve customer service

Having a website for your business can greatly improve customer service. With a website, customers can easily find information about your products or services, hours of operation, and contact information. You can also provide frequently asked questions (FAQs) or customer support chatbots to assist customers outside of regular business hours. This accessibility and convenience can lead to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty, ultimately contributing to the success of your business.

reasons why you might not need a website (yet)

Not all businesses need a website, because not all businesses require a website to be successful.

the majority of your leads are generated elsewhere

This may be true for some people. Businesses can generate leads that come to them automatically through referrals, social media, phonebooks, local newsletters, etc. Like the saying goes: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Just remember, society moves fast and the internet moves even faster. Trends start up then fizzle away in a moment.

you don’t have the capacity for more customers

Most times, this is a good problem to have. One of the main purposes of having a website is to generate leads for your business. But if you just don’t have the capacity to take on these new customers at this time, then having a website might not be high on your priorities list.

having a website is expensive and a lot to maintain

Website fees can range from $100-$5,000 annually, depending on the services that you require. If your business isn’t ready for that kind of investment, then maybe having a website right now isn’t a major priority. Not to mention the time it takes to frequently update your website and keep it running 24/7. It’s also worth mentioning that if you are someone who isn’t tech savvy, then having a website may potentially hurt your business if it isn’t set up right.
But ask yourself: “Can I afford to not have a website?”

final thoughts

As a business owner and someone who specializes in web design, of course I’m going to recommend that your business needs a website. However, I also understand that sometimes it’s too much of an investment, especially for small businesses that are just starting out.

The price of being left behind is a lot more than not having a website. Remember, your competitors and your customers are online. If you want to continue thriving in the long term, it would be smart to consider at least having a single-page website that will give your business the credibility it needs to intervene those competitors and make big returns.

With easy site builders like WordPress, Wix, and Squarespace, they’ve made it simple for business owners to break into the digital world. Sites like WordPress are also free to start, only requiring that you find your own hosting and domain provider.

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Jasmyn Swangel

Jasmyn Swangel

Jasmyn is a web (UI/UX) and brand designer based in the Pacific Northwest. She specializes in helping small businesses to establish their brand identity.

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