Should My Small Business Have a Website?
Ian is the founder of Arias & Thompson Digital, an Estonian eResident, and a frontend developer.
Websites are the cornerstone of a small company’s digital presence. Regardless of recent opinion pieces predicting its sudden death, a website is an essential marketing and sales tool for any small business regardless of industry.
Recent research coming out of the US indicate that 64% of small businesses surveyed have a website, meaning 36% did not have a website at all. This is down from 46% from 2016 showing a general adoption trend for small businesses with significant regional variation.
Why Should My Small Business Have a Website?
An owned, controlled digital marketing channel
This is your own space and the online extension of your brand. You might have a Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter or SnapChat account, but those cannot ultimately replace your website.
The website is your digital hub. Everything else is an extension or a limb to distribute and engage.
Let your customers find you where they are, online
You might not like the internet. Hell, you might not have a computer. That does not mean your customers are the same. Put yourself into the user or customer’s shoes. If they are looking for a good or service, chances are they are looking for them online first.
Search engines have ultimately replaced the yellow pages and telephone books. Without a website you risk losing out on sales and revenue.
Legitimize your business
Customers expect your company to have a website. They don’t necessarily expect a blog or eCommerce depending on what goods or services you offer, but they do expect a professional, mobile-friendly site where they can find out basic information about your business.
Create Your Small Business Website
Small Budget Websites are Now Possible
Some companies spend millions on website design and development to compete at the highest echelons of different industries. For many smaller businesses, this is not the goal. If you are willing and able to do the work yourself, you can have a WordPress-based website up and running for around £10 per month including hosting, domain registration and other charges.
If you need help building your small business website, find an agency that specializes in small business websites and can provide more value for your money. Many smaller agencies will also host and manage your site for a small monthly fee that, depending on your business’ current marketing budget, might be a worthwhile investment for peace of mind and efficiency of updates.
Not every website needs to win an award. You want to put your small business’ best face forward, but this means having a clean, professional website that servers your users’ needs. Sometimes simplicity and minimalist solutions work best to get the information you need out into the public.
Find someone to help you manage it
While it has never been easier to manage and edit content on your small business website, sometimes you just don’t have the time or skill set to do so efficiently. If that describes your situation, find yourself a freelancer or independent agency that can tailor a website management plan that meets your budgetary requirement.