Running a small businesses is by no means easy and this may be why some small business owners, particularly local service providers, are reluctant to create a website. when the benefits aren’t immediately apparent and in the face of a seemingly never ending list of jobs.
Regardless of how small your business is, a website can help you secure new customers and in doing so furthering development, expansion and profit.
1. Sheer numbers
The Office for National Statistics reports that in the UK, 87.9% of adults have used the internet at some point in the 3 months following the 20/05/2016 reporting period. Add to that a 2012 survey conducted by Search Engine Land which found that as many as 85% of consumers used the internet to search for local businesses or services.
Clearly, this adds up to a lot of people, a lot of potential customers and a tremendous untapped resource.
2. Reviews are a valuable asset
A 2014 consumer survey conducted by BrightLocal, an SEO and marketing agency, found that 88% of survey participants trusted online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.
Clearly, a single online review does not have the same weighting as a personal recommendation from a close friend, but 50 or 100 might. And this the power of the internet and especially having your own website. It gives your customers a single, organised place to leave and or read reviews of your products and services.
A collection of good reviews is a powerful selling tool and a strong asset to your business and with each positive review the collective effect becomes that much stronger. The great thing is that by just conducting your business in a professional manner you’ll build up the bank of reviews overtime and further this effect.
3. Social sharing & first impressions
In today’s world a word of mouth referral is often times a social share referral, and in this case it can pay to have a website that satisfied customers are able to share with their friends and family. This gives you and your business a chance to make an immediate good first impression (via your website) rather then rely on them being directed to, and bothering to visit, the high street, for example.
Of course, you can also set up social accounts to promote your products and services and again it is a huge benefit to be able to direct potential leads to your website rather than simply provide them with a telephone number or a set of directions.
4. More business avenues move online
A lot of the methods people have traditionally used to find businesses have also moved online, whether fully or just partly. For example, the Yellow Pages, the large telephone directory set up yell.com which has subsequently grown to become the UK’s largest online business directory. This demonstrates just how important the internet is for businesses and it also allows you to take advantage of such excellent advertising/marketing opportunities.
5. Why wouldn’t you?
Creating and running your own website needn’t be expensive and the potential benefits should far outweigh the costs. At webhostgb.com our shared web hosting packages start from as little as £4.99 per month and include access to free ‘drag and drop’ style website builder software. Alternatively, why not use a free WordPress theme and simply add your own text and images.
Creating a website for your small business is not a huge investment and maintenance won’t take up much of your time, however it can help you dramatically expand your customer base and build a long lasting reputation.