Even if you're not planning on selling online, a well-crafted website is essential for any business. With your own Website you're open for business all day, every day!
Q: My business is very small, just me and two employees, and our product really can't be sold online. Do I really need a website?
So should your business have a website, even if your business is small and sells products or services you don't think can be sold online? My
answer is the same: Yes, if you have a business, you should have a website. Period. No question. Without a doubt.
Also, don't be so quick to dismiss your product as one that can't be sold online. Nowadays, there's very little that can't be sold over the internet. It is estimated that more than 85% of internet users shop online, purchasing everything from books to computers to cars to real estate to jet airplanes to natural gas to you name it. If you can imagine it, someone will figure out how to sell it online.
No matter where you are or what you're doing - even while you're sleeping or gone on vacation your online website or electronic storefont can receive orders and help you make money!
The Internet has become a vast resource of information for business people as well as students as they discover the advantages of getting online: the ease of use and the most cost-effective means of advertising. The Internet is revolutionizing entire markets, allowing all businesses, large or small, the same opportunities to market their products, services and information on the Internet in an effective and appealing manner.
Let me clarify one point: I'm not saying you should put all your efforts into selling your wares over the internet, though if your product lends itself to easy online sales, you should certainly be considering it. The point to be made here is that you should at the very least have a presence on the web so that customers, potential employees, business partners and perhaps even investors can quickly and easily find out more about your business and the products or services you have to offer.
That said, it's not enough that you just have a website. You must have a professional-looking site if you want to be taken seriously. Since many consumers now search for information online prior to making a purchase at a brick-and-mortar store, your site may be the first chance you have at making a good impression on a potential buyer. If your site looks like it was designed by a barrel of colorblind monkeys, your chance at making a good first impression will be lost.
One of the great things about the internet is that it has leveled the playing field when it comes to competing with the big boys. As mentioned, you have one shot at making a good first impression. With a well-designed site, your little operation can project the image and professionalism of a much larger company. The inverse is also true. I've seen many big company websites that were so badly designed and hard to navigate that they completely lacked professionalism and credibility. Good for you, too bad for them.
You also mention that yours is a small operation, but when it comes to benefiting from a website, size does not matter. I does not matter if you're a one-man show or a 10,000-employee corporate giant; if you don't have a website, you're losing business to other companies that do.
Here's the exception to my rule: It's actually better to have no website at all than to have one that makes your business look bad. Your site speaks volumes about your business. It either says, "Hey, look, we take our business so seriously that we have created this wonderful site for our customers!" or it screams, "Hey, look, I let my 10-year-old nephew design my site. Good luck finding anything!"
Your website is an important part of your business. Make sure you treat it as such.
Most Cost-effective Means of Advertising: Compared with attracting new customers through advertising or conventional marketing, websites are amazingly low cost and the possibilities are endless. Search engines, referrals and the vast linking mechanics of the worldwide web provide volumes of "foot traffic" unimaginable in a "brick and mortar" storefront setting. From market research to product distribution, from customer services to sales and promotions -- running a Power Website establishes a dynamic presence for your organization on the Internet limited only by your imagination.
One of the advantages of a website is its dynamic nature, allowing it to evolve as your organization evolves since changes or updates can be easily implemented.
Website design is the most crucial of all the marketing media at your disposal. All other forms of advertising (business cards, brochures, etc.) can be patterned after you website design layout. To attract prospective clients/customers who are surfing the Internet, your site must draw them in and hold their attention until your desired result is achieved. Like a good writer telling a story, you need to grab and hold your reader's attention.
Other opportunities are only a mouse click away, so a poorly designed website can quickly become a faint memory as the prospect speeds away to another destination. A solidly designed website, appealing in content and appearance, will draw the client back for regular visits and will create word of mouth traffic as well.
Clearly, a professionally designed website is well what you pay for it if you are serious about attracting business through your website. The good news is that Greenbell Communications Ltd hinges its business model on that.
Important Note: It is important to understand that you cannot simply put up a website and expect that all you have to do is wait around for orders. In fact, we recommend that you use your website in addition to other marketing methods. A website should always be regarded as part of an overall marketing strategy. A website requires the same kind of advertising and promotion as any other business before it can generate income. The customers you gain through other methods can become excellent web customers as well. Once you have traffic coming to your site, your website becomes your 24 hour-a-day, 7 day-a-week 365-days-a year web storefront!