I Procrastinated on Making my Own Website
Even as a small computer business owner, I went my entire first year without a website. In addition to not making much money because I was very part-time, I’d also incurred all of those pesky startup costs that small businesses typically get hit with in the first year such as state filing feels and registered agent fees. As a small business, I don’t get a lot of new customers who simply ‘stumble’ onto my site but I do get a lot of customers who were referred to my site by people I’ve done work for in the past. Ultimately, I can only imagine the customers who would have referred someone to me if they could only have remembered my name or phone number.
Your Business Can’t Afford to Run Without a Website
According to the Small Business Administration, businesses with websites are averaging $1.07 million more in sales than small businesses with no online presence. That averages out to 39% higher revenue and what’s more, 50% of sales conducted through the internet are from new customers. This means that having an online presence allows you to access customers that you might otherwise miss.
To have a website built can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars up into the thousands depending on what you want. Hosting and maintenance can start as low as $30 per month for sites that don’t require many changes. Sites that require lots of changes such as web-stores with constantly updated inventory can run into the hundreds per month for maintenance.
Providing information to customers takes time whether it’s over the phone, face-to-face, in a brochure, or via email. An online presence allows you to provide a lot of detailed information about your business, your products, and your services. Your customers will come to view your website as a destination for their needs which will save you time and money.
A website also provides a more detailed location where you can display galleries of your work or products, testimonials from satisfied customers, & information relating to your businesses that displays to your customers that you’re the expert in your field. If you did these things over the phone or in person, you’d come off like a cheap salesman and maybe even drive a potential customer away. A professionally designed website is a great way to give a customer this information presented in the most perfect way.
If you work out of your home and lack a storefront, it would be plain silly to go any longer without a professionally designed and maintained website. It shows potential customers that you’re serious about your business and provides a sense of credibility that they are looking for in a new service or product provider.
You Can Do it Yourself – But That Could be a Bad Idea
Your website is an important part of your business and should be treated as such. While a professional website conveys to customers that you take your business very seriously, one that appears to have been designed by your teenage nephew or looks like it hasn’t been updated since 1990 might send the exact opposite message. So if you’re a business owner and you have no website, do yourself a favor and get one professionally designed.