Even if you’re not planning on selling on-line, a well-crafted site is essential for any business.
Many people think they do not need a website because their businesses are very small, with few employees or their products can not be sold on-line.
Do I really need a website?
That’s a good question. In fact, it’s one of the most important and most frequently asked questions of the digital business age.
In 1998, in the decade of the Internet, the future of e-commerce was: – “nobody knows”, but even the most negative futurists agreed that all signs indicate that a large part of future business revenues would be derived from on-line transactions or from off-line transactions that were the result of on-line marketing efforts.
So if the question remains if your business needs a website, even if your business is too small or sells products or services that you do not think you can be sold on-line. My answer is the same as that of experts in 1998: “Yes, without doubt or discussion, if you have a business, you should have a website.”
Also, don’t be so quick to dismiss your product as one that can’t be sold on-line. Nowadays, there’s very little that can’t be sold over the Internet. More than 20 million shoppers are now on-line, 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 on-line.
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 on-line 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 on-line 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.
Here’s the exception to the 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.
By: Tim W. Knox