Reasons to Take Your Business Online
Going online with your business is the best step you can take right now. A few reasons: you are leaving money on the table if you don’t have a business website. People want to know if you are reliable and can meet their expectations. Without a website for your business, you have a very good chance that your potential customers will go to your competitor who does have their business online. You can better position yourself in the market, expand your services and provide better customer service.
Reasons to Take Your Business Online
Do you really need a website for your business?
Yes, nowadays you need a website for your business if you want to survive as an entrepreneur. A baker on the corner of the street often has a regular customer base and can do without a website, but having a website, you create new opportunities. Then you can not only sell your product in your store, but basically deliver throughout the country and even accross the border. A business website also enables you to expand your services to, for example, a delivery service for meeting lunches that can be ordered through your website.
Why would a small business go online?
Many businesses that do have a website often use it as a business card: the business information and contact details can be found on it. Depending on what you sell or what services you offer, this may be enough. Think of notaries or lawyers. If you have a construction company, you can often get by with word-of-mouth advertising, but with a website you have a better competitive edge. If people have the idea that they want a roof terrace, for example, they go on the Internet to find out what the possibilities are and how much it costs. Then they are going to compare construction companies in terms of services and what others say about the business. If you don’t have a website for your construction company, there’s a good chance that these potential customers will go to your competitor who does have a website – with perhaps a very attractive offer.
Use of websites by SME companies
According to a research conducted by the Chamber of Commerce, 85% of entrepreneurs have put their business online. Of these, only a small part is working on their website to make it more effective. However, their websites belong to the core of the Internet economy.
So there are plenty of opportunities to get a professional website up and running in order to promote your business and get more customers. A website can be your main tool to better position your business. It is a major disadvantage if a business – no matter how small – does not have a website.
A website can be your main tool to better position your business. It is, therefore, a major disadvantage if a business – no matter how small – does not have a website.
Position your business and get the customers you're looking for
People want to know if you are reliable and can meet their expectations. With your own platform, you can position your business in the marketplace to attract exactly the type of customers you are looking for.
Many entrepreneurs get reviewed on one of the social media channels; sometimes negatively. 79% of people that read online reviews actually believe them.
With your own website, you can better control the online perception of your business than social media channels have to offer. Tackle the negative reviews by publishing your customers’ positive (and objective) testimonials on your website. In doing so, you’re helping people who are looking for your service or product to make a sound decision to either buy from you or contact you.
No time for maintaining a website
As shown above in the statistics from the Chamber of Commerce, many businesses are not really active with their website. They don’t improve their business site to make it rank well in Google. Other businesses that have a sound website, have a presence online and are more likely to be found on the search pages and might bring in your potential customers. According to the same statistics, there are relatively few SMBs that use the opportunities to communicate with their (potential) customers.
For small businesses and self-employed people, this makes sense: maintaining a website takes time. Not everyone is trained in SEO or marketing. Because such techniques change rapidly, it is also necessary to keep your knowledge up to date. Having to communicate online with customers and writing copy for newsletters and emails can be just too much when you’re running a business.
A business website generates profit
A website can save a lot of money because it offers a better return on investment than any other form of advertising. You’ll quickly recover the relatively low investment cost of getting a professional business website through new customers and increased brand awareness. A website also saves you time. Whether you are answering emails, taking phone calls or sending out quotes, communicating with potential customers takes a couple of hours a week. With your business online, you can save that time by putting a great deal of information on the website already and by including a section with answers to customers’ frequently asked questions.
A business website doesn't have to be expensive
You don’t have to be technically savvy to get a business website. Also, a website doesn’t have to be expensive, quite the opposite: as you’ve read above, you’re leaving money on the table if you don’t take your business online. However, if you decide to get your business online, you’ll need local SEO.
Because every business is different, we provide customized services – even for simple websites with only some basic information about your business, your offer and your contact details. Based on your business goals and your available budget, we determine together what your business website will look like. We also explain how you can maintain the website and add new information.
See also our article “What you need for a website“, which describes the requirements for a basic website.
Do you want to make extra money with an online business, but you don’t know yet what kind of business this should be, read “10 ideas for an online business”.
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