EXISTING ONLINE IS ESSENTIAL
Are you a small business owner or entrepreneur who has their business up and running or is planning on it in the near future? If you want to keep up with the times, it has become more important than ever to exist online. According to Zippia, only 60% of small business owners have a website, with an additional 20% who "plan to" do so. If you weren't planning on having a website, 80% of businesses already have you beat.
WHY PEOPLE DON'T HAVE WEBSITES
If we go on to review the statistics provided by the Zippia article, they break down the reasons as to why those 20% of small business owners don't have websites.
Photograph shared from Zippia.com.
EXCUSE 1: I DON'T DO BUSINESS ONLINE!
This section will be a quick one. The truth is, it really doesn't matter what your business is. If you don't plan to use your website for anything, you still benefit from having one. According to www.oberlo.com, Google processes over 99,000 searches per second or about 8.5 billion searches per day. People search for businesses or keywords relating to what they want or need. They make their decision to visit or purchase based on those results. If you don't have a website, you don't matter to those people. Exist.
EXCUSE 2: IT COSTS TOO MUCH!
Alright, lets talk about cost. Cost is always a concern for small business owners and startups who often don't have the money to put out up front. I also own a local small web design business based in Port Washington (New York) and understand that the reason you went into business is to profit. I am here to tell you that for most industries, even if your website serves no other purpose but to share information with potential clients, having one can still have measurable success by not only paying for itself, but drawing you a profit.
This doesn't mean you need to sell products online on your website. With 81% of shoppers researching a business online before they make a purchase and 47% of them searching directly for the business' website, there's a lot of potential customers you're missing out on if you don't have one.
A majority of DIY website builders like Wix offer built in analytics solutions as well as marketing tools integrated into your contact forms. Having that potential customer's information is extremely valuable even if they aren't a customer right away.
How much does it actually cost to get a website? Simply put, it varies greatly. If you have the technical knowledge necessary to piece a simple website together with the help of web design tools like Wix's web builder software, you can build it entirely for free. The cost with this method is just monthly upkeep costs which can vary from around $15 to about $60 a month for bigger sites. If you hire a professional you can expect professional results and a higher return on investment over the lifespan of the website but expect to pay anywhere from $2000 to $10000 for a small business website up front for the design and development. We also offer a limited web design plan here that will run you around $1000 that might be worth checking out.
EXCUSE 3: I LACK THE TECHNICAL KNOWLEDGE!
Well, how much do you actually know? As a professional web designer it would be in my best interest to tell you to use a professional. You're going to see a better website visually and in terms of performance with a web designer - there's no question. There is a lot of complexity that goes into things like Search Engine Optimization (SEO) that will help you show up higher than competitors for certain searches on the internet, ultimately bringing you more business. There's things to consider like loading speeds, keyword research, and more that professional web designers take care of without you having to think about it so you can focus on running your business. This is our profession.
That being said, something IS better than nothing. While I recommend starting with a professional web designer right away, giving it a shot yourself can't hurt, even if it's just until you get the funds to hire a professional at a later time. These web builders have come a long way in terms of being beginner friendly. If it turns out you can't figure it out, I'm here for you!
EXCUSE 4: BUT I ALREADY HAVE SOCIAL MEDIA!
Great! I don't really use social media for personal use but for professional use I highly recommend it. It contributes to Search Engine Optimization (SEO), it adds validity and online presence to your business, and it can be used as a great tool to promote your business and interact with potential customers. But... it's different than a website.
Your own website is your own space on the internet. It's your digital headquarters. It's a staple of online professionalism that has endless potential. You have free reign to show visitors whatever you want about your business in a way that directly reflects your style, values, and branding instead of filling in the blanks on a social media page.
Social media is important for a business. Websites are important for a business. The two working in tandem is the optimal solution. Having one doesn't mean you don't need the other. They function even better when they're connected and generating more content.
Having a website and existing online is more important than ever. The pandemic may have accelerated the transition to online content faster for a lot of businesses but it has been becoming increasingly more important year over year even before. The facts are there and if you don't have a website, you're missing out and falling behind.
DO IT YOURSELF: www.wix.com
PROFESSIONAL WEB DESIGN: www.ai1.dev