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Home » Start up Advice

Why your business needs a website

 

Why your business needs a website

Why your business needs a website

In this post we look at why your business needs a website and what you need to do to get started quickly.

Whenever I look to buy anything, a car, holiday, or a gadget for the kitchen, my first port of call is always the mighty Google. The same is true whether I’m looking for a chiropractor, find a gardener, or get my car serviced.

Think about the last big thing you bought. Chances are your started your research online before heading to the shops?

Apparently, I’m not alone. According to Harris Interactive 78% of Americans believe it’s very important to look up information about people or businesses online before interacting with them, while nearly three-quarters (74%) would refuse to interact or do business with a person or a company if they found negative information about them online.

Sometimes I know the name of the business I’m looking for. Quite often I don’t, and I just type in a search for the sort of product or service I’m looking to buy.

It never ceases to surprise me, even with the businesses that I’m familiar with that they don’t have any website at all. 

60% of Businesses Have No Website

 

In 2012, there were 4.8 million small businesses (SME’s) in the UK.  Research from a company called BaseKit found that a staggering 60% have no online presence at all.It’s no better here in New Zealand either. With an almost identical percentage quoted as not having a website and the fact that businesses without a website miss out.

 
If these businesses have no website, then it’s fair to say that they are loosing business.
 
Don’t you think if your favourite big name product didn’t have a website, you’d wonder just what was going on. Since potential buyers have come to expect information at their fingertips, an absence of results raises eyebrows.
According to the research, many of the business owners who haven’t got a website, say they haven’t got one because they “don’t do business online”.  Maybe they are fitness instructors, beauty salons or independent car repair shops, who do business face to face, in the local area and reliant on passing trade, repeat customers or word of mouth.
 
Sadly that’s not enough if you’re looking to grow your business. As the vast majority of savvy potential customers with money to burn, may completely overlook your business because the lack for a website and online presence means that it’s difficult for potential customers to find you.
 
Whatever your business, it’s clearly a risky strategy not to have a website for your business when many potential buyers are spending more and more of their time online searching for the type of products you sell or the services you offer. 
 
Plus of course, a website is open even when you’re closed.
Finally, if you haven’t got a website or online presence, then you’re loosing potential exposure to other potential customers.  Your best customers, also known as your raving fans, can’t talk about the excellent customer service you offer or the results you deliver. Plus they can’t let others when you’ve got a sale on or where they can find you.
 
So if you haven’t got a website for your business, now is the time to consider getting one.
 
A website needn’t cost a fortune, have multiple web pages or a large team dedicated to sending out tweets and keeping the website going.

Related Post: 1000 True Fans

 

At it’s simplest form your website can be just 3 pages.

Getting started needn’t be an onerous task. Just having 3 pages will put you significantly ahead of your competition.
1) An About Page (what you do and why you do it)
2) A Services Page (how you meet the need of your prospective customers)
3) A contact page (your details of where your prospective customers can get in touch with you)
 
And that needn’t cost a fortune.
If you get started quickly, then you’ll be already ahead of 60% of your competition.
 
When I meet with new clients and they tell me that they don’t have a website, then I recommend that they get one quickly.
There’s too much potential business to be lost without one.
 
I personally recommend that they build (or at least have a website built for them) a website using the free opensource blogging tool and content management system, WordPress.
WordPress is really easy to use software, which allows you to post news articles about your business or  fact sheets on your products. Not only is it really easy to use, it’s extremely popular. WordPress Software runs over 60m websites and a quarter of the most popular websites in the world, including this one 🙂 .
WordPress is a tool which allows you to change your website content without the need for a web designer or programmer, it’s that easy.
One of the beauties of WordPress is that it is extremely flexible and customisable, which means that you have lots of different ways to make your website stand out.

If you don’t feel confident doing this yourself, then there are thousands of freelance contractors on sites like Odesk or Elance that you can use to do it for you. Just make sure you only appoint a contractor with plenty of experience.

Your website can be built directly on the WordPress site, or hosted on your own domain (using a hosting provider) which is what I personally recommend.
 

You Need A Hosting Provider

If you don’t know what hosting is, think of it as building a house in a warehouse, but not actually owning any land to put it on so you can live in it. So hosting is really the land and services where your website lives.
 
In technical terms, web hosting is service that allows both individuals and businesses to make their website accessible via the World Wide Web (internet).

When I started out, I set up my websites using the hosting company Bluehost. Bluehost is one of the largest and most trusted hosting companies out there and I highly recommend that you try them out Bluehost for your first site.
 

Why Bluehost?

Because Bluehost is low cost, incredibly easy to get started with 1 click WordPress installation and superb customer service – via phone and via chat.

If you haven’t got a website, then you’re missing out on potential sales. Fix it not get a 2-3 page website created as a matter of urgency. Don’t put it off any longer.

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