As we enter 2017 it may come as some surprise that 46% of small businesses currently trading in the United Kingdom still have no website or presence on the internet. At a time when around 89% of adults in the UK regularly use the internet, it is more important than ever to advertise yourself online to those 45.9 million potential customers, who probably have no idea your business exists.
If your business already has an existing website are you getting the most out of it? Do you know how successful it is? Would you be better having a newly designed site to take greater advantage of the opportunities in the marketplace?
Many small businesses who have yet to build a website have concerns about the cost. This is both the initial build and the ongoing support and maintenance it requires. These businesses also harbour a belief that a website would not provide any tangible benefit to them and that it would have no impact on providing additional customers and prospects. But with more than 80% of consumers regularly researching their options via the internet before making a purchase, a website can have huge benefits for any small business, and the costs are often vastly outweighed by the increase in revenue a website can generate.
But why does your business NEED a website in 2017?
- A website will lend credibility to your business
Most customers will perform their initial research on products and services online before making their choice. Customers will quickly lose trust in a business without a website, and are likely to take their custom to a competitor that has one. Although having a website is a great idea the quality of the website is very important. A basic or outdated website will have a similar effect on your credibility with potential customers as having none at all. A professionally designed, modern website will automatically instill a sense of trust in your visitors. Visitors that trust you and believe in your brand are much more likely to convert into customers. Many small businesses do not have dedicated business premises or a shop-front, for these businesses a website is even more important. Without one your business will lack an easy method to promote products and services to potential customers
- A website could actually save your business money
It may seem counter intuitive but the cost of having a website professionally developed can actually save your business money by improving your business exposure and reducing the cost to close a sale. Consider the cost involved in cultivating leads using traditional advertising in magazines and newspapers. How about leaflets and printed brochures? These need to be distributed physically and you could miss a huge potential audience by being limited geographically. The maintenance costs involved with a website are typically lower than this type of advertising, and will allow your business to reach a larger audience. If you’re worried about the up-front cost of a website HW Technology have a monthly packaged deal that will help spread this cost monthly. We can also include on-going maintenance and update services as part of the package.
- A website is an easy way to keep your customers informed
Whatever it is that your business provides, there will always be a requirement to update customers and prospects on company news, product changes and updated product and service lists. A website is a perfect place to publicise this information, and is a quick and easy way for your customers to be kept up to date on what your business is doing. Traditional printed materials can become outdated very quickly. Your website can be updated at a moments notice always providing the latest information.
- A website gives your business a 24-hour presence
Whether you’re looking after existing customers or trying to attract new ones, a website enables your business to have a 24 hour, always on presence. Customers will be able to review your product or service offerings, catch up on your latest news or promotions, and even place orders and make enquiries outside of your normal working hours. If you structure your website correctly you can include sections such as Frequently Asked Questions enabling your customers to easily find answers to common questions without having to wait for you to come online. If your products and services have documentation provided you can make these available allowing them to find what they need when they want it.
- A website will make it possible to target a wider audience
No matter how large your current business’s audience might be, a website will allow you to expand it without the boundaries you may be restricted by at present. Not only will you increase the number of potential customers able to find you from within the UK, but potential customers from around the world will be able to view and purchase your products or services. In reality, every type of product you can provide can be sold online – there is no reason to think that “my products/services aren’t of interest to people from there”. You may find you sell more overseas than you do in the UK.
- A website is a great way to showcase your previous work
Whatever your business does, people are always interested in examples of what you’ve done in the past. A website is a perfect channel for this. You can easily show visitors to your site examples of your best work when they first arrive. You can update your website quickly and efficiently with new projects added to your online portfolio on completion. A good up to date testimonials section will also help build trust with potential customers. If they can see how you have helped similar businesses they are more likely to engage with you.
A modern, professional website is a necessity for any business looking to grow in 2017. If you’d like to speak to us about our website development services, please get in touch using our contact form here or call 0845 5048989.
To find out more, please call us on 0845 504 8989, or complete our contact form.