It has been known for quite some time that a website is an integral part of any small business’s identity. This has been especially true for any retailer that discovered the value and convenience of eCommerce. However there are still surprisingly many holdouts the throw up the most simple and basic website just to check off the box for their business. I’ve found this be especially true for many of those in the trades and professional services. Well now, more than ever, that just will not work if you plan to persevere through this pandemic.
We’ve all heard the argument that “my industry works off referrals so a website isn’t that important.” That might have been true but as we’ve seen lately, a lot can change in a very short period of time. A website now is the equivalent of an office, storefront, customer service center, brochure, advertisement, and your best salesperson all in one! This platform is available and accessible 24/7 to all of your prospects and customers. Without a functional and aesthetically pleasing many potential clients will just hit the back button and move on to your competitor.
“That’s great but those professional-looking websites are way over my budget.” Well not entirely true. For large organizations that likely is the case as they have a tremendous amount of traffic, transactions, and functionality built into their sites which generally equals huge budgets. But for a small business the up-front investment is generally quite reasonable and monthly upkeep is minimal. In fact you could argue that it is costing your business revenue but not taking action to improve your online presence.
1. How a Website Drives Revenue to Your Business
Traditionally it has been thought that unless you were “selling” something online a website wouldn’t really translate into real-world revenue. Well that could not be further from the truth! Think about how most customers find businesses today – they begin their search on Google for “X business near me” at which point a list of different businesses appear. These lists provide locations, phone numbers, and most importantly website links. Now I don’t know about you but if I click on a merchant that has an outdated and unimpressive website, that is going to reflect negatively on my perception of what that business can do. Often times I will move on to the next listing to find something a little more professional and polished.
This is not to say the website will automatically print money for your business, but it can hinder your efforts to attract new customers and create a negative perception of your brand.
2. Practically the Only Consistent Channel for Your Customers
What exactly does this mean? In today’s pandemic society with closures and business restrictions, your business is only one executive order away from being shut down. Granted some businesses can do very little online but others can still operate effectively or figure out alternative methods to still produce value while doing business remotely. Your website is essentially the only channel in today’s environment that is completely under your control. By putting some effort into your online presence you can make sure your brand is still in the forefront of conversation when customers are seeking your business type.
3. Key to Marketing and Brand Promotion
Unless you plan on utilizing direct mail or telemarketing, virtually all other forms of advertisement lead directly to your website. So again, do you want the first impression of your company to be a negative one? Why spend the time, money, and effort to market your business if your website doesn’t properly reflect your business? An update site is key to marketing your business and generating a positive image for your brand.
4. Possible Sales Channel
Many may automatically believe that without products you really don’t directly monetize a website. This is untrue as there are capabilities that allow a business to monetize directly from the site itself. Some trades such as contractors often don’t take credit card payments because of cost and inconvenience But what about setting up a simple merchant account tied to your website to take payments on a virtual terminal? This would be a minimal investment yet add a tremendous amount of potential growth for your business because of the convenience of credit and debit card payments. If you’re worried about it cutting into your margins there are options to add surcharges to counteract the additional bank fees. Many customers won’t mind this as again it is convenient and quick for them.
Other options to cash in on a website include creation of electronic assets like “how-to” manuals or virtual consultations. Again the possibilities here are endless but need a proper platform in order to flourish.
5. It Really is Your Best Employee
No offense to your actual best employee but they really cannot stand a chance compared to a website. It is after all a true workhorse – available 24/7, 365 and can serve many thousands all at one time. It doesn’t demand a high commission for sales and doesn’t mind answering some of the same questions over and over again. This employee however does require some minimal care and maintenance in order to remain in top form. If you think of your website as one of your core team members you’ll see how this investment is more than worthwhile.
I’m sure everything you’ve read here is no surprise but there might still be uncertainty and apprehension because there isn’t enough time or expertise for the typical business owner to get this done. It’s not expensive and it really doesn’t require a tremendous amount of input if you find the right partner. Professional Hispano now offers website consultations and deployment services to help bring your business up to the level it deserves to be. Find out more by clicking on the link above!
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