5 Reasons Every Business Needs a Website

It's estimated that a quarter to a third of small businesses don’t have a website. If one of them is you, find out what you're missing out on.

According to recent surveys, anywhere from a quarter to a third of small businesses still don’t have a website.

That’s a huge number of businesses missing out – especially as things have only moved more online in recent years.

If one of them is you, here are the top 5 reasons we think it’s time to sort out a proper website for your small business:

Show off your business

A website is like your virtual shop front. It shows off your business at its best and lets people know what to expect. If it looks old and dilapidated, or doesn’t exist at all, what kind of message does that send out?

When done correctly, good web design not only makes you look professional; it communicates what sets you apart from your competition, and helps build a connection with the people you want to become your customers.

A great website will give your ideal prospects a feeling of ‘Yes!’ – a click moment where they feel like they’ve found exactly what they were looking for.

It will skilfully address their important points as well as allaying their background doubts or fears, and ‘pre-sell’ them on why they should choose you – so that by the time you get on the phone, you’re talking to someone who is excited to take the next step (not just someone phoning up to ask how much it costs).

A well designed website is a lot more than a fancy flyer or online business card – it’s like having a virtual salesman working for you 24/7.

Get more customers

Depending on the service you provide and the area you operate in, hundreds to potentially thousands of people are searching every month for the service you provide.

Just think how much money that could be worth to your business.

If you don’t have a professional website waiting to pull people in, it’s like having no stall in a crowded shopping centre that everyone is visiting every day.

Thousands of potential buyers are walking right past without even knowing you exist, and it’s hard to even estimate how much you could be losing out on.

For some food for thought, here are some statistics to chew over:

  • Nearly one-third of consumers use the internet to search for local businesses every day
  • 61% of mobile users report they are more likely to contact a local business if they have a mobile-friendly site
  • 63% of all shopping begins online, even if the purchase itself happens in a physical store
  • Local searches using the terms “Where to buy” and “near me” have increased 200% since 2017

There is no question more people than ever are searching for products and services online. Why wouldn’t you want a slice of this enormous pie?

Get ahead of the competition

Whatever business or industry you are in, you are competing against other businesses who do something similar. Yes – I know people like to say that they ‘have no competitors’, and that ‘everyone is a winner’, and other such pleasantries. But, in reality, winning business tends to be a zero sum game.

For example, let’s say your company does something like installing new bathrooms. A customer doesn’t buy a bathroom again and again from a load of different companies, do they? Or, say you bought a car from garage A. You wouldn’t also then buy the same car at garage B. This means when garage A wins your business, garage B loses it. That is the meaning of zero sum.

With services like getting a new bathroom, having a roof replaced, getting a new boiler installed, etc, it’s a case of once the thing has been done, that particular customer is not going to need the service again (at least not for many years).

Therefore, every time a prospective customer chooses another business over yours, you lose out on anywhere from hundreds to thousands of pounds. If you don’t already see it that way, I would encourage you to start.

If your business is not visible when people are online, searching for the exact service you provide, you are guaranteed to lose out to those who are.

So, if you want to do your competitors a massive favour, while losing out on tonnes of money… stay offline.

Get more referrals

Something we often hear from businesses with no website, usually businesses established for a number of years already, is that they get customers through word of mouth or referrals. And to that I always think: Great, but wouldn’t you like to get more?

If someone asks a friend if you they know a good X and they hear your name, what’s the first thing that person is likely to do? You guessed it – look you up online.

If they discover you have a great website that ticks all the right boxes, then they have a personal recommendation AND a great first impression of your company. The chance of going forward with you at that point is extremely high.

Of course, it is possible that they would have gone with you anyway. But having a great website is always going to be a big advantage.

Just while we’re on this point, an important thing to bear in mind is that not all word of mouth recommendations are passed between people who have a close and trusting relationship, such as family or friends.

Sometimes the person recommending you will be a work colleague or a neighbour they only speak to a few times a year. Therefore the stronger your website and online presence, the more likely those ‘weaker’ word-of-mouth recommendations will be turned in to actual business.

Help your best customers help you, by having a great website to back it up. If you don’t, it’s likely you are losing out on some referrals without even realising it.

Enhance all your marketing efforts

You probably do various things to advertise your services in your local area – printing flyers, dropping off business cards, putting up signs at busy locations, printing your details on company vehicles, taking out local classified or newspaper ads, and more.

These are all good ways of getting attention, but – especially if you are selling something that is an expensive or involved purchase, or requires a certain level of trust – these methods don’t feature nearly enough information to convince people that your business is the best option.

In the past, it might have worked to simply tell people what you do and give them a phone number. Now there is a lot more competition, and people expect to be able to find out more about you before potentially wasting their time engaging with you one on one.

Many people these days are also reluctant to just dial a number if they think they might be interrupting you or be about to receive a sales pitch they aren’t ready for.

A business website is the perfect thing to tie all your marketing efforts together. You can link to it from all your flyers, cards, and other adverts, setting up the perfect ‘next step’ for people to take.

Then, once you’ve got people on your website, you have so much more scope to build value and increase trust, make a great offer, and get people to contact you.

We hope these suggestions get you thinking more about the value of web design, and how a professionally designed website could help take your small business to the next level. Thank you for reading and let us know if you have any comments or suggestions below!