The best entrepreneurs practice frugality as a general principle when launching a new start-up business. However, they also know when and where to spend the money and are experts at assessing cost analysis and value. When considering that which will bring your business ultimate value over time, you simply can’t afford to forego a company website. Having your own business website isn’t a luxury and should not be viewed as a nice perk. Your website is a crucial component of your business and can be tailored to your budget and specific needs.
Your website adds value to your business, lending credibility and authority to your brand. Simple components such as a strong “About” page communicate who you are, why you add value to the lives of your consumers, your mission and purpose and how your business can solve your ideal customers’ common problem. This establishes that your brand is to be trusted, which is crucial because 85% of consumers say they’ll only consider patronizing a brand that they trust. Consumers want to know that your company’s mission, purpose and values align with theirs and the “About” page is the second highest rated element for consumers when checking out your company. In fact, it’s even more important to them than your videos and graphics, live chat feature and personal case studies. Keep your message brief because no one is feeling especially burdened to review a term paper!
Consumers actually care a great deal regarding with whom they do business. In fact, 63% of consumers prefer to buy goods and services from companies that reflect their personal values. Building an authoritative blog, ripe with fresh, relevant content also helps establish who you are before your consumership. This practice also helps to ensure you stay at the forefront of their minds when they think about the types of products and services you offer. They’ll begin to associate you as being the brand they go to for their specific need as your blog content brings them closer to you as a trusted expert in your field. In addition, a well-fed blog can send your company website’s SEO (Search Engine Optimization) through the roof!
Many consumers question the credibility of a company which has no website. They have no way to learn about who you are, your values, what types of products and services you offer, whether or not you offer shipping or online scheduling and if you are a sustainable business or a fly-by-night operation. Without a website, your business doesn’t stand a chance of standing out from the rest of your competition. There will be nothing authentic about your brand and nothing exciting about doing business with you.
You are likely the sole or, at the very least, primary decision maker for your company. Your business is the ship and you are the captain. If applicable, you determine how your storefront presents to the general public, the layout of products, the way your employees treat your consumers, price points and even where to buy the toilet paper. The buck stops with you. You need to exercise that same control in establishing your online presence and virtual storefront. You might have a Facebook page, but it’s going to take more than that to build a successful online presence. Even Mark Zuckerberg would agree that Facebook has its limitations. Furthermore, you don’t OWN your Facebook page. You have no way to customize it nor adjust its layout. Fortunately, a website offers you the benefits and flexibility of OWNING and CONTROLLING the way in which you showcase your brand and establish your business as the ultimate authority against your competition. You have no control as to how to communicate with the 70% of consumers who want to know if your brand is addressing social and environmental issues. Furthermore, 46% of consumers want to read about your company’s social responsibility efforts when they buy a product. Communication is key and your website is the perfect conduit for achieving this valuable goal!
Like moths to a flame, consumers are attracted to highly accessible brands. In fact, 82% of them expect immediate communication with the brands they patronize. While this might seem like a tall order, perhaps even insurmountable, we are living in the digital age. This expectation is realistic and easily achievable. Your website will give you the freedom and availability to communicate with your customers any time, day or night, from anywhere in the world. Think about it. Your business website is already offering info regarding how to contact you, products, services, prices and more. Why not give the people what they truly value? YOU! Every good sales associate understands that 99% of sales involves selling themselves. Ok, that’s a made up stat, but the point is that a good salesperson can sell air conditioning to an Eskimo if they understand how to properly sell themselves. If your business revolves around direct sales, your website offers you the benefit of functioning on an e-commerce level. Whether in Jacksonville or Timbuktu, anyone, anytime, anywhere, day or night, can purchase from you. Your website can process payments, aid in inventory management and shipping, you can easily incorporate special pricing and coupon codes and set up well-timed promotions and campaigns. Is there anything better than making money while you are sleeping? I think not!
In addition, your website acts as the best lead generator ever! Unfortunately, you cannot rely solely on your employees to “make it rain” (lead generation). Unlike your sales team, your business website works around the clock. Again, whether you are resting at home in Jacksonville or traveling abroad in Thailand, your website is still working 24/7, with no regard to time zones, attracting interested customers and showcasing your products and services while educating them about your brand, who you are and what you stand for. In addition, consumers will easily be able to share your business information with friends and family members whom they wish to refer to your brand because all pertinent info is neatly appointed in one spot on your business website. This alone will greatly impact your bottom line because 78% of consumers value convenience more today than they did before the onset of COVID-19. Furthermore, your website needs to rank well in Google search engine results and your solid business website, rife with top quality content, is the best way to rank high on search engines. Consumers really loathe a game of “Hide-and-Seek”, so don’t make it impossible for them to find you! For example, Bertha asked Camille where she purchased her dress. Camille responded with, “Oh! On this website – [ ].com and they even offer 15% off for new customers!”
Imagine the frustration Bertha would have had to endure had Camille directed her to a Facebook page instead! She probably would have a difficult time finding your Facebook page. If she is lucky enough to find it, your Facebook page may not be able to offer Bertha the capability of making a purchase. Plus, she will likely forget about you, electing to visit a competitor’s website which offers her the luxury of an easy, online purchase transaction. Furthermore, that 15% is the perfect bait for 64-year-old Bertha who is living on a fixed income. Here’s the point: Take your website and your search engine ranking seriously or risk ticking off Bertha, losing her to your competition forever. Consider rewarding Bertha for her loyalty with your new customer VIP program and retain a customer for life!
Your website is a valuable tool for beating your competition. It seems that most things in life are a competition. Who has the most money, who drives the best car, who is following the latest fitness trend, who is wearing the most expensive designer labels… The list is endless and exhausting. Unfortunately, you as a business owner will always be in competition with someone. Your business website is the ideal conduit for connecting with your local consumership. For example, search engines base the priority of search engine results on a user’s location. If Bob Johnson is in Jacksonville searching for a bait and tackle shop, the search engine he’s utilizing will produce a list of bait and tackle shops closest to his location. If your company is a bait and tackle shop, you want to show up in the search engine results, preferable at the top of the list. However, in order to work your way in that direction, you need to establish a Google “My Business” page and make sure the address listed reflects exactly what is shown on your business website. The best part about this process is that it’s free!
The bottom line:
The way companies do business has changed drastically. More and more consumers prefer to shop online than in person, especially with the astounding spike in gas prices. Establishing a solid business website should be viewed as a necessity. You can’t afford not to have one. It’s as crucial as water and air and your company cannot succeed and grow apart from it.
Cost often deters business owners from considering the process of establishing a website, however failure to do so is the equivalent of leaving dollars on the table and walking away. Consider consulting a Jacksonville web design company regarding this valuable investment. Your business website can provide one of the most positive ROI’s in your career and multiple options exist which can make your website more cost effective than ever before! Don’t miss out on the opportunity to succeed, grow and capitalize!