Building a business website costs time and money. If your business has managed all right without one so far, it’s easy to make excuses to put off dealing with it. But could that procrastination be hurting you?
If you’re still on the fence about whether or not building a website for your business is worth the time and money, here are a few signs that it’s time to take the plunge and get started.
1. Your business exists.
I kid, but only somewhat. The internet is a huge part of how people make purchasing decisions today, and not just when it comes to items you can purchase online. 81% of shoppers do research online before buying something.
Whether you sell products in a physical store or services, the first place most people go when they’re looking for what you sell is the internet. How many customers have you missed out on because your business was invisible when they went online to look for what you sell?
2. A customer asks where to find you on the web.
People fully expect that any company they do business with will have a web presence. Even if they already know about your company, a website’s the easiest way to look up your address before heading to the store, or double-check your hours so they don’t head out for no reason.
Consumers today don’t want to have to pick up a phone to find that information, or go to a phone book to find your number, for that matter. While you can list some of that information on sites like Yelp or in your Google business listing, customers have more confidence that they can trust what they’re seeing on your own business website.
If you’ve been asked by at least one customer where they can find you on the web, it’s time to start working on a satisfying answer to that question.
3. You keep reading about web-only marketing tactics.
If you spend any time at all reading articles for entrepreneurs and small business owners, you’ve seen lots of talk about the value of social media marketing, content marketing, and SEO. Those are all tactics your competitors are probably already benefitting from, but that you can’t even try until you have a website to promote.
Even more importantly, they tend to be more effective and provide a better ROI than other types of advertising. If you’re currently putting all your ad spend toward billboards and radio ads, you’re not getting the biggest bang for your buck.
4. You realize your grandkids don’t think your business really exists.
Kids these days, right? Their whole life is on the internet. As far as they’re concerned, if it’s not online, it can’t be real. If you overheard them at Thanksgiving this year discussing a complicated conspiracy theory they’ve developed that you’re actually a spy and the business you claim you have is a front, it probably means they’re watching too much TV, but it also definitely means it’s time for you to build a website for your business.
Kids show us where the future’s going. If your family’s youngest generation thinks it’s weird that your business doesn’t have a website, you should concede that they just might have a point.
5. You realize you don’t want to become obsolete.
The longer you hold out, the more invisible you are to potential customers. Even past customers might wonder if you’ve gone out of business if they can’t find a website – people really do take for granted at this point that a website is a necessary part of business. If you don’t have one, it looks unprofessional and means people are less likely to take you seriously.
Stop procrastinating. You already knew by the time you started reading this post that it’s past time to have a website for your business. Commit to getting it done this year so your business can maintain its legitimacy and maybe even increase profits in the years to come.
Kristen Hicks is an Austin-based freelance content writer and lifelong learner with an ongoing curiosity to learn new things. She uses that curiosity, combined with her experience as a freelance business owner, to write about subjects valuable to small business owners on the HostGator blog. You can find her on Twitter at @atxcopywriter.