Most UK small business owners are not interested in their website
A recent study found that about 2 million British small business owners still don’t have a website, but understand the benefits of being found on the Internet.
The majority of business owners are aware a website can help them sell their products and services, and also help maintain good communications with their customers and suppliers.
They dismiss the need for a website because:
• They don’t understand it, and how to use a website to increase their business growth.
• They think they are lacking in the technical know-how on the development and maintenance of a website.
• They are misinformed on the financial resources required for the creation of a website.
• They’re “doing just fine without it” or they’ve “never needed one before”.
A large number of small business owners admit that they lack the knowledge on the opportunities and the benefits that a website will bring to their business.
Consider how much the Internet has changed in the last 10 to 15 years: smartphones, tablets, Google, Facebook, Twitter, the slow death of newspapers, Amazon, E-commerce, etc. It’s a different world.
76% of small business owners in the UK are over 50. As we all get older and busier, we fall out of touch with technology as we settle into our ways.
These changes are easy to miss if you’re busy running a business and most of your customers are repeat customers or referrals, but this is a deadly deception. These days most people use smartphones to find products and services using the Internet and search engines. If you don’t have a website that appears in search engines you are missing a lot of potential customers for your business.
If you are still thinking that you don’t really need a website for your business, here is a question: How many large and successful companies have a website? Every one of them? That’s because a company website is a basic marketing tool, which is mandatory for any successful business in the 21st century.
Better yet, the Internet is a level playing field for small businesses.
You can make your company look as good as the bigger competitors and not break the bank. Why would you miss that opportunity?
Here’s how small business owners could fall if they don’t have a website.
# 1 Lose potential customers
In the era of the Internet and mobile phones, the majority of people look for businesses on their smartphones and computers before making a decision. A well-made website attracts new visitors and helps business convert these visitors into potential clients for the company.
Think of a website as an interactive brochure or online catalogue. It is much easier and faster to update information about products and services on the website than in print material, so it is an effective way to let your customers know about the arrival of new products, events, special promotions or new services that your business has to offer.
A website is available for both regular and potential customers 24/7, 365 days a year, giving them the opportunity to review the products and services, even when the physical business is closed.
# 2 Low Credibility
Nowadays, more and more consumers use the Internet to search for the products or services they need. If they cannot find your business they will go to an online competitor. Consumers trust businesses with websites that appear in the local and organic search listing of search engines. Businesses without a website aren’t considered as credible as those with a website.
Further, if you don’t have a website, your business will suffer as search engines will direct the customers looking for your product or service to your competitors. With the prominence of the mobile phone, well optimised websites have become far more important as Search Engines nowadays use Geo location of businesses to provide the best results to the buyers looking for a local business.
# 3 Unnecessary expenditure on native advertising
As the owner of a small business, you probably think that you cannot afford to have a professional site because of the cost of website development and maintenance costs. However, you cannot afford not to have one either. Website costs are tax deductible and can show on the company balance sheet as an asset, and provide free marketing and advertising on the website.
Compared to the cost of an advertisement in a local newspaper and taking into account the potential market that can be reached with a website (local, national and international), it is a very profitable and much cheaper way to promote your business.
Further, in the last few years, costs of web development and maintenance has come down drastically with the rise of online web development solutions, and content management solutions like WordPress and Joomla.
Whether you provide products or services, your website offers an alternative location to sell the company’s products and services. As a retailer, a website is a great place to sell your products to a wider market, opening marketing opportunities worldwide.
Whether on the phone, face to face, in a brochure or through emails, answering questions from your customers distracts staff from their daily duties or responsibilities. With an online catalogue you can provide a lot more information about your products and services. Once the site is in service, it will be available to customers indefinitely, saving you time and resources.
# 4 Failure to use data for marketing:
With a website you can measure:
· Number of visits per day, week and month.
· Days with the greater number of visitors.
· Pages that generate the most interest.
· Address where the visitors come from.
· Time that the potential client stayed obtaining information about your company.
· When did they last visit?
. Understand the navigation preference of a customer.
· And much more.
By analysing what happens on your website, you will know what to improve. This data can further be used for marketing purpose to send new offers, and upsell products to existing clients, or target Ads based on Geo location of your website visitors.
# 5 Slow Customer service:
Maybe you sell environmentally friendly products and want to share tips on how to recycle, or maybe you are an accountant and want to give your clients advice on how to simplify their accounting practices. On a website, you can also easily inform customers about your products or services, gain credibility and provide added value by publishing content and bulletins to keep your clients updated on the topics that interest them, generating a differential for your business from the competitors.
Further, it’s very easy to implement online customer support systems like online chat, ticketing system, or a FAQ (Frequently Ask Questions) section on a website. A time saving addition to any small business owners website. These systems enable business owners to provide instant customer service to their customers and answer the queries of the potential customers. A good quality website is not a liability, it is an asset. There are legal, security and customer considerations as well.
The business landscape has changed and the Internet has become the centre for local, national and global trade.
To stay ahead of the competition, a modern business website is a service customers demand. If you invest in building your online presence as much as you invest in your product and services, then customers will automatically see your business as the one to purchase from.
If you don’t care about your business website, we will, contact us here.