You have a Facebook page, Twitter feed and Instagram profile already, and they’re sending customers your way. So do you actually need a website for your business?
I’d say, definitely yes. But wait, hear me out. It’s not an automatic yes because I’m a web designer who wants to sell you a site; that’s not how I roll.
I’m saying yes because in 11+ years of running a business I haven’t yet come across a business who couldn’t benefit from having a website.
I’ve heard plenty of reasons why a business doesn’t need a website, but to be honest, each time I’ve disagreed with them. Let’s take a look at the most common ones…
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“I don’t need a website, I have a Facebook page”
Facebook is great. As are other social media sites and directory listings. I use them myself to promote both of my businesses.
But if those are your only online presence, you could already be losing out on customers.
If you build your business only using a Facebook page, you’re basically building your house on someone else’s land. What happens when the algorithm changes and your reach goes way down? Or Facebook decides you’ve (inadvertently or otherwise) broken one of their rules and takes down your page?
You’re homeless, that’s what happens.
But if you buy a domain and hosting account, you’re building your (online) home on your own land. You set the rules and no one will turf you out (unless you forget to pay your hosting renewal, of course. But don’t do that!).
Additionally, if your online home is on a social media site, you’re limited by the design of that site. And the functionality and features they offer. Wanna change the layout? Nope. Wanna tweak your SEO settings so you get found in more searches. Hmm, tricky.
But build your own site and you can tweak the SEO to optimise your site how you want it. You can easily add extra features, like a shop, email signup forms and a blog. And you can have your own customised design that perfectly fits with your branding. You build the site that you want and your customers need.
For promoting your business by connecting with people social media is awesome. But that shouldn’t be your only option. Use your social media accounts to lead people to your site, where you’ll turn them into customers.
“I’m already booked out, I don’t need more customers”
Already booked out? That’s fantastic!
You’ve obviously got an awesome business and people know about it – yay 🙂
But how long are you booked out for? 1 month? 3, or 6 months? There are few things as terrifying to a business owner than bookings drying up and customers disappearing. Your website can make sure that those customers keep coming so that you stay fully booked for the foreseeable future.
Plus, the sole purpose of a website is not necessarily to bring you more customers. Sure, a well built website will generate more leads, but there’s more to it than that.
How do you feel about being fully booked? Are you frazzled and overworked? Do you wish you had more work/life balance?
Your website can be turned into your very own PA. If you’re spending way too much time booking in clients and on admin, your website can be used to take some of that pressure off you.
Imagine this: rather than you spending 1-2 hours a day answering calls, dealing with questions and taking bookings, your website does that for you. An FAQ page could deal with all those questions you keep having to answer. And an online booking form would let your customers create their own appointments, without the need to call you.
What would you do with those extra hours each day? You could fit in more customers and increase your profits. Or spend extra time with your family. Or maybe head to the gym for a little you-time.
“I can’t afford it”
This is, I’ll admit, a biggie. It’s also one of the most common reasons I hear.
Creating a website takes money. But it doesn’t have to cost a fortune.
Domain names are fairly cheap; you can pick one up for about £5 – £9 per year. And make sure you shop around for a good hosting package. Many hosts will give you a free domain name along with your first year’s hosting. And many also offer free SSL certificates (this used to be a bonus but these days is a necessity as Google prefers secure sites), so check that out too.
Over the years I’ve worked on a lot of websites, using quite a few different hosting companies. These all have packages that have worked for me and my clients:
I’ve also heard great things about:
- WPEngine (if you fancy managed hosting, these guys are super-popular)
- EcoHosting (carbon neutral web hosting – how cool is that!)
And then there’s design. Some designers are very cheap and some are very expensive. Most will fall somewhere in the middle. As with most things, you get what you pay for.
But don’t hire someone based on cost alone. Check out their portfolio as you need to work with someone who’s style you like. And have a chat with them to discuss your project, to make sure they get what you need and you’ll be comfortable working together.
If you find someone whose work you love but who is a bit out of your budget, ask them about payment plans. Many designers will ask for a 50% deposit upfront and 50% at the end of the project. But many are open to splitting it into more payments to spread the cost. It doesn’t hurt to ask.
If you’d like to chat about getting a new website, get in touch. And yes, I do offer payment plans 😉
And if you really have no budget to hire someone, look into DIY options. If you can invest time rather than cash it’s possible to create a decent site yourself. Check out my free email course, Website in a Week, where I’ll show you how to create your own WordPress site.
“My customers don’t use the internet”
Are you sure about that? As of June 2017, 51% of the world’s population has internet access, and that’s still growing. Here in the UK alone, over 90% of households have internet access.
According to the Office for National Statistics, only 8.4 % of UK adults have never used the internet, so it’s likely that at least some of your customers are online.
If your target market does use the internet and you don’t have a website you could be losing out on a lot of business. Many people expect businesses to have a website these days and will be actively searching for it to check for things like your contact details, services and products on offer, opening hours and location.
But if you don’t have a website with this info, your customers could be headed for your competitors’ sites instead.
Plus, having a website makes your business look more legit and professional. That’s important these days, when spam, hacking and phishing are so prevalent. The more trust you can build with potential customers, the more likely you are to make the sale.
Ready to get a website?
As you can see, having a website can benefit your business in so many ways. If you’re ready to get a new site for your business, get in touch.
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