06 November 2009

Should your Business have a Website?

So should your business have a website, even if your business is small and sells products or services you don't think can be sold online? The answer is: Yes, if you have a business, you should have a website. Period. No question. Without a doubt.

Also, don't be so quick to dismiss your product as one that can't be sold online. Nowadays, there's very little that can't be sold over the internet. More than 20 million shoppers are now online, purchasing everything from books to computers to cars to real estate to insurance, you name it. If you can imagine it, someone will figure out how to sell it online.

The point to be made here is that you should at the very least have a presence on the web so that customers, potential employees, business partners and perhaps even investors can quickly and easily find out more about your business and the products or services you have to offer.

That said, it's not enough that you just have a website. You must have a professional-looking site if you want to be taken seriously. Since many consumers now search for information online prior to making a purchase at a brick-and-mortar store, your site may be the first chance you have at making a good impression on a potential buyer. If your site looks like it was designed by your child, your chance at making a good first impression will be lost.

One of the great things about the internet is that it has leveled the playing field when it comes to competing with blue chip companies. As mentioned, you have one shot at making a good first impression. With a well-designed site, your little operation can project the image and professionalism of a much larger company.
When it comes to benefiting from a website, the size of your business doesn't  matter. if you don't have a website, you're losing business to other companies that do.

Make sure potential customers can find your site. Resist the temptation to build a "do it yourself - template cheapie" website. You will regret it. For one it doesn't look professional, but more importantly you need your site to be found. A bespoke PHP coded site will always outrank a template. Your site has to be search engine friendly to rank. Invest a little more on a good website design, and SEO of the site. The returns will far out weigh the initial cost.

Your site speaks volumes about your business. It either says, "Hey, look, we take our business so seriously that we have created this wonderful site for our customers! Or "hy we are small fry and have  put up this website for the sake of it"
Your website is an important part of your business and by far the most cost effective way of advertising. Make sure you treat it as such.

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