Written by: Mark Praschan
We live in a digital world. More than ever, social interactions and business transactions are happening online. If you and your business don’t have a website, you’re missing out
First, what is a website?
Webster’s dictionary defines a website as…. (just kidding!)
The term “website” can actually refer to a lot of different things. This article that you’re reading right now lives on a website. Your favorite social media networks and online tools are websites too. Pretty much anything on the internet can be considered a website.
So why does anyone really need a website?
If you have a website, it can be shown near the top of the search results when someone searches specifically for you or your business. This gives you some control over a user’s first impression of you. If you don’t have a website, you’re leaving this to chance–or even worse yet–to your competitors!Websites also help you scale your efforts and reach more people. Why would you have the same 5-minute phone conversation with 100 people each month when your website could be conveying most of that information for you?
Does every small business need a website?
Yes! Your website is your number one Salesperson, Influencer, and Marketer (and it never takes lunch breaks). Before making any purchase, 55% of people will search online for reviews and recommendations, with 47% looking for a company’s own website (source: KPMG).In 2020, your prospects and customers expect you to have a website. It doesn’t have to be overly fancy or complicated, but it better exist at the very least. Done is better than perfect.
What about Ecommerce?
If your business sells something (see: nearly all businesses), you should probably be selling it online. It’s easier than you think to start selling online and it can even drive extra traffic to your brick-and-mortar store.
You don’t need to start your own Amazon or Walmart.com, you just need to give your customers a way to move forward with a purchase. That may be as simple as a link to book a phone call, or a WooCommerce-powered store selling your most popular products. Just make sure that you’re giving potential customers a way to say “yes” to you and your business online.Today’s tools and services make it easier than ever to get an online store up and running in days or even hours. If you have no idea where to start, reach out to a website designer like myself to find out what the next step is.
I don’t have a business. Should I still have a personal website?
Well, you should have a website if you care about what appears when someone searches online for you. Hint: You should definitely care.Websites are amazing tools that enable you to do pretty much anything online. Even if you don’t have a business and have no interest in selling, blogging, or growing your personal online presence, you may still want to have some control over what people see when they “google” you.
Caption: Search results for “Mark Praschan”, 2020
As of publishing, someone searching for “Mark Praschan” sees my Twitter page first and my personal website second. I love this because it allows me to “control the narrative” when people try to get more information on me.
If you apply for a job or connect with someone new, there’s a good chance they’ll do some research online to see what they can find.
How do I create a website?
The good news is that it has never been easier to get a custom website for your small business.
If you’re looking for full control, you should chat with a web designer like me. The process is much easier and more affordable than you may think.
For most small businesses, a simple website built using WordPress is more than enough as it acts as a sort of digital brochure and business card.
If you’re ok with having a little less customization and are willing to do some of the legwork yourself, you can get your site up quickly and cheaply using Wix.com and Godaddy.
There isn’t one right way to build a website. When deciding whether to hire a web designer or build it yourself using a site builder, consider how much work you’re willing to do yourself and what you can budget for the project.
You can do this!
If you’re a small business owner, you’ve already built something from scratch and lived to tell the tale.
Creating a website doesn’t mean learning how to code. There are countless resources and tools available to you that can help you get to the right solution. You just need to gather information and take the next step.
So yes, you should have a website, especially if you operate a small business. Your potential fans and customers are looking for you online. Can they find you?
“Your website is your number one Salesperson, Influencer, and Marketer (and it never takes lunch breaks).”Mark Praschan
About the author:
Websites / Ecommerce – Caro, MI
I help small businesses succeed on the internet.
I’ve been building websites professionally for 20 years and I specialize in WordPress, Ecommerce, and membership/subscription websites. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Fortune 500 companies, main-street solo-preneurs, and everybody in between.
As an owner of a small small business myself, I know how to work through the challenges and capitalize on the opportunities that small businesses and entrepreneurs encounter. I’d love to talk about your next website project.