Do I need a website?
If you have a business, any business, yes. Every business is about selling something: be it jelly beans or HD TVs or scuba diving lessons. Consumers want credibility. If you don’t have a website, no-one really believes you have a business, if you have a “home-made” website, everyone thinks your business is also “home-made” and if you have a beautiful sparkly Ferrari Website, everyone thinks you have a beautiful sparkly Ferrari Business. It’s simple, it’s the same as a business card from 2008 that read firstname.lastname@example.org, it just didn’t feel credible.
First impressions matter, its why, unfortunately, I can’t wear leggings to work. Its why you would rather your accountant / banker / doctor wears a suit and not tracksuit pants and doesn’t smell like onions. And its why you need a website that says – I am a professional and I know what I am doing (and I don’t smell like onions).
Should I make my own website? I am a start-up, I don’t have huge amounts of cash to throw about, let me just do it myself.
This, in my opinion, is the worst reason to DIY. If you are a start-up, spend your time and energy wisely doing what you do well, not learning new skills that you are never going to use again. And trust me, your site will end up looking home-made. As my mother-in-law likes to say: “buy cheap, buy twice.” It is highly likely it will be a waste of your time and resources and you will hate it and then when your business goes live, you will hide it along with your cheap business cards. Rather focus on what you do best.
I can get a templated website from EZWEBS.co.za for R1 999, why don’t I just do that?
Well, see above for point 1. You will, most likely, be embarrassed. Point 2, if EZWEBS.co.za is actually any good, your starting price may well be R1 999, but every time you exhale they will charge you accordingly.
What is the point of a website, my business is all word of mouth?
Well, nothing then. Oh and 1984 wants its fax number back. But really, marketing without a website is extremely tricky and the greatest Facebook page or pamphlet in the world is not going to give you the credibility required to prove you are a successful, reliable business.
I have a website, its fine, I had it built for me in 2007. I don’t need to revise it.
All I can say is:
Ha ha, but hopefully, not only has fashion changed, but your business has also grown. The changes in business and tech (and fashion) in six months alone are phenomenal and you really don’t want to be wearing your flare jeans to your client meeting! If your website is out of date, people will perceive your business to be out of date.
Please don’t make me update my site, what happens if I break the internet?
You don’t need to be a plumber to take a shower, the same goes for having a website, you don’t need to be a developer or designer to update your content. There are lots of easy ways to do it, like linking your Facebook page, or Instagram account, or learning to load blogs and content and if that still scares you, or you want more changes, our children love food, so we are always willing to help.
In brief – what are the reasons for having a website:
Reason #1 – Online brochure
Companies spend millions creating brochures and distributing them. By having a website, you can skip that entirely. Your potential customers can find out about you and any of your products online. If you get most of your business through networking and personal connections, then they will want to check out your website. It’s also cheaper to update and disseminate, but if you want them in print we do that too!
Reason #2 – More customers
In 2016, figures showed that there were 26.8 million internet users in South Africa alone. That is a penetration of 49%. So, by not having a website, you will be missing out on a big piece of the pie.
Reason #3 – Business value
Have you tried getting a business loan recently? It’s not easy, but if you try and the bank manager asks to see your website, you better have a pretty good one. It doesn’t just stop with the bank; the perceived value of your business will be lower in everyone’s eyes – especially your customers.
Reason #4 – Influence
By having a website potentially thousands of people are going to see it. You are able to influence people’s decisions and educate them.
Reason #5 – Time to show off
You know that great feeling you get when people recognize your work? Well, by having a website you can show off what you do and take pride in your work.
Reason #6 – Helps with business goals
That’s right! When it comes to writing the content for your website you are going to revisit things about your business that you haven’t in years. You will most likely reassess your business goals.
Reason #7 – 24 hours per day
Your website runs 24/7 without any supervision or need to lock it up. You can always be there for your customers.
Reason #8 – Communication with customers
By having a blog or even just a feed on your website, you can update customers on your newest offers, products, promotions, events, photos, or any other content.
Reason #9 – Marketing
The internet has opened a whole new world of marketing that didn’t exist before. Your website can attract new business by using a whole host of low cost marketing techniques.
Reason #10 – Customer support
You can greatly reduce the cost of customer support by have a ticketing system, or even just an FAQ on your website. I can think of about 5 companies off the top of my head that streamline your customer service straight from your website.
Reason #11 – Email@mywebsite.com
I know there are other ways to do this, but by having a website you can have your own email email@example.com. It is more professional and easier to remember. I know you love your firstname.lastname@example.org , but it doesn’t really resonate with customers.
Reason #12 – Beat the big guys
Have you ever wanted to get into business, but don’t know how to compete with all the big names out there? By creating an incredibly beautiful website with a solid strategy behind it you can smash the big guys to pieces. You have no chance of building bigger skyscrapers, but your website can break down the perceived wall between you and them.
Reason #13 – Instant credibility
Have you ever had difficulty making that sale? Or convincing someone that you are the real deal. By having a well structured website you can foster instant credibility with anyone. You can provide the ultimate proof that you are the real deal.