A series of articles working as a basic checklist with no jargon which ensures your business has the tools and knowledge you need to get started, or revitalise a business and become equipped to grow.
In a world where competition is fierce and consumers are familiar with being able to access the information and answers they need straight away, if you don't have an online presence, you won’t show up as a potential ‘answer’ to their issues.
The best way to market your business is to make sure you show up when and where your customers are already looking for your products or services.
97% of UK households have internet access , so if you’re not online you’re missing out on a huge audience.
Not every business needs a website. This is because small scale businesses find more growth through word of mouth rather than with any marketing efforts, so initially, it may not be a cost you should be considering. If the cost of your time creating a website and regularly updating it outweighs the gains you could get, you don’t need a website.
Additionally, you may not need a website if you don’t want to expand your business and have a monopoly (this means you are the only person that does what you do) on the market. An example of these businesses could be a family run restaurant or local tradesman in a small town.
Though not all businesses need a website, all businesses do need an online presence, so people can find out relevant information like your opening hours and maybe even some customer reviews.
To find out if your business needs a website or not, you need an understanding of the differences between having an online presence versus having a website, and what overlaps there are.
If you have a website, you naturally have an online presence as your business and the details will be searchable online. However, you can have an online presence without a website. This can be done by registering on online business directories like Yell.com, which is similar to a traditional yellow pages.
You can also get an online presence by registering your business and its location on Google my business, or by setting up a social media page with your details. With all three of these methods, it is possible to add your opening hours, contact details and collect reviews.
The likelihood is that yes, you do need a website. Even though there are few scenarios in which businesses may not need one, the majority do. This is because though an online presence provides basic information on your business, some potential customers may want more information before purchasing a product or service.
If you’re a small business dealing with less than 50k per year, a Wix or Squarespace website should suit your needs. However, if you’re a larger business or a business with funding which needs to establish a professional presence you will need to have a well made website to create a sense of trust for your customers
Your website represents you, and your business.
If someone sees a poor quality website which looks like it was made with low effort, they will expect your products and services to be poor quality too. We recommend getting a custom website made so that the quality of your representation is as high as your products and services.
Industries in which this is even more important are ones in which a lot of trust is required. This can be the case in businesses which deal with a lot of money at a time such as estate agents and art galleries, or in businesses where personal data is involved, such as with banks, pharmaceuticals and lawyer firms.
This is an example of what we marketers call high-involvement decision making, which means consumers are more likely to seek out more information before purchasing, and you need a website which provides that information and looks trustworthy to make that purchase decision easier for a consumer.