Friday, 15 July 2011

Why small businesses need websites

There are a great many reasons why small businesses need websites, perhaps even to a greater extent than large businesses do. The Internet in modern times has become the Goliath of information sourcing and the small business without a website is therefore likely to be consequently cut off from a large number of their potential customers.

In times now gone by, people looking to find a provider of a particular product or service had a limited number of ways in which they could do so. They could have perhaps scoured the local or national press classified ads. They may have watched TV commercials for details or listened out for a radio ad. They may have consulted the phone book, asked a friend, or even taken a walk down their local High Street or through the local mall. These were the established ways of finding required goods and services for many years and although still apply to some extent, they are now verging upon being the exception rather than the norm.

Whenever anyone is looking for a particular product or service today, they are most likely to perform a search for same online. They will input some key words and perhaps the name of their town in to a search engine and scour the results. This means that the small business which does not have a website will not have a chance of securing the custom and will lose out to a competitor who does have a website.

One reason why small businesses think they do not need websites is due to the perceived cost of obtaining a website. Very often, Web professionals will charge a great deal of money for this service, making small business owners balk at the quote provided. In these days of Web 2.0, however, it is possible for any small business owner to create a website for their small business themselves, free of charge. This could be in the form of a blog, a miniature website on the likes of Hub Pages or Squidoo, or even presences on a social networking site such as MySpace. These Web presences - while not conventional sites - can actually be even more prominent in search engine results than the traditional form of website.

Small businesses also need websites to be able to communicate with their existing customers in the most efficient fashion. This could be regarding the latest products or deals they have on offer, an upcoming event, or even details of how the business is changing, expanding or moving premises. Providing information to customers in this way not only makes it much easier and quicker for the customer to access, it saves the small business such as postage from being required to send out letters.

Small businesses need websites to raise the profile of the business and give it a chance of competing with what may very well be household name competitors. Life is difficult enough for small business owners without the added complication of essentially depriving their small business of the most effective marketing tool of all: the Internet.

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