Does your small business really need a website?

Ok, the ultimate answer to this question is going to be fairly obvious (given this is an article written by a website designer and developer) but the question is worth exploring to help gain an understanding of precisely why you would/should have a website...

Imagine you’re at a bookstore, glancing through some of the various titles, cover images and designs, reading through the descriptions on the back covers, and ultimately coming to a decision on which book you want to leave with. We’ve all been there before. 

You’re also probably familiar with the cliched expression about not judging a book by its cover. 

The truth is that we all judge many of the books we pick up based on the cover we see. 

It’s often what brings us in, what persuades us to read that book in particular. When you think about, the cover itself is not necessarily needed in order for the book to be good. The book’s cover is less about the book, the author, or the publisher, and more about whether the shopper wants to pick it up and take it home. The same comparison can be said of websites for business.

Need or want?

When dealing with new clients, I occasionally receive the question, “But do I really need to have a website?” The short (and perhaps surprising) answer to this question is no, just like the book cover is not really required for a book to actually be a great read. There are very many highly effective businesses that don’t utilise websites.  These businesses have numerous employees and maintain a successful and profitable enterprise. When it comes down to it though, the reality is that a website isn’t really for you or your business

Ultimately, your business website is for your clients and your prospective clients. 

Your website is how they find out who you are and what you do. Your website provides them with a way to connect with your business before even talking to anyone. It is many clients’ first impression, the cover to the book that is your business, and you definitely want them to open that book. When we read the back cover of the book, or when we watch the movie trailer before seeing the film, we receive information that helps us make a decision on whether we plan to invest our time. Your website functions in a similar manner. 

Even with a social media presence, most clients still benefit from seeing specific and concise information on the organised platform that is a company website. The ideal website solution is to put your clients first, build it in a way that is for their benefit. It’s not about making it a brag-piece to show off your talents or how awesome your business is. 

An effective website is the book cover to your business.

 A client-based website focuses on presenting simple, yet specific information to your clients, and is presented in a well-structured format with a clear design and user-friendly interface. It’s workable for your clients to manage and work their way through. You’re not overburdening them with copious amounts of information or providing an example of every single accomplishment or success your business has seen. The website for your business often follows the 80/20 principle, whereby 20% of your website often your home page) is delivering the value for 80% of your customers. In a technology driven world, your website is often going to be the first impression your potential client has of your business, and you want to make it a good one. While it’s certainly not the most important part of your business, it’s definitely an important component for your clients. 

Be sure to ask yourself;

What first impression do I really want my clients to have?

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