You might be wondering, if you have a small business, whether having a professionally designed website makes sense.
The days of giving people your business card only or directing them solely to your LinkedIn account are over. If you are a professional providing products and/or services, you definitely need a website!
However, I will never tell you that having a website, alone, will be all that you need to be successful with your business. Websites are not the only way to market or communicate to potential clients, but they are a VERY IMPORTANT piece in the overall marketing and communications puzzle that benefits small businesses.
Here’s what a professionally designed website WILL do for you:
1. Establish a fabulous first impression of you and your products/services.
Most people are very good at their niche, and that doesn’t really include design and illustration. While you can easily create your own site, having a professionally created site will easily make a better impression on your potential customers, convince them you are worthy of consideration, and earn you more money in the first years of your business. Plus, a second pair of eyes formatting your content makes all the difference!
2. Make you more easy to find through online search. People cannot hire you if they don’t know about you. A regularly updated website will catch the attention of the search engines and make it easier for those who want to hire you, to find you.
3. Expand your reach globally. If you are only networking in person, your ability to reach potential customers is limited. Depending on what you offer, expanding your search across your region, state or country could be what makes your business flourish. For the companies that can truly offer and sell products or services globally, there is really no other way to successfully do so. A website is a must!
4. Allow potential customers to learn a little bit more about you and your products/services before they contact you or buy from you. We already know that people buy from who they feel comfortable with, and your site helps customers safely determine if they want to do business with you. When it’s your site, you can prioritize the information that is shared based on the customer base you want to attract.
5. Provide an easy way for customers to self-select. The truth is, we cannot be everything to everyone, and we wouldn’t want to, either. Some customers will immediately like you and want to know more. Others may decide they want to keep looking. Your own website saves you a lot of time dealing with people who are not your ideal clients so you can devote your time to those who are. The clients who want to work with you will naturally self-select after seeing your professionally designed site.
6. Provides a portal for sharing the content you want to deliver, the way you want to deliver it. This is a little bit like what was mentioned in number 3 above, with a twist. Most businesses choose to market using either public speaking, writing, and/or networking. Even if you enjoy networking, your own website allows you to share your exclusive articles, audios, and/or videos with potential clients. A website professional can help you deliver that exclusive content in a secure and professional way.
7. If your site includes a blog (highly recommended), it opens the door for communicating with potential JV partners and clients. It’s not just potential clients who will find you, but also potential joint venture partners who offer complimentary services. When you can help a company offer more than they can do themselves, it’s a win-win proposition that will increase your profitability.
How else might a professionally designed site make a difference for your small business? Take a moment to share your comments below…