These days consumers expect businesses that are serious about doing business to be on the web. A website is a convenient, often interactive source of product information, business hours, contact information and more. A website demonstrates credibility and builds trust between you and your prospects.
John C. Dvorak, PC Magazine columnist.
How often do you catch yourself saying, "No, I don't have a website: I've been meaning to..."? If you've ever thought about how your business could benefit from a website but still haven't made the leap online…here are 12 essential reasons why EVERY company absolutely, no-ifs-ands-or-buts has to have a website! - assuming the goal of the business is to prosper and succeed.
1 Constant access
The most important reason is probably that a website of your own will promote your organization 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to the whole world. You could be in bed sleeping or spending quality time with your family no matter what time of day or night, anyone can find detailed information about you, your business, or your organization. Nothing else offers this flexibility. The Internet works constantly for you and is available at your customer's convenience 24 hours a day.
2 Create the ultimate sales brochure
Web sites can display large amounts of up-to-date information (their capacity is almost limitless), available anytime to anyone with Internet access. A Web site can play the role of an abundant, high-quality, interactive, full-color brochure listing all the goods and services you offer. The only limit is your imagination. It can be easily updated, keeping your product listings and prices always accurate. Your website is like your super employee out there marketing you product/service. Its answering questions and often bringing in revenue while you sleep.
3 Two words say everything
A website is the most in-depth information that you can give the public, usually in a word or two. By promoting your website, on the front door (when you are closed), on your business cards, on the telephone to someone looking for your location, in your radio advertisements, on your newspaper ad, everywhere - you can essentially "tell" everything about your operation with those simple words: MyBusiness.com. So shouldn't your web site be an integral part of your total marketing plan?
4 Flexible tool to make changes quickly
Once your business is online, you can use your web site creatively as a flexible marketing tool. With brochures and business cards or physical billboards; it can take weeks to change a single sentence. Don't forget not being able to change the mediums the customer already has in his possession. With a website you can change a single image or sentence all the way up to a total makeover in as little as a couple of hours. With your website, your existing and potential customers can get the latest updates on your new arrivals, specials, prices, etc. on a daily or weekly basis. You can add and expand your site as needed with new information, changes in phone numbers, extended hours, or whatever you need to add, all relatively cheaply and instantaneous. Clients and potential clients will be able to view the new information immediately. If your materials need to be released to the public in a time sensitive manner, your site can provide that facility.
5 Advertise at a fraction of traditional costs
Just imagine, one 'brochure' that the whole world can see instantly. No reprinting and re-distribution of expensive catalogues. Changes or upgrades can be made without the expense of total reproduction. Compare the cost of a small ad in a magazine or newspaper (which is only available for a limited time) or the cost of printing and mailing catalogues versus the cost of having a Web site, which is available 24 hours a day. You'll find that for a relatively small investment, you can reach millions of other people through the Internet and level the playing field with the larger companies. Your customers can have the current information or price list for your goods or services at any time, just by looking at the relevant page on your website. It is a marketing tool you can use again and again for years.
6 Build reputation, credibility and trust with potential clients
Many of your potential customers may not be familiar with your company. Web sites offer an ideal forum to showcase your previous work and accomplishments to potential clients. A well designed website can help convey a professional image of your company and give you the chance to make it clear to potential customers that you offer exceptional products and services. Customer testimonials, employee photographs, portfolio of past work, etc. are excellent tools designed to build trust and confidence with customers.
7 Boost your professional image
8 Time is money
Let people know who you are, where you are, and what you do. How much time do you spend on the phone giving out trivial information? Directions, what products you carry, what products you don't carry, what hours you are open, directions again, the price of some service, how one of your services "works", directions once again, and yes you'll be open until 9pm tomorrow night. With a web site you can educate the public with detailed information about why and how they can benefit from using your products and services, provide names, numbers, addresses, and directions to allow people to get in touch with you. You'd be surprised how much your website will take off your shoulders while simultaneously driving business to you.
9 Broader customer base
Owning a Web site means you can literally have a worldwide audience, this increases your customer base beyond normal geographic limits. Information is a powerful marketing tool and one site reaches many people. Business often comes from people who know you but the Web gives you a chance to pass your card out to thousands. Your Internet presence exposes you to a greater number of potential customers whether you want it to be locally, nationwide, or worldwide. If you are not there, potential customers may not know that you even exist.
10 Customer feedback to improve customer service
Unlike most forms of advertising or promotional material, the web is not a one way street. Your web site can allow quick feedback from customers and give you a chance to test your marketing. You can gather information about your customers at minimal cost, by using online surveys, these can provide valuable information about who your customers are and what they want. Online forms or email addresses can be used to allow customers to request quotations or ask for further information.
11 Increase sales & beat your competition
Stay competitive, if you're in business then you are in a competition. If your rival has the power of the web, shouldn't you also? Whether you sell products or services, an excellent website created by Cygress Limited will increase your sales. Many small businesses who do have websites, have poorly designed sites that often detract from the image of their company. Our professionally designed sites are guaranteed to elevate your business image.
12 And last but not least: Why Not?
Today you see dot com addresses shown nearly everywhere on all kinds of media. Many businesses now have some type of web presence, and those that do not may suffer the stigma of being out of the loop. There are a lot of surfers out there, and some of them are probably looking for you. Show that you're a part of this community, as there is a good chance your competition is already on the Web.