3 Reasons Why Small Businesses Don’t Have a Website
BY: MATEI GAVRIL ON THURSDAY, MAY 11, 2017
You’d think this was a no-brainer, right? After all, most of us spend sizable chunks of our day surfing the web and staring at screens. We have personal blogs, social media profiles, maybe even a sideline online business. We tap the web before we go out to eat, buy clothing, take a vacation, and pretty much do anything. If it’s not on the web, it doesn’t exist. Unless we're talking about a charming, yesteryear Mom and Pop restaurant in the old part of town. But even then, you’ll probably want to read reviews from Trip Advisor or Zagat.
In a country where 77 percent of adults now own a smartphone, the internet is an integral part of our lives. Yet, outstandingly almost half of small American businesses still don’t have a website. If that sounds like data from the 1990s, it may come as a surprise that this research is from 2016, a few short months ago. But how is it possible in this day and age that companies have no (or almost no) online presence?
According to a study by Pew Research Center, 82 percent of adults say they often read reviews about businesses online before they buy, compared to 40 percent who say they always do. If there’s no information available about your business online, where will they get their information? If you have no online presence or visibility aren’t you losing out on clientele?
Websites are “not relevant” to their industry
When asked about their lack of a company webpage, many small business owners replied that a website was simply not relevant to their business or industry. Sorry to burst your bubble, but according to founder and partner at HMG Creative, James Trumbly, that excuse is wearing pretty thin. “A website would never be not relevant to a business. Every company within a specific industry would benefit from having their presence known online.”
It’s true that the design and layout of the website will vary according to the nature of your business. If you work with steel or industrial parts that require face to face sales and a personalized quote, you may not be looking for customers to punch in their credit card details online. Where a lengthy sales cycle is involved, your website may be more of a way of describing what you do, who you sell to and the types of clients you have.
By 2025, millennials will make up more than 75 percent of the workforce. If your small business is relying on existing customers only, or an aging customer base, it won’t be long before it’s in danger of extinction. No website when marketing to this new and powerful demographic means you’re not looking for long term growth. If you want to attract new clients, you’ll need to start building an online presence. And simply having a Facebook page isn’t going to cut it if you want to present a professional image.
Websites are too much work to maintain
When you’re running a small business with limited employees and wearing a lot of hats, running a website can seem like a daunting task. Yet many small business owners do have plans for a website in the works. Some 24 percent of those surveyed without a website thought they would likely get online at some point in the future.
But their reticence comes at the thought of hiring a designer, finding a hosting provider, writing the content, keeping up social profiles and venturing into the murky waters of SEO. It just isn't something that feels like a priority, especially when they have a small-but-substantial customer base and are regularly turning a profit.
Says Stefan Gol of Vape Store, a leading ecommerce, “many small businesses think they don’t have the time to invest in creating a website for their company. They don’t know where to get started or who to rely on for content creation and marketing. Started in 2015 Ecig.com is an online vapor store bringing the vaping industry’s leading innovations to vapers across the U.S now.”
Websites are too costly
Website design and operation costs are far from standard. But, with access to templates that look less and less like templates, the hefty costs of before the .com crisis are definitely a thing of the past. So, if the last time you considered joining the digital revolution was circa turn of the century, your pricing expectations need updating. While you can still spend a fortune on a custom-made, high caliber site, most small businesses don’t need to be looking at that kind of budget.
While many business owners will carry on believing that a website is not relevant to their industry, they’ll likely be presiding over their business’s demise in the future. When they can turn to a full-service provider like iPage, they have no need to worry about the time or cost involved in maintaining a website. And no excuse to launch something sloppy that makes their business look bad. Every small business can benefit from a website and with the low prices involved, the cost of not having a one is way higher in the long run.
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