For the small business owner, having a URL on a business card is vital for establishing credibility with new clients and a low cost way to promote the company brand and products. Customers and new clients now expect to find in-depth information on a company website.
When starting a small business, website development must be part of the business plan. In fact, many businesses start as a website first to test the markets before investing in commercial real estate.
A Small Business Website Lends Credibility
Like a good business card, a professional-looking website creates a favourable impression of the company whose name is on it. A well designed website will give users the information they need to feel confidence in the company. For example, a website can offer company history or biographies of the owner and key employees in much more detail than could be conveyed in a conversation.
Small Business Advertising on the Web
There are over 250 million Internet users in North America alone and more than half of them use the Internet to research and makes purchases online. A website is lends itself to a national market that can allow a small business to expand beyond geographic boundaries that may not provide a big enough market in which to succeed.
A Small Business Strategy for Customer Service
A website is always open. Customers can visit the site any time of the day or night, any day of the year. A small business owner can use a website to answer customer questions instantly. By visiting the website, the customer can find out all the products and services offered that they may not have been aware of.
A Cost-Effective Business Idea
Setting up a small business website is easier than ever. For simple sites that give information and contact information only, a website can be maintained in-house for as low as $10 per month. There are many turn-key site and applications where a business owner merely selects a design template and enters the content.
Even websites with simple e-commerce capabilities to allow customers to purchase goods online, can be set up inexpensively and quickly with minimum technical knowledge using any of several applications available.
More complex applications will no doubt require the services of a designer and programmer to set and maintain customized applications.
Having a company website is no longer an option. The small business owner must include a website in any marketing strategy proposed.