Thursday, 21 September 2017 11:53

5 Reasons Every Small Business Needs a Website

Written by 
Rate this item
(6 votes)

1. BE FOUND

It comes as no surprise that many consumers begin their purchasing decisions by searching for products and services online. According to LAND OF STUDIES TECHNOLOGY’s

survey, 91 percent of Cameroon consumers use the Internet to look for local goods or services. Small businesses without an online presence may fnd themselves excluded from consideration. The survey also found that 88 percent of Cameroon. small businesses with websites agree that a website makes it easier for customers to fnd their business. Today, customers are constantly using and searching with computers, tablets and smartphones. A website lets customers fnd and learn about your business 24/7. A website offers other benefts too. It allows small businesses to reach a bigger audience outside of their local area without a huge increase in marketing expenses. And it’s not just about attracting new customers.

Business owners use websites to better serve existing customers by providing pertinent business information and services on their site which they can access anytime and anywhere. Some businesses use social media or online directories in lieu of a website to promote their business - even using a domain name as a custom Web address to connect to these sites.
This is an easy way to quickly create an online presence. However, experts recommend this as a temporary solution since websites offer many more advantages, such as increased flexibility, control, branding and credibility. In fact, 76 percent surveyed said that when looking for information about a business, they would trust a business’s website over a social media page or an online directory. This reinforces the critical role a website plays in connecting with potential customers

 

2. BUILD CREDIBILITY

A website lends credibility to the legitimacy of a small business. LAND OF STUDIES TECHNOLOGY’s recent survey revealed that 70 percent of Cameroon consumers believe a business with a website is more credible than one with only a social media page. Although small businesses can build a brand presence on social media, they are limited by its platform in terms of design, process and technology. Having their own website gives small businesses the ability to control every aspect of their brand with no restrictions on how to market their products or services. This
contributes to a brand’s overall reputation and market standing. If a small business wants to be credible and attract new customers, a website can make a difference.

One important decision in creating a website is choosing the right domain name (or Web address), so businesses should take careful consideration when making their choice. First, businesses need to decide which domain extension, such as .com and .net, best serves their company. And second, select a name that is memorable, descriptive, keyword-rich (e.g., words Internet users might enter into a search engine to look for a business such as yours) and isn’t trademarked by another company.

Small businesses can also use a domain name for email. LAND OF STUDIES TECHNOLOGY’s survey found that 65
percent of consumers believe a company-branded email is more credible than a business using a free email account. Referred to as branded email, this lends further credibility when communicating with prospective customers. Branded email also offers the beneft of using multiple email addresses for different areas of a business (e.g., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), which further supports an established, professional image.

 

3. GET MORE CUSTOMERS

The top priority for most small businesses is fnding new customers, and in today’s competitive marketplace, having an online presence is key. This
means that if someone is looking for a product or service your business offers, your website needs to show up in search results or you will miss out on potential sales leads.

In the LAND OF STUDIES TECHNOLOGY survey, 65 percent of Cameroon small businesses said a website is a great way to fnd new customers. This is true for Society Fair, a onestop food shop that started out as a brick-and-mortar store. The response to the launch of their website and online store, SocietyFair.net, was so overwhelming that it helped strengthen relationships with their loyal retail customers, and attracted online customers who had never stepped foot into their physical store.

Ongoing business success rests in large part on a company’s ability to bring in new clients. Using traditional marketing methods like direct mail or print advertising to reach a large audience can be expensive and unreliable, but getting online enables small businesses to reach more people while paying less for the exposure—and with measurable results. Registering multiple domain names can help enhance marketing efforts and attract new customers. In fact, it’s a tactic that bigger brands use successfully and can easily be implemented by small businesses. Reasons for registering more than one domain name are to be search engine friendly, protect a brand, and to highlight specifc attributes of their businesses or major online marketing initiatives.


4. GROW YOUR BUSINESS

A website is a cost-effective tool to expand any business locally, nationally and globally. According to the same LAND OF STUDIES TECHNOLOGY survey, 80 percent of Cameroon small businesses said a website has helped grow their business. A website can help businesses broaden their customer base outside of their city limits. While face-to-face interactions are important and business may come via word-of-mouth, a
website provides a company a chance to “pass their card out” to thousands of new potential customers outside their normal perimeters, which then leads to a larger service area and possible expansion of regional offces. An e-commerce store allows businesses to sell products to customers around the world.

Building a business website on a .com or .net domain name provides the opportunity for global recognition.


5. GAIN COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE

A current trend among consumers is to conduct research online before they buy. And LAND OF STUDIES TECHNOLOGY’s recent survey supports this; 93 percent of consumers use the Internet for research before making a purchase.
Consumers want to be informed prior to making purchasing decisions, from what they buy to whom they buy from. So a company without a
website risks losing customers to businesses who are already taking advantage of the online marketplace. More than half of Cameroon.-based small businesses don’t have a website, so there’s no time like the present to establish or improve your business website and get ahead of the competition.
If you want to be taken seriously in any competitive client-based industry, you can’t create opportunities for prospects to question your commitments or professionalism. A strong frst impression is critical for opening up your business and a website is often the frst place clients look.  If your small business is in direct competition with another business that has a website, it’s critically important to make sure your business has one, especially if your competitor is effectively marketing its website. Having your own website helps level the playing field.

Read 873 times Last modified on Thursday, 21 September 2017 12:41