There is no single answer when asked for the reasons to have a website. In fact, a simple Google Search will show you that there are as many responses as there are people writing about the reasons to have a website.
The most important reason, in our opinion, and which is not listed on our home page slider is:
Get with the times!
South African businesses are not utilising the power of the internet to enhance their business. Other than our online work, we have 2 small businesses in very small niche markets. Without exposure on a website, neither of these businesses would have had any sales. As it is, our sea glass and driftwood sales have been that good that we often run into problems, where we just don’t have stock to be able to supply every enquiry.
A website is about the most cost effective way to market your business!
How many advertising programs can be launched, and run for a year, for less than, ah, lets use an arbitrary figure here of R500 a month, which would be an annual amount of R3000. What would R500 a month get you? Not much at all, irrespective of the media you elect to use.
For R500 a month you would be pretty restricted for choice, and would probably have to settle for about 1000 A5 sized printed 1 side black and white flyers. You would still have to distribute the flyers, which would cost you more, unless you do it yourself.
Your business can extend its trading hours – be open 24/7!
Many of us gripe that our days are just not long enough. Having a website for your business means that your business is open even when you’re sleeping. Being able to send a client to your website for information gives you extra time to work on other aspects of your business. Your website is your online sales asistant. The sales assistant in your store is there for probably 9 hours a day, of which 2 hours are lost for refreshment and toilet breaks, leaving them only 7 hours a day of productive time.
For that you can expect to pay, in most cases, at least R2000 a month.
Your business can now reach people in places you have never been!
With a website you take the local out of your business, as you will be able to interact with clients from anywhere in the world. Thanks to our online work – which started with a website – we now regularly do business with clients from all over the world. We ship our products to places in South Africa we have never even heard of.
(Note: We have had international enquiries for products, but the shipping rates have been exorbitant – effectively killing the sales every time)
You can promote your products and services more conveniently!
With a website you can quickly initiate a new promotion. In time, your clients will know that your website is the place to go to see what your new promotions are. No more long lead times getting print copy ready, negotiating price and placement in print media.
You’re able to increase your exposure to people who look for Products and Services online!
More and more people are now looking for prducts and services online. It’s not practical to carry a telephone directory around wherever you go, but it is easy, and everone has access to the technology, to do a quick Google search from their cell phone.
Disclaimer: Having a website for your business makes a lot of sense, for many more reasons than those listed. But – and this is something most website owners cannot understand – having a website does not mean instant success, which will be the topic of a new post.
Copyright: Tony Flanigan (2015)