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Does My Business Need A Website?

Not every business needs a website. Do not commission a website just because you feel that you should and everyone else is getting one.

Businesses that do not need a website

If you operate a business that is running to maximum capacity through referrals and you do not want to expand your business by taking on more employees. Then you probably do not need a website.

If you are certain that none of potential customers will look for your business or services on the internet (bearing in mind a very large percentage of the population now has internet access) then you probably do not need a website.

Businesses that could benefit from a website

There are many different ways that a company can benefit from a website. Some companies will benefit more than others from having a website. For example if your business is trying to reach a wide geographical market (e.g. Hotel) or you distribute your products over large geographical area (e.g. flowers or books) then there will be very large benefits from having an internet presence.

Even local businesses (dry cleaners, key cutters etc) can benefit from having an internet presence. A website would show information such as location, opening times, services provided and any special offers.

More and more businesses source products and services on line so if your customers are businesses there is a good chance that you will be able to benefit from an online presence.

Most business regardless of industry are likely to benefit from an on line presence.

What should my website do?

It is important when deciding on a website you have a clear idea as to the purpose and goals of that website. The website then needs to be design around those goals. Some of the reasons and benefits of having a website include:

Generate sales leads – Through good search engine rankings and a good website that meets the needs of potential customers searching the internet for your product or service you will be able to generate more sales leads.

Target a geographically dispersed customer base – Users form all round the world will be able to access your website.

E-commerce – Your website can be built to handle on line transactions.

Inform – to communicate with potential customers about your products, services and Industry.

Build a community – building a loyal following of regular users to your website. This could be done by providing information that potential customers are looking for. Forums are good tools for this.

Promoting your brand – the design should be consistent with your corporate identity and branding. It is another channel to promote that brand.

Reduce support and customer service costs – handling customer service and support queries online can be significantly cheaper than employing staff to answer telephones (there is often a need for both types of support).

Reduce printing and mailing costs – Information can be displayed on your website or by email which is a lot cheaper than doing mail shots.

Build trust – good website will install trust in potential customers.

Market research – a range of data is available on website usage (which products or pages users are looking at etc). Also questionnaires can be filled in online (works best when users are given incentives).

Advertising revenue – This should not be a primary reason for building your website but if you have a large number of relevant users coming to your website you should be able to gain additional income from selling advertising space on your website (there are several ways in which this can be done).