Article by Tim W. Knox – Entrepreneur Magazine
A: That’s a good question. In fact, it’s one of the most important and most frequently asked questions of the digital business age. Should your business have a website, even if your business is small and sells products or services you don’t think can be sold online? Of course the answer is an emphatic YES. If you have a business, you should have a website. Period. No question. Without a doubt.
Also, don’t be so quick to dismiss your products or services as ones that cannot be sold online. Nowadays, there’s very little that cannot be sold over the internet. More than 20 million shoppers are now online, purchasing everything from books to computers to cars to real estate to jet airplanes to natural gas to you name it. If you can imagine it, someone will figure out how to sell it online.
Web Presence Is Essential
Let me clarify one point: I’m not saying you should put all your efforts into marketing your business over the internet, though if your product/service lends itself to easy online sales, you should certainly be considering it. The point to be made here is that you should at the very least have a presence on the web so that customers, potential employees, business partners and perhaps even investors can quickly and easily find out more about your business and the products or services you have to offer.
Image Is Everything
That said, it’s not enough that you just have a website. You must have a professional-looking site if you want to be taken seriously. Since many consumers now search for information online prior to making a purchase, your site may be the first chance you have at making a good impression on a potential client. If your site looks like it was designed by the boy next door after his homework, your chance at making a good first impression will be lost.
Web Levels the Playing Field
One of the great things about the internet is that it has leveled the playing field when it comes to competing with the big boys. As mentioned, you have one shot at making a good first impression. With a well-designed site, your little operation can project the image and professionalism of a much larger company. The inverse is also true. I’ve seen many big company websites that were so badly designed and hard to navigate that they completely lacked professionalism and credibility. Good for you, too bad for them.
So, your business is a small operation. But when it comes to benefiting from a website, size does not matter. I don’t care if you’re a one-man show or a 10,000-employee corporate giant; if you don’t have a website, you’re losing business to other companies that do.
When NOT to Have A Website
Here’s the exception to my rule: It’s actually better to have no website at all than to have one that makes your business look bad. Your site speaks volumes about your business. It either says, “Hey, look, we take our business so seriously that we have created this wonderful site for our customers!” or it screams, “Hey, look, I let my 15-year-old nephew design my site. Good luck finding anything!”
Your website is an important part of your business. Make sure you treat it as such.
If you currently have a website that needs a makeover, or you don’t have a website and need one, call Creative Instinct, it’s what we do. Email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 501-244-0573. Visit us online at www.creativeinstinct.biz. (Website pictured at top of article: Riverwalck Saloon & TexMex Roadhouse designed by Creative Instinct. )