It’s 2016, and still nearly half of small business owners do not have a website for their business. Now may be the time to support business growth by expanding customer reach with an online marketing program.
A new report issued by business-to-business research firm Clutch states that more than 50% of small businesses still do not have a website. According to Clutch’s survey of more than 350 small business owners, lack of a website for their small business is due to lack of relevance to the business or that the cost is prohibitive. Social media seems to play a role in small businesses not wanting to pursue a website, with 12% of owners saying they use social media as a placeholder. Additionally, because not every small business owner is technically savvy, lack of technical know how or inability to support maintenance were also cited as reasons to not have a website.
According to the report by Clutch, the biggest problem with the survey results is that small business owners believe that a website lacks relevance to their business. It’s 2016, and marketing leaders unanimously purport that possessing a website is relevant to every business in some capacity, regardless of product, service, or business process. Consumers use the Internet to gain information about companies, whether that’s contact information, general information about the product or service, all the way down to specific business practices that potential customers want to stay away from or support. The variation between businesses comes in actual web design and capabilities of the website, not the necessity to have a website or not.
The owner of The Garment Exchange – a small business that resells designer clothes – Marilyn Caskey, says that her website has improved the productivity of her shop by cutting down time spent on phone calls asking for details about designers. Another small business owner, Amy Gilson, recently hired a company to build a website for her Oklahoma City snack food business Healthy Cravings for $4,500. Once fully implemented, Gilson will have an interactive website for her customers to gain information about her business.
The Clutch report also notes that of the survey respondents who already have a website, nearly a quarter of those websites are not mobile friendly. Mobile friendly web platforms are crucial right now with so many consumers doing online research from their smartphones; the upgrade to a mobile platform will most likely require the help of an experienced web designer.
If you are a small business owner and do not have a website, or have a website that is not mobile-friendly, now is the time to change that. There are a number of online website building platforms, such as Wix.com, Google, SquareSpace.com, and Weebly.com, to help you build a very basic website to, at the very least, get your contact information on the web. More detailed web designs, or upgrading your existing website to mobile capability, will require an investment, and a capital advance can provide your small business with the necessary capital to fund this endeavor. Many small businesses will need to hire a company to design and manage their website, and that service will require cash. Stop missing out on opportunities to engage your customers; push your small business into 2016 by building a website to expand your reach into the market.