If you run a small business, chances are you’ve asked yourself more than once: do I really need a small business website?
The short answer is yes.
No matter how small or locally-focused your business may be, a website can and will provide you with added value. A well-designed and fully optimized website will directly impact your bottom line by driving customers to your business both digitally and physically. Even a simple website containing just basic information along with your location and hours can be invaluable for drumming up business.
Knowing what to expect from the website design process can be difficult and sometimes even daunting. That’s why we’ve taken it upon ourselves to answer a few of the most common questions that small businesses have when it comes to the site-building process.
Q: I don’t have a ton of money to spend. Isn’t building a website expensive?
A: Not necessarily! As with most things, the truth is that you get what you pay for, and a huge website with a large number of pages and extensive interactive elements will cost a pretty penny. But most small business don’t need a site like that–in fact, all you need might be a simple five or even one page website. Where other sites might cost you tens of thousands of dollars, CleverLight can create a one to five page small business website for just $849. Even our higher end small business websites remain under $2,000–meaning you probably won’t find better bang for your buck anywhere.
Q: Why do I need a small business website in the first place?
A: There’s no one answer to this question. There are a lot of reasons, the simplest of which is to make sure that anyone looking either for your specific company or for the services you provide knows where to find you, when you are open, and a little bit about you. A clean and informative online presence will help build your business’s credibility. This is important, because it not only helps potential customers take your business more seriously, but can actively increase your search visibility when consumers look for your services. This will ensure that even people who have never heard of your business might decide to check it out.
With a website, new possibilities are open to you, including online advertising, local search engine optimization, consumer interaction in the form of blogs and reviews, and much more. Even if you don’t intend to actively take advantage of any of these features, some, such as search optimization, can take effect passively and give your business a boost without any action needed on your part.
Perhaps most important of all is the fact that having a website can give you the ability to sell products and services online if you choose. Although an eCommerce package will be more expensive than a standard website package, if you believe you will make enough money from online sales to offset that cost, it can be a very important tool.
Q: I don’t sell any merchandise online. Do I still need a website?
A: As outlined in the previous answer, although websites are a useful eCommerce tool, there are countless other reasons to have one. Even if your only goal is to encourage additional foot traffic to your business, a website can prove invaluable when it comes to accomplishing that mission.
It is also important to note that consumers have come to expect that even small, local businesses should have websites. Fair or not, we have reached the point where not having a website is an active detriment to your company’s ability to attract new business. Think of it this way–if you were looking for a local auto repair shop, would you be more likely to visit the one without a website, or the one with a website listing its address and hours, featuring testimonials from customers, and with an active blog demonstrating their knowledge of vehicle repair? What you get out of your small business website will depend partly on what you put into it, but even a simple website will give your business an air of credibility that consumers will respond to.
Q: Aren’t bigger companies going to eat up all the attention, though? What’s even the point?
A: Not at all! While it’s true that a small arts and crafts store probably won’t be taking over the top national search result spot for “arts and crafts,” Google, Bing, and other search engines localize their search results. This means that most of the time, when you search Google for a product or service, at least a handful of the results on the first page will be physically close to your location. These listings are completely free and extremely easy to take advantage of, especially if you have an easily accessible website for Google to crawl and pull information from.
This is particularly important for stores relying on people to walk into their physical location. While there is a certain romantic attraction to relying on word-of-mouth to spread the word about your business, the fact remains that once people hear of you, they will still want to research you. Having your own website means that you can control the narrative about your company. Why risk having a neutral or even negative review dominate your business’s search results? By building even a simple small business website, you can seize control of your reputation and present yourself the way you want consumers to see you.
The fact is, studies have shown that between 70 and 80 percent of people research products and services online before purchasing them. This doesn’t just go for big box stores–even small businesses should take note. You may pride yourself on your personal touch, but you still need to get customers to come in the door before you can wow them with your fantastic service. By not having a website, you may be missing out on up to 8 out of 10 potential customers.
Sounds great. How do I get started?
Fortunately, it isn’t hard. CleverLight Express was founded with the sole purpose of making it easy for small business owners to build a customized small business website quickly and affordably, without sacrificing quality. With so many “bargain” website designers out there, it’s hard to know which ones are worth working with. CleverLight Express takes the uncertainty out of the process by letting you know exactly what you get for your money, giving you plenty of examples of our work, and not locking you into an annoying contract.
Nobody knows your business as well as you. You wouldn’t let a random outside make decisions about the future of your company, and we don’t think you should let anyone else tell you how to design your website, either. We let you tell us what you need, and we give you a few designs to choose from. It’s as simple as that. Click here to get started, or give CleverLight Express a call today at (603) 685-0111 and have a conversation! Not sure if this is for you? Call us anyway! We are always happy to have a free, no-obligation conversation about what CleverLight Express can do for you.