The world we live in today is as dynamic and ever-changing as it has ever been. The sheer number of technological advancements and inventions that we have seen since the turn of the century is truly amazing. One of the main drivers of such growth is worldwide access to the internet. The number of people who have access and use the internet has increased from 738 million in 2000 to over 3.2 billion in 2015. That is a more than a seven-fold increase, which brings the percentage of the world population taking advantage of the internet up to 43%. However, even though the exposure to the internet is worldwide, studies show that just 46% of small businesses still don’t have a website. That is unacceptable! When approached about this issue, most small business owners gave several excuses. I have compiled the top 6 excuses and rebuttals to each. It is time to bust the myths about having a website.
Excuse 1: I don’t need one. If you think you don’t need one, you cannot be more wrong. Having a website is one of the best, most thorough ways of reaching the masses. Studies show that 84% of American adults use the internet, and 96% of Americans aged 18-49 use the internet. That is just about everyone.
Excuse 2: My target industry doesn’t have an online presence. If this is the case, you need a website now more than ever! One of the best ways to be successful is to be the first to blaze the trail. Look at multi-billion dollar companies like Amazon that revolutionized online shopping. If you can be one of the first of your industry to have a web presence, the results may be extremely profitable.
Excuse 3: Building a website is too expensive. I don’t have the money. The internet is a treasure trove of resources. That is what makes it so popular. One of those resources is DIY websites that come at an extremely low cost, maybe even free. It might help to also look at a website as a long-term business investment. This small investment now will more than pay for itself in time.
Excuse 4: I don’t need the publicity. I have enough customers. Really? You can’t be serious? Since when do people want to limit themselves and put a cap on the number of customers they have and the revenue generated from them? If you are a small business, this is the wrong mindset to have. Your focus should be on growth and advancement. 23-time Olympic medalist and American swimming legend Michael Phelps put it this way, “You can’t put a limit on anything. The more you dream, the farther you get.”
Excuse 5: I would rather use social media as my outlet. Well, you are on the right track. Social media is a key part of making sure your business has a presence on the web. However, a social media page does not do the job of marketing and advertising the capacity and capability of your business. A website allows you to go in to detail about the full scope of the products or services you offer. Instead of using social media only, try linking your website and your social media accounts. Turn your social media followers into customers. Give the customers who visit your website a more personal, lively view into the company via social media.
Excuse 6: I don’t have time to maintain a website. Let’s think about some of the other things you spend your time doing throughout the day. Do you have time to grab some coffee? Do you have time to read the newspaper or watch the news? Do you have time to surf the internet in search for that new piece of clothing you must have? In that same amount of time that you do these things, you can also manage a website. Just like the DIY website companies that you can find on the web, there are also many companies that offer website management as a service. If you don’t have the time to do it yourself, you may want to consider reaching out to some of these companies.
By now, the picture should be pretty clear. There is no excuse for your small business not to be on the web. Having a website is potentially one of the most profitable investments that you will ever make for your business. After all the hard work you put in to your company, you owe it to yourself to give you and the business the opportunity to put your best foot forward and “wow” your customers with your website.