You most likely already have a website for your business, and if you don’t, you probably realize that it’s pretty important.
If you’re running a home business, then it’s something that you really can’t do without because it’s going to end up being your primary interface with customers. Don’t underestimate just how much value a good website can bring to your company.
Every Business Needs a Website
There is sometimes a misconception among small businesses that if they’re not selling any products online, there’s no reason to have a website. The thing is, it doesn’t matter if you sell online or not.
First of all, your business probably should sell your product or service online, as it removes a step between someone finding your company, and making a purchase. The point of having a site, though, is not whether or not you’re actually selling it there; it’s about having a web presence.
Your potential customers need to be able to find you online right away. If they don’t find a website for your business straight off in a Google search, they will either: One, assume you don’t even exist or have shut down; or two, decline to put any more effort into finding your business. People don’t use the Yellow Pages or call information anymore.
This is also why you need to be using a content marketing strategy. Check out this post to learn more about content marketing and how it can bring in a ton of new sales for your business.
The moral of the story is that there is no exception to this. Got a pizza shop? You need a website. Got a construction supply business? You need a website. Got a law office? You need a website. You get the picture.
Your Website is Your Virtual Storefront
Every business, no matter what type, needs a storefront. Conventional, brick-and-mortar stores located in a plaza, or free-standing in their own building, of course always have a storefront.
Even warehouses and factories, if you get close enough, have a big sign and a front office. It’s essential for identifying the company to the public in some way and putting your best face on it as you do it.
So, for the same reason that online service providers and ecommerce companies need websites, your home business has to have a website. It’s your big sign out in front, as it were; it’s your main office that’s open to the public.
Since you don’t have a physical front office, you need the virtual one to serve that purpose. And while we’re on the subject, that virtual storefront also needs to look good.
So many small businesses realize that they need a website and throw one together without giving it much attention, but it ends up not only looking terrible, but it also hardly functions and is difficult to navigate. Remember that your website is going to be the first point of contact for new customers, so it should impress them and be easy to get around, too.
Use the Website for Contact Details
If you’re not actually selling anything on your site, it is still a great place to put your contact information. As we already talked about, people will look for you on the Internet first, and when they get there, they’ll probably expect that they can buy right then and there.
When they see that they can’t, that’s fine, but they should then be able to easily find your primary contact details. When a web visitor quickly finds a phone number or email address on your site so they can get in touch with you, you won’t lose them as a customer.
When they find no information online to reach you, that’s when you lose customers because they may not take the time to look any further.
Link Web Posts with Your Website
Do you actively post on social media sites for the business? Good. That’s definitely a step in the right direction; however, that also necessitates having a website to which you can link all of those posts. You should absolutely be taking advantage of social media to market and advertise for your business, if you aren’t already, because that’s where the attention is right now.
So when you make a post on Twitter, for example, and someone clicks on it, where will that take them? If you’re a business, then a web post on social media can’t just be a stand-alone post, as it would be with a personal post.
A post for the business has to be clickable, and it has to send people to the place where they can buy from you; otherwise, you’ll be wasting a lot of energy with marketing that is missing the mark.
This alone would honestly be reason enough to have a website. Just always make sure that there is a link on all of your social media posts which bring the visitor to your website, where they can then convert to a paying customer.
It’s a Great Place for General Company Information
Far superior to having a brochure about your company that you can hand out from your office, putting everything you want prospective clients to know about your company into a website is an excellent opportunity to give pertinent information to people who are interested in you.
You’ve got to have a place online where people can learn about your business. Although there are other platforms available online who specifically promote local businesses, a website devoted to your own company is the obvious venue for you to place your information. This is perfect for people who may not be ready just yet to make a purchase but want to know more about your business first, before they make a decision.
You can describe on your site exactly what you do, what you have to offer, what your specialties are, and what separates you from your competitors. In addition to all of that, don’t forget to include your contact information, too.
So, there are just a couple of things to remember here. Since it is probably not news to you that it’s important for many types of businesses to have a website, you can also be assured that it’s important for all types of businesses, in fact, to have a good website. This is especially true for home-based businesses, as they don’t really have a conventional storefront.
Most importantly, the most common way that people find new businesses is by searching the Internet. Make sure that your virtual storefront is well-designed and set up for those customers to find you.
Stay tuned for the rest of the upcoming articles from this mini-series: ‘Starting Your Home-Based Business’!
Stephanie is the Marketing Director at Talkroute and has been featured in Forbes, Inc, and Entrepreneur as a leading authority on business and telecommunications.
Stephanie is also the chief editor and contributing author for the Talkroute blog helping more than 100k entrepreneurs to start, run, and grow their businesses.