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Why Do I Need A Website?

There are many reasons why you may want a website, but for a small business, the most important are to improve your customer service and to promote your business. Compared to more traditional advertising mediums, a website has the potential to reach a larger number of customers, for a fraction of the cost, and is not limited by your business’s geographic location or opening hours.

Think of your website as an on-line interactive brochure, that promotes your business and sells your products and services, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can target the increasing number of customers who now use the Internet as their primary means of finding and purchasing products and services.

If you sell products and services, your website can become your online shop-front, showroom, or even take the place of a physical shop. An online shop-front, often called an e-Commerce site, can overcome many of the challenges involved in establishing a physical shop-front; high rental costs, limited space, geographic location, opening hours and the cost of hiring sales staff.

Finally, a website adds credibility to your business and provides a comfortable and stress-free experience to potential customers. Customers who would not normally visit you at your business location, will be able to find out more about your business and what you can offer them in the comfort of their own homes. A website can prevent you from losing potential customers to other forward-thinking businesses who do provide this experience.

What Information Should Be On My Website?

Before a stranger becomes a customer they need to get to know you. This is true whether you introduce yourself and your business face to face or via a website. For this reason you should provide enough information about your business to allow potential customers to feel at ease doing business with you. You should establish exactly;

Who you are and what you do
How you can help them solve their problems
Where you are located and how they can contact you
Your approach to business and how you look after your customers

Customers who are curious about your business may feel uncomfortable asking for this information directly, so your website can give them an entry into your business in a non-threatening yet informative and credible manner.

Secondly, your website should provide enough information about your products and services so that customers feel they can make informed decisions about purchasing from you. If your customers form a good impression of your business through your website, they are more likely to follow up their online visit with an email or phone call.

Finally, Pareto’s Principle says that 80% of your income typically comes from 20% of your customers, so your website should provide incentives that will attract return customers. A well managed and marketed website that is updated regularly with useful information and product offerings gives customers a reason to check back often. Try periodically updating your website to showcase your monthly specials, or give them some useful tips for using your products. You could also try adding a “news & events” page, monthly competitions, a well-researched links page, or advice on common problems experienced by people in their industry. Give your customers a reason to keep coming back and refer you to their friends!

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