Does your small business have a website? It may be your only hub, or may complement a bricks and mortar outlet?
But a surprisingly large number of small businesses in the States still don’t.
That’s according to a recent survey by Clutch, ‘a leading B2B ratings and reviews firm’, as reported over on Small Business.co.uk.
Though this looks at the state of affairs in the States, it may have resonance here too.
‘A third of small businesses choose to use social media profiles rather than a dedicated website to cultivate a web presence’, says Small Business.co.uk.
According to the Clutch research, this accounts for 31 per cent, while 23 per cent ‘cite a lack of industry relevance as the primary reason for not having a website’.
But ‘experts’ don’t agree, says Small Business.co.uk.
They ‘stress that a website is not only beneficial in every industry but also necessary’.
‘In the digital era, Internet searches are increasingly replacing cold calls and other non-digital lead generation. Without a web presence, it is difficult to compete for the Millennial and Gen-Z market.’
‘In the old days, it was mainly entrepreneurs that were coming to the Internet’, Small Business.co.uk quotes Alan Dale, Chief Executive Officer of Los Angeles Web Design.
‘Now, more traditional businesses – brick and mortars – are saying ‘We should get this figured out. Everybody else is on the Internet. I guess we need to be too.’ A lot of it is an education process and crossing the digital divide.’
One reason small businesses are sceptical might be ‘they tend to view websites as a waste of time, since traditionally, their leads come from word-of-mouth referrals’, says Small Business.co.uk.
‘But experts say websites can help small businesses in several ways and point to five key benefits’.
1. Your potential market shifts from a local to global reach – extra good for niche products?
2. Making sales online takes less time and work
3. ‘An elevated brand and greater utility to manage web aesthetic’ – you can look after your image carefully
4. You save on ‘bricks and mortar’
5. Working online gives you access to easy tracking and ‘business analytics’ tools
‘Those small businesses that do build websites place an emphasis on mobility and search engine optimisation (SEO)’, says Small Business.co.uk. ‘Nearly 80 per cent of small business websites are now mobile friendly, one of Google’s major requirements for websites attempting to rank highly in their search algorithm.’
For more on the Clutch survey, and detail on the US picture, see the full piece over on Small Business.co.uk.
Meanwhile, time to get building that website?