Why should I have a website?

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1. Your competitors are already on the Web.
They’re attracting the people who could be YOUR customers! What frustration, because you know that your products and services are superior to those of your competitors! Running a business? Then a website and email is as important as having a telephone, cellphone and fax.

2. Your customers and potential customers are already searching the Web.
Even as you read this there will be someone on the Web looking for a business like yours. More and more people are using the Internet to initially gather information about products and services and eventually purchase those products and services. The attraction to this medium is that the customer is relaxed because he can read and research the information at his own pace and without any “hovering salesmen”. It is quite feasible that the surfer will visit a number of sites before he decides on his final choice of product. You need to be certain that you are one of the sites that he has visited if you are to stand a chance of gaining his business. If you have no web site, you have no chance.

3. A website makes it easy for people to refer new customers to you.
For many businesses, referrals are a crucial source of new customers. Having a website makes it easy to encourage referrals, because customers can simply send friends and business contacts to your site. Website addresses are easier to remember than phone numbers. Plus, giving people multiple ways of contacting you makes it more likely that they will do so.

4. A website will promote your business 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Even when you’re sleeping your web site can be working for you. Your website can be viewed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 52 weeks a year. You will be amazed at how many people research for products and services at the weekend and in the evening. They are busy people and very often this is the best time for them to concentrate on researching for a new product or service. Millions of people are now online and some of them are looking for your products and services. With a website, you open yourself up to a world of opportunity in reaching people who might not otherwise find you. With the click of a mouse, anyone can get to your company’s website 24/7.

5. A website is affordable and a great advertising medium.
Whatever products or services you offer; a website is a great way to advertise it. Websites are like brochures that are free to reproduce, interactive, and quickly distributed to people who are already looking for them. No advertising medium even comes close to the ease-of-use, effectiveness and affordability of a website. On a website you can have pages and pages of information about your company and your products or services – in much more detail than you’d ever be able to pay for in more traditional media. You can put an enormous amount of information onto your website. Adding your website address to all your advertisements, business cards, and company literature is a great way to draw potential customers to your company. Providing a website gives people a way to act on your message whenever they hear about you or see an ad for your company. Going to a website is easier than writing, visiting a store, or even making a phone call. Customers get the information at their convenience and don’t have to wait for a salesperson to help them. Also, it’s often more comfortable to visit a website, because there is no obligation. Visitors don’t feel pressured.

6. People search Online.
Every moment, people are online searching for the products and service your business offer. What do you want them to find? Nothing, or worse yet, your competition. These are people looking for the products and services you offer. To many, your business might as well not exist if you can’t be found with a search engine online. Not having a website is like not bothering to get listed in the phone book. Can you run your business without a phone? We live in an “Information Age” where being online is vital.

7. A website can reach potential customers anywhere – at no extra cost to you.
There is absolutely no doubt that the Internet is the answer to the small businessman’s prayer. You can take your products or service to totally new markets. You may have been restricted to selling your products or service to customers who passed by your shop or office. Or perhaps you may have been able to expand beyond that limited marketplace by doing targeted (and expensive) advertising in printed media. However, for the first time you’ll be able to take your product and service anywhere.

8. A website can save you time.
Giving out information takes time, whether it’s on the phone, or in brochures, or even by email. Websites are designed to save you time. Potential customers can see your whole product catalog and the services you offer without ever needing to talk to you or visit you. This is the power of the web: things on it are written only once, but can be downloaded endlessly – a good website runs itself, and keeps being useful to people for much longer than you”d expect.

9. A website can save you money.
Lower printing costs because you need much less printed letters and brochures.
Lower postage costs for the same reason -email becomes a major (and much cheaper) distribution method.
Lower advertising costs because your web site lasts longer and produces greater results than adverts.
Lower wage costs because your web site can be like an extra person with the automated processes it can carry out.

10. A website increases your credibility.
Your customers cannot tell whether you employ 100 staff or none. As a small businessman you have the opportunity to present yourself to the marketplace just as effectively and professionally as a multi-million rand company. Just because you”re smaller doesn”t mean that you cannot now compete with the larger companies! Your website has a powerful impact on a potential customer”s confidence in you. A professional design, well-written copy, helpful product information, and good contact info can tremendously increase trust in your company. It lets people know you”re knowledgeable and up-to-date. If you have a good-quality website with helpful information, visitors will have no choice but to be impressed.

11. A website can help you give improved customer service.
Providing information visitors can access. For example there can be a list of ”Frequently Asked Questions” about your service or product. This is an area that is often overlooked. The simplest example of this is putting up a FAQ page (frequently asked questions) on your web site. Not only is this very helpful to customers because it provides instant answers to their “frequently asked” questions, but it also saves you and your employees considerable time in not having to answer a string of e-mails/phone calls/faxes. You can make information readily available to your customers.

12. A website is a powerful sales tool.
You have a perpetual, easily-accessed storefront–one that costs a fraction of a brick and mortar store and can reach many more people. Even if you can”t sell your services directly over the internet, a website is still a powerful asset. It”s a primer that you use to convince visitors of why they need your services. You get them salivating to buy and invite them to contact you through your site.

Well, there you have it – 12 Reasons for Having a Website. Each day you wait, you”re waisting time to establish yourselve online as THE resource in your field.