Have you got a small business or startup website? Not only is it important for you to have a business website to get the most out of PR Unlocked training and coaching, but if you’re really serious about your business you need a website full stop.
And it doesn’t matter what sort, size or style of business or startup you are – you need a website.
Whether you’re a freelancer, entrepreneur, established small business or just setting up your business – you need a website. Whether you sell a service or product – you need a website. Whether you sell to consumers or businesses – you need a website. And no matter what sector you work in – retail, construction, property, design, art, education, beauty, technology, fashion, professional services, food and drink, entertainment – you guessed it, you need a website.
Why some small businesses and startups don’t think they need a website
I’ve heard people give all kinds of reasons why they don’t need a website for their business. But I always disagree.
“All my business comes from word of mouth or referrals.”
Word of mouth and referrals are brilliant – but what happens when these start to dry up? And if you’re getting loads of referrals, that suggests you’ve got some happy customers or clients. If you don’t have your own website, where will you add testimonials and case studies of the great work you’ve done to show potential customers and clients?
“I get all my business from Facebook/LinkedIn/Instagram.”
Social media is great to build audiences and engage with your customers. For some businesses, social media is also where they generate a lot of their sales and enquiries. But these are owned by other businesses – businesses that need to make money – and you have no idea what changes they might introduce. Social media providers can update their algorithms, which can impact how many people see and engage with you online. They could also start charging for services that are currently free. There’s even a risk that one day the platform might shut completely – and then what would you do?
“I don’t sell a product.”
It doesn’t matter if you don’t sell a product. Service-based businesses should also have a website. You could argue that it’s even more important for service-based businesses to have a website. A website gives you the opportunity to explain what you do with words, videos, audio and pictures, as well as all your relevant qualifications, experience, testimonials and contact details.
“I’m listed in directories and on third party websites.”
These rely on your customers knowing about these directories and third party websites in the first place. And as with social media platforms, these are owned by other businesses. You have no control over what they do with the directory or website in the future – and they could close it, change it or start charging for it.
“My business is really niche – I wouldn’t benefit from a website.”
The more niche you are, the better! If you have a really defined offering and a specific target audience, this can help you build a really targeted website which is easily found on search engines and can help your ideal customers and clients find you.
Other benefits of setting up a website for your small business or startup
1: SEO Search engine optimisation (SEO) is really important for small businesses and startups. The easier it is for potential customers and clients to find you by searching for keywords and phrases on search engines, the more inbound enquiries you’re likely to get and more sales you can make.
2: Your digital footprint If you meet someone at an event or someone recommends you to a friend or colleague, chances are they’ll search for your company or personal name online. If your own website isn’t one of the first results that comes up, it doesn’t look very professional. You may even put people off from buying from you or doing business with you if they don’t think you’re a ‘real business’.
3: Portfolio Whether you sell products or a service, your website can act like your online portfolio. You can use it to showcase your work, projects, services, case studies and testimonials.
4: Content marketingIn the training and coaching platform PR Unlocked, I talk a lot about content marketing (e.g. media coverage, social media, podcasting, blogging). If you don’t have a website to either direct people to or to host all of this great content that you need to produce to market your business then you’re missing out on a lot of the benefits.
5: You’re in control As I’ve already mentioned above, relying on third party platforms for your business is risky. If you have your own website – you own it and have complete control over the content and how it runs. No worries about changes to algorithms or pricing structures – it’s your website, for your business, run your way.
Have you got any questions about starting or improving your own business website? Join the free Facebook group and ask the community for some advice and insights.
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