You probably know some businesses who are doing well without a website. I do, too. But I often wonder how much better they could be doing if they had a website.

Many small businesses, especially new businesses, run a lean operation. They focus on necessities, only spending money when they need to. It’s easy to see why some business owners might think a website is a luxury item.

Some small business owners might even believe a Facebook page is enough for an online presence. There is no doubt that Facebook can be an important tool in your advertising mix, but, it shouldn’t be the only one.

Here are five reasons every business needs a website:

  1. A website will save you time.

If a customer has ever called for directions, inquired about your services, asked what time you open or close, then a website will save you time. Providing information to your customers takes time, whether it’s on the phone, face-to-face, or in emails. Less time is spent explaining product or service details to customers.

And what is time? Time is money!

  1. Your customers expect it.

Customers are searching the internet for the products or services they want. When a customer asks you for your website address, they expect you to have one. If you don’t have a website, today’s digital-savvy (and impatient) customers will probably look elsewhere.

When it comes down to it your website isn’t for you, it’s for your customers.

  1. A website helps you control your online destiny.

If you think having a Facebook page for your business is just as good as having a website, you’re wrong. Building your online presence through social media is very important, but it is not enough.

When you rely on a third-party platform, you’re at their mercy. Social media sites, are very limited in the amount of content you can add. While you can add a nice description and post daily updates, you cannot create pages of content about your company like you can on a website.

  1. Your competition has a website.

If you are in direct competition with other businesses that have a website, they have a clear advantage.  Doing what your competitors do is not always necessary or even wise. However, if you don’t have a website and your competitors do, you give your competitors the advantage of drawing new business.

  1. Marketing savings.

You can save a lot of money cutting your costs on print ads, brochures, coupons, flyers, specials, newsletters or mailings. It’s a lot easier and efficient to update real time information on your website; whereas regular renewals of printed materials turn out to be very expensive and time consuming.

Having a website is crucial for every business, no matter what size it is. Whether you are a one man or woman show or operate with 100 employees, if you don’t have a website, you’re losing business.

Here’s the exception: It’s actually better to have no website at all than to have one that makes your business look bad. Your website speaks volumes about your business. It either says, “We take our business seriously and created this wonderful website for our customers!” or it says, “My 12-year-old nephew designed my website.”

If you’re serious about taking your small business up to the next level, or making it easier for potential customers to find you, then you need a website. Unfortunately, you are invisible to many people without one, and no doubt you’ll be losing business to competitors who have already established a presence online.

Even if my services aren’t right for you, and you have questions or need help, contact me and I’ll point you in the right direction.  I love helping other small businesses.

Whatever you do …  get a website, just don’t let your 12-year-old nephew design it.