Does your small business have a website?
If you answered “no”, you are most definitely not alone. 46% of small businesses say they do not have a website, according to a survey from earlier this year.
But wait. Doesn’t that seem high? Surely more small businesses have a website than that, right?
Wrong. Several other surveys of small businesses have found similar stats. For instance, Redshift Research surveyed companies of 5 or fewer employees around the world. 59% of those businesses didn’t have a website. And two other surveys also discovered that about half of small businesses don’t have a website.
So it’s no lone stat. For real: Half of small businesses don’t have a website.
This seems like a pretty big deal. Or is it? Apparently, many small business owners don’t think it is.
You see, all those surveys didn’t stop at asking whether a business had a website or not. If a business didn’t have a website, the researchers asked why. Here are the answers they got.
- We just don’t need one.
- It wouldn’t help anyway.
- It would be too hard to set up a website.
- It would be too expensive or time-consuming to have a website.
I understand how it could seem like those things are true, but to a large extent… they’re not. To help you see the other side of this, here’s the counterpoint to each one of those reasons for not having a website.
1) You need a website because your customers expect you to have one.
Think your customers don’t use the internet much? Okay, maybe yours don’t. But be careful with that assumption. According to Pew Research, 87% of Americans are online. And more get online every year:
2) Getting a website would help your business.
That’s what most of your fellow business owners believe. Especially the ones that recently got a website. According to that GoDaddy and Redshift Research survey,
“83% of small business owners who already own a website feel they have a competitive advantage over those without.”
“Of those respondents who already have a website, 59% say their business grew once they had built their website.”
3) Getting a website is not expensive.
Think you can’t afford a website? Maybe because you’re expecting it to cost thousands of dollars?
It’s time to let that idea go. You can have a simple site for $200 or less per year. Here’s how it breaks out:
- $15 per year for the domain name (aka a “URL”, like yourbusiness.com)
- $15 or so a month for a basic small business hosting package ($180 a year)
That’s $195 a year. No – it won’t get you a state of the art website. But you don’t need to build the next Amazon.com. You just need a basic site with a couple of pages of information.
If you get even one extra order as a result of your website, that’ll probably cover your website costs for a month to up to a whole year.
4) Getting a website is not hard.
Trust me, you aren’t the first small business owner to worry about hand-coding your website. That’s why dozens of services have sprung up to make the process easier.
Want me to name just one? Wix. It’s built to be easy to use for non-techies, and their monthly fees include hosting.
- With a website, you’ll have a hub for all your other online accounts, marketing services, and all your advertising.
Your website supports every other type of advertising or promotion you do. Here’s an example of a piece of advertising that falls utterly flat because there’s no website to back it up. This sign is meant to help sell a house, mind you – a $270,000 purchase.
But if you go to the website address promoted on the sign (I deliberately blurred out some of the information), you see this:
If that was my house on the market, I’d want that website address to go to a website. And for those of you just thinking “Well, then take the website address off the sign, unless there’s a website”: Would you want there to be no website on that sign, if you were trying to sell this house?
It’s simple, really: People get information from websites. A lot of information. To not have a website means you’re missing out on telling people about your business. That’s just not smart.
If all this has changed your mind about having a website, remember, you don’t need to build something big and fancy. Even a one-page website is a start. Here’s some of the information you might want to include on your site, based on what your fellow small business owners are doing.