Setting up a business venture is an exciting time. Armed with a solid business plan and the drive and determination to succeed, it’s time to see your ideas finally take shape. Whether your business is a local retail outlet, a graphic design consultancy or a mobile hairdresser, there’s a lot to think about and your start-up budget will be stretched every which way to get ready for launch.
Which is why it is perfectly sensible to ask the question: Does your start-up really need a website, or is this one expense that can be postponed until things have settled down?
The short answer is an unequivocal YES. It is absolutely non-negotiable for any ambitious business to have a website. It’s an essential business tool to help drive publicity, build your corporate image and give your business credibility – all the critical things you need for your business to have the best chance of commercial success.
Here are 3 cast iron arguments given by Artemis Marketing to justify the expense of going digital.
It’s your shop window and product brochure
One of the main functions of your website is to provide a powerful one-stop source of information for your business activity. If potential customers wish to find out about your products and services, your company’s background, your approach to doing business, delivery times, returns policy and anything else relevant to your business, they will instinctively turn to your website as a matter of course.
Here, the information you provide will go a long way towards letting your customers know what you’re all about, what you’re offering and whether to do business with you. If you pass the online test, they may give you a call or make a purchase.
It is important that the content for your website is well written, in good English and a friendly, informative tone. Collating the information together is a time consuming task that only you can carry out since no-one knows your business like you do. Don’t worry if writing is not your strength. Once you have a draft version, why not employ a professional content writer to polish it up for you?
It gives your business credibility
Obviously, a website on its own can’t make your business more trustworthy but if you don’t have one, people will wonder why. Today’s business world has fully embraced the digital platform and an online presence is essential for all commercial organisations. Not only will your business struggle to be taken seriously without a website, but your customers may wonder if the way you’re doing business is stuck in the past.
Don’t think of your website as a static document. In addition to information about products and services, why not include a blog section where you can post relevant industry news, special offers, tips and advice?
Be mindful of the fact that there’s a big difference between what the website should deliver right now, and where your see your business heading in, say, 6 months’ time. Review and update your website content regularly to make sure it accurately reflects your activity as the business grows.
It’s a marketing tool to boost brand awareness
To be clear, a website is not your business; it is a powerful advertising medium for your business. Once your website is up and running, you can use digital marketing and social media to promote your products and services online, generating more traffic to your site and helping your business grow.
The visual design and tone of voice you use for your website also contributes to your corporate image and defines your brand. Everything you do online, and the way you do it, helps to paint the overall picture of your company to your customers and gives them the information to decide whether to make a purchase.
6 months down the line, it’s time to take another look at your website, perhaps together with a website consultant, developer or SEO specialist, to review whether the site to see how it is working for your business and where you should now focus your digital marketing efforts.
More on growing your business.