Does your small business need a website? In September 2014 the internet reached another milestone as over 1 billion websites are now recorded as active. From humble beginnings back in August 1991 when the World Wide Web Project kicked off, to just 10 websites in 1992, the number of websites has grown steadily until the massive increase in 2011 when the number grew by over 101% from 346 million to close on 700 million. Now with over 1 billion websites registered and rising it begs the question, “does my small business need a website?”
Yes! If you have a business then you should have a website no matter what product or service you sell. At a bare minimum you should have a presence on the web so that potential customers can find out about your business, what you offer, how to contact you and other important details that should be easily found. Don’t forget, this also applies to your current customers.
Google has published some interesting statistics over the past few years especially in relation to what they call the Zero Moment of Truth or ZMOT and it tracks how the web is an integral part of how modern consumers are searching for products and services. As Google puts it ‘Whether we’re shopping for corn flakes, concert tickets or a honeymoon in Paris, the Internet has changed how we decide what to buy.’ This simply demonstrates how important it is for small businesses to be online.
However, thread carefully, as it’s not as simple as throwing together a few words with some images. You are well advised to have no website at all than a poorly designed one. With so many potential customers searching online your website is an important consideration whether they will engage with you or simply press the back button and go to a competitor’s website. First impressions count so pay attention to the design of your website.
It may feel like a lifetime but in the space of 32 years the website has evolved to become an integral component of every smart modern enterprise. For those of you that have a website, pay particular attention to it; for those of that don’t, make it one of your priorities just like you do with VAT.