You might be asking yourself that question right now. In this article I would like to show you the advantages of having a website for your business.There’s GOLD in those streams! On January 24, 1848, gold was discovered at Sutter’s Mill. As news of the discovery spread, some 300,000 people rushed to California. In a few short years, gold worth billions of dollars today was recovered, which led to great wealth for a few. However, the majority of the “forty-niners” went home with little more than they brought. The peripheral effects of the Gold Rush, on the other hand, were more long-lasting. Companies like Levi Strauss, Armour Meats, Wells Fargo Bank, and many lesser known businesses got their start in the California Gold Rush: not by panning for gold, but by positioning themselves to profit from the new-found economy.
The Internet is the new Gold Rush.
Google, YouTube, Facebook, and MySpace (to name a few) are all household names of companies that “struck gold” on the Internet. In a few short years, Google alone has created a market cap of over 200 billion dollars, and how do they make their money? They help people find things online. Amazing! I am sure that in the future more companies will make fabulous strikes like Google has, but that is not what this article is about. I am here to help you determine whether you can use this 21st-century Gold Rush to your advantage.The Internet is all about convenience. In today’s world everyone is pressed for time. They want and expect instant results. That extends to their choice of providers of services and products. Increasingly, people are using the Internet to find sources for things that they need and want. Even if an individual does hear about your business via word of mouth or print advertising, the knee jerk response is often to see if you are online. Simply having a website listed on your business cards and communications lends some credibility to what you are presenting. Imagine the amazing ability of having someone on the other side of the world use a search engine to locate your website and literally in seconds be reading the information that you have posted.
“But I don’t sell to people on the other side of the world.”
That may be very true, but the other side of the world or the other side of town, the same principle applies. According to recent surveys the internet is on par with Newspapers and Yellow Pages as a source for consumer business sourcing, and the trend is only going one direction. You may have seen headlines recently of newspaper circulation shrinking. It’s a big problem (for them). The Internet is taking the clout of national, no, worldwide advertising away from the privileged few and putting it into the hands of the little guy.
A website can be your own personal 24 – 7 promoter.
What sales person or customer service agent is willing to work 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year? Even holidays are no problem, since your website will be right there doing what it does best. Unlike print advertising which literally can be outdated as it rolls off the press. Your website can be updated anytime you want, even in real time, (if your business moves that fast.)
A website can be your most affordable “employee.”
It will not require a desk, phone, car, healthcare or even a paycheck! You can literally get online with a website for less than $100 with ongoing costs of about $10 per month. Compare a website that can be viewed by hundreds simultaneously to a salesperson that can only make one presentation at a time. With the low cost of entry, getting your own website may be a no-brainer.
Staking your claim online is relatively painless.
Think about all those “forty-niners” who rushed many perilous miles and risked life and limb to stake and hold onto a claim in the Great California Gold Rush. Then think about how easy you have it, with just a few clicks of the mouse you can have your online presence established. Who knows, maybe what you start today will grow into the next Google! At the very least I hope that you can see a bit more clearly the great opportunity that having a website for your small business can provide.Read “Is a Website Really Necessary?”, a first-hand account of how a website has changed the thinking of a small-business owner.