I read a crazy stat today: only 53% of small businesses have websites.
Despite the availability of technologies like WordPress, SquareSpace and Weebly, the number of small business websites has not risen much since 2009 when the count was 45%.
This came from the Census Bureau, so say what you want about the government, this is not a random sample. Here are a couple more things I found interesting about the research:
Of the businesses that do not have a site:
- 41% believe they don’t even need one
- 19% find it cost prohibitive
- 9% think it’s too complex to create one
But here’s the most telling thing: as the company revenue increases so does the percent of small business websites.
Does this mean having a website = more revenue? Maybe. It would be nice if it was that easy!
There are, however, a few reasons why small business websites are critical to success:
1. Validation & Credibility
Having a website legitimizes your business. No matter the size of your company, if you have a professional, well-designed site, you can compete with any business around the world.
2. Your website is your single most important marketing tool
When people hear about your company, the very first thing they do is look is look you up online. Your website often delivers the first impression of your company. Though you can’t control the internet or the media, you can control your website, so make it strong and clear.
3. Exposure & Scale
There are more than 2 billion people online and your website has a much greater reach than you do as an individual. Automate sales and service functions and you can serve the masses through your site.
4. Available 24/7
Unlike you, your website is available all the time. It doesn’t need sleep or a coffee break and is always ready to take customer inquiries, serve up information, and deliver a consistent message to everyone.
I realize that I am biased. I not only make small business websites for a living, I help business owners get the most out of their websites. But I struggle to believe that any company couldn’t benefit from having a website. If you don’t believe me, I dare you to schedule a consult with me and I bet we’d find at least five ways a website could benefit your business.
For those of that are putting it off because of the cost or the complexity, there are designers and developer every price point. I do understand the struggle to make ends meet at a business owner, but I also guarantee you are losing money to your competitors who are getting better exposure online.