in today’s global economy, it is no longer enough to simply hang a shingle on the porch and call yourself a business. In order to ensure you reach the masses and grow your business, a professional and user-friendly website is a must. One need only look at the statistics to understand how vital the internet has become to people around the world and the way we do business. As of June, 2008, “there were 1,463 million users of the internet, which accounted for 21.9% of the world’s population,” according to Internet World Stats. Those numbers represent the market you may be missing out on, if you don’t have a website for your business. A website gives you a presence on the ever-expanding web so that potential employees, business partners and, most importantly, customers can find out who you are and what products and services you have to offer.
Deciding to create a website for your business is the first step; the next step you make should involve how to go about doing that. There are a lot of different options out there, but the most important thing to keep in mind is that you want your website to enhance your business, which is why it is important to hire credible, well-established professionals to handle the job for you. It is crucial to understand that while a well-done website can greatly increase your revenue, a poorly designed one can be disastrous to all your hard work and reputation. When deciding which company you want to hire to create your new website, make sure you ask to see some of their previous work. You want to make sure the samples you are looking at look like they were done by experienced professionals and not just somebody’s third cousin who slapped something together and called himself a website designer. You also want to make sure the site you create is user-friendly; there’s nothing worse than losing clients because your website was confusing to navigate around.
A presence on the web helps level the playing field. With a website your business can compete with the big guns because many consumers today research information on the web before making a purchase, and often times these same consumers will take advantage of the convenience of buying those products online as well. This means that you don’t have to rely only on local business, you can reach a world-wide community of consumers. To give you an idea of how much extra revenue a website can generate for your business, here’s an excerpt from The SBRB / Business Today Study; “A total of 17.5% of the respondents which had Internet sites in 2006 said they generated up to 10% of their company’s total revenue from Internet revenue. Another 14.4% said they generated from 11% to 25% of their revenue from eCommerce and 10.4% said they generated from 26% to 50% of their overall revenue from their Internet sites. Of the remaining participants, 3.1% said they produced 51% to 75% of their revenue from eCommerce and 4.9% produced 76% to 99% of their revenue. eCommerce contributed 100% to the revenue of 3.1% of the respondents.”
With so much competition out there, it is more important than ever to stand out in the crowd. Some of the ways a business can achieve this are by creating a strong brand image, growing brand loyalty and having their own unique voice. You can see from the study above how integral websites have become to businesses around the world, which is why it is vital in today’s market to not only keep up with the trends, but to set them, which is one of the best ways to take any business to the next level.