A website is much more than a few pages on the internet. It’s a powerful tool that can increase relationships with potential customers and clients, as well as streamline and automate processes within your business. It’s also one marketing tool that many small businesses have yet to fully embrace. That’s why today’s episode is all about how to determine whether YOUR small business needs a website (and the three reasons you absolutely do!).
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Related Podcast Episodes:
- #70: DIY Website Design? 3 Things to Consider as an Entrepreneur
- #63: Eliminate Tech Overwhelm: Streamline Your Business Systems with this Simple Strategy
- #62: 5 Ways to Create an Amazing Client Experience as a WAHM
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3 Reasons Your Small Business Needs a Website
Hey there mama, I’m Sarah Brumley and I’m super excited to be here with you today. I’ve been thinking about this topic a lot lately. The idea of a small business having a website or not. And, I hear it a lot – well, I already have clients, so I don’t know why I’d need a website. OR…there comes the excuse that social media is bringing me all of the clients I need, so why should I bother taking a step and having another thing that I have to manage.
And…while I understand the complexities that come from having and managing a website, I believe that a website is one of those things that separates the serious business owner from the not-so-serious business owner. And that’s true across all businesses – whether you’re part of a network marketing organization, have a brick-and-mortar shop OR are strictly an online service or product based business. No matter what, you business can and will benefit from a website.
So, let’s take the time to chat about how a website can help – no matter what stage of business you might be in.
Point #1: A Website Gives You a Home Base Online
If you run a brick and mortar store in your local area, then that would be considered your physical “home base”. It’s the place where your customers come in off the street looking for something that you sell. It might be kids clothing, bath and body products, or computer gear. Whatever it is, that’s where you house your items and give your customers the best services possible.
Now, that doesn’t mean that you wouldn’t want to take some of your crafted items to a local fair or expo if the opportunity presented itself and make additional sales there, but it does mean that your clients or customers know exactly where to find you when they need another jar of your sugar scrub.
Even if that same fair or expo gets canceled next year, your customers won’t have to worry about where to find you.
In much the same way, a website becomes your online “home base”. It’s the place that people know that they can always find you, your products, and information about any services you provide. You get to dictate what’s said there, share information, and help your client find the perfect solution for their problem.
That’s a good thing. But…it’s at this point that I get asked the question: well, I’m already on social media, so can’t I just use that?
Yes you can, but no I don’t recommend it. And here’s why.
Let’s think about social media in a similar way to that fair or expo. Just because you have a website doesn’t mean that you won’t go out and share your products or services in other places – like social media.
But, what happens when that social media platform goes down?
OR – you get hacked.
OR – you lock yourself out because you can’t remember your password, have tried too many times, and now have to wait a day for it to reset.
Don’t ask me how I know all of this – but it happens!
In fact, one of the biggest complaints I hear from business owners that have grown a huge following on social media is that someone lodges a complaint against them and they lose their entire account.
One of my fellow business owners had that happen to her over and over again. Someone who had a grudge against her lodged a complaint and her account got suspended. Every time she worked with the social media provider to get her account back up and running, the same person would lodge another complaint. To the point that she had to completely shut down her social media accounts and start again.
So my question to you is: What happens to your business if the only place your people can find you was on that platform you no longer have access to?
From my experience, that’s when you are left scrambling – in need of anyone and anything that can help you get the word out about your business. But, when you have a website, you don’t have to scramble. Sure, losing your social media for a day or a week or even permanently can be frustrating, but you’ll still be in a position to serve your clients or customers.
So… the first way a website can help your business long-term by providing that online home base that you own.
That brings us to the second reason that a website can benefit your business and that’s increased visibility.
Point #2: A Website Increases Visibility
Let’s just be real here. If you don’t have a website you are limiting your audience size. By that, I mean that if you are only sharing your marketing efforts to the people you know or those that follow you on social media platforms, then you’ve decided the growth of your business will be dependent on only the people that you know or are connected to. Your family. Your friends. And anyone they might know.
If that’s the case, I can tell you right now that you won’t reach level of success that’s possible for you and your business.
As I mentioned before, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with sharing on social media, but those platforms have been known to go down and change their algorithms frequently, so you’ll have a hard time achieving consistency when it comes to getting clients and customers.
In fact, it’s pretty common knowledge that less than 10% of your followers see any given post on social media. Truly – that means that if you have 100 followers on your Facebook page, only 10 of them might see it. And that’s a “might”. Plus, those 10 people might include your mom or someone else close to you that doesn’t actually NEED to see it.
And, if you aren’t running paid ads, you aren’t reaching anyone new. So, I don’t know about you, but I’m thinking that if I’m only sharing on social media, then I’m not giving my business the best chance at success.
Enter a website.
A website allows you to create content that can be indexed in search engines. That means that you can answer questions and position your products and services in a way that when Suzy goes to Google and searches for knitted hats in your area, she is immediately directed to your website all about the hats you make. She knows where to find your storefront and can be there right when you open tomorrow morning.
OR, if you offer online sales, she can just order it right then and there and have it shipped directly to her.
That’s a NEW customer that you’ve been able to reach for FREE just because you have a website that shows up in search results.
If for no other reason, having a website is worth it so that your business shows up in search results, again and again and again.
Point #3: It Allows You To Increase Conversions – from Casual Onlooker to Paying Customer
There’s an incredible brick-and-mortar baby boutique in my area that I frequent regularly. When I walk in, the owner always asks me about my little one and how she can help point me in the right direction as far as her products. She’s very quick to help me troubleshoot whatever situation we are dealing with and recommend products that might be helpful, but she also doesn’t have a problem telling me what I shouldn’t purchase – even if she sells it in her store.
And you know what, I return again and again and again to her store for that very reason.
I’m guessing you have a place like that for one thing or another.
But, let’s take this a step further and talk about your online audience – you know, the people that find you through Google search or happen across a post of yours on social media and want more information.
Once that person lands on your site, they are primed and ready to hear what you have to say, just like they would be if they’d entered your brick and mortar store. If you have a website all about helping mamas transition from bottles to sippy cups, and that mama has just Google searched how to do that very thing, then she is going to soak up every bit of information you can provide. AND – she’s likely going to order the product that you recommend to help her one-year-old make that transition successfully.
(Trust me, I know this because I’m that mama that just searched that this week. AND, I did read the article and used the knowledge given to me to purchase a recommended cup that will help my son make the transition. That website owner made money off me because she offered information I could use and I didn’t hesitate to click purchase.)
She took me from casual onlooker – someone just looking for information – to a paying customer, and you can do the same thing with your website.
How? Well, there’s a couple of ways:
- The first way you can use your website to increase conversion is by answering commonly asked questions. Think about anything that someone in your target industry might need answered. Even things that seem simple or common place to you, might be exactly what someone else needs to hear to get them on the right track.
- The second way to use your website to increase conversions is to use it to weed out people who don’t fit. This is especially true if you are in a service based industry. If they can take the time to look at what you offer on your website and determine that you aren’t the right fit for them, that saves you time when it comes to jumping on a call with someone who isn’t ready or needs something different than what you offer. Remember, time is money, so the sooner you can weed out those that aren’t a good fit, the more time you’ll have to work with those that are!
- Finally, you can use your website to increase conversions by helping casual onlookers know exactly what steps to take next. Because the truth is that sometimes when we are looking to engage a new service or purchase a new product, we aren’t sure what we need to do to make it work or even just get started. I’m sure you’ve felt that way in the past, right? But when someone explains exactly what we need to do to be successful, then it’s easier to say “yes” and engage that service or purchase that product. This is something your website can and should do for your potential clients and customers.
Of course, these are just a few of the ways that you can take casual onlookers to paying customers and clients, but, if nothing else, it gives you a good starting point for understanding why your business needs a website, like ASAP.
Take Action: Your Small Business Needs a Website
And that brings us to the action part of this episode. I’m a huge proponent of taking action, because action is where the dreams turn into the reality. And that’s why every Mama Business episode comes with action steps you can take immediately to up level your mama life and business. Ideally you’ll take action on all of the things we’ve discussed today, but if you only have time for one, it’s this:
ACTION: If you don’t have a website yet, I’d like to strongly encourage you to make that a high priority over the next couple of months. Not only will a website give you a home base online, increase your visibility and reach, and help you turn casual onlookers into paying clients and customers, BUT it’ll also show the outside world that you take your business seriously. You do take your business seriously, right?
And…if you already have a website, then I highly recommend looking at whether you are utilizing it properly and actually converting visitors to clients and customers. If not, it’s time to make adjustments so that it is! Also, Brumley Marketing offers a website audit package to help you pinpoint areas that might not be working for you, so don’t hesitate to reach out if you’d like some additional eyes on your site!
I know from personal experience that I am more likely to accomplish what I set out to do if I am accountable to someone. So DM me on Instagram and share your website address with me! After all, I love to see what you are doing and cheer you on throughout the process.
In the meantime, have an awesome day and I look forward to chatting with you next time!