Why your offline business needs an online presence

Written on 30 June, 2014 by Georgia Leaker
Categories: E-commerce, Small Business, Web Design & Content, Web Hosting | Tags: online business, small business

You might be a shop owner who attracts most of your customers by being located on a busy shopping strip that sees a lot of foot traffic, or a small-firm lawyer who garners business through traditional methods of networking and word of mouth. “I don’t need a website,” you say every time someone asks where they can find you online, “That’s not how my customers want to interact with me.” This already puts you one step behind if a potential client asks for your web address that doesn’t exist.

You might not have the kind of business that obviously calls for a website, especially if you don’t plan on selling your products or services online, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need one.

The ABS reported that only 46% of Australian businesses have an online portal for their customers, yet how did you look up the last business you wanted to visit? I’m willing to bet that your answer is ‘Google’, because these days almost everyone uses internet search engines to find more information about a business before visiting their brick and mortar storefront – even if it’s just to track down a phone number so that they can ask about products or services before they make the trip to the store.

Let’s look at the example of the lawyer from above, why might they need a website? Lawyers, like many white collar professionals, carry business cards and hand them out at events to potential clients. But what if your potential client loses it? They turn to Google to track down your phone number. It’s not there – that’s potential work lost to your competitor, who does have an online presence and their contact details stamped all over the World Wide Web.

Same goes for the shop owner, whose website is the perfect place for people to check opening hours, brands stocked and the latest news from the shop. If a customer can’t find your shop website, they’ll call other stores with websites that do stock the product they want, even if it means commuting to a store slightly further afield. They would’ve visited your store if they’d found you on Google instead.

A website also opens your door to potential customers who may not be necessarily looking for your business but find it during an internet search involving keywords that correspond with your website.

Getting online doesn’t have to be a hassle either, a basic 5-page website costs very little to put together but the pay-off can be huge when it brings in new customers and sales opportunities. Who knows, you might even end up with an e-commerce website.

WebCentral has a whole range of solutions to get your business online, call 1800 800 099 now and speak to one of our consultants.