You need a website.
A website is a must for any business.
No-one will take you seriously without a website.
Have you heard any of these statements before? How many times? Who said them – your staff? Clients? Colleagues?
Here’s the thing – a website is a key marketing tool for your business. But it’s not the be-all and end-all.
Your business won’t fail because you don’t have a website.
Online marketing is crucial to the success of business nowadays. In fact, studies have shown that 70-80% of shoppers research the business online before visiting them or making a purchase from them.
If you don’t have an online presence, how are those visitors going to find you?
The location of your online marketing, though, is important.
Having a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn is great. Those are all fantastic marketing channels that provide you with the opportunity to interact with your customers and clients for free… for now.
I want you to consider this scenario.
You keep all of your customer’s details in a filing cabinet in a building.
One morning, you walk to the building to flick through some of those customers to get in touch with them because you’ve an exciting new product to tell them about that you just know they’ll love. They’re guaranteed to buy it.
When you get there, something looks odd.
The windows to the building have had shutters placed on them. You try and look through a gap between the shutters – the filing cabinet is still there, thank goodness.
You go around to the door.
You try your key. It doesn’t work. It doesn’t even fit in the lock… they’ve been changed.
Move this into the digital world – onto the world wide web.
Imagine you only have a Facebook page where you market and where your customers visit you (and place orders from).
Now, what if Facebook closed down tomorrow – without any warning. What would you do? Or what if they changed their business model and started charging you to access your business dashboard?
This is why it’s important to have multiple channels to market from and gain customers from. It’s why it’s important that one of those channels is under your control.
Facebook and Twitter are unlikely to disappear tomorrow, but the reality is that they could. Like Travelex, their service could go offline for a week or a month – and you’re left with no access to your customers. Or, they could decide that, actually, they don’t want businesses like yours on their platform – so they ban you, remove or suspend your account, change their algorithms so you don’t appear in your customer’s newsfeeds, or censor your account.
Having your own website on it’s own server and under your control means you can operate on your terms.
Diversity and flexibility is crucial in business. Don’t become a business failure because you rely too much on another business’ model and operation.