Do you have a business card? It’s one of the first things people ask for when they meet you at a business event. It doesn’t matter if you’ve got the smallest shop in town or you work for one of the world’s largest corporations, people expect you to have a business card. It’s part of your professional uniform, an essential element of identification and branding in every single industry. When I ask you if you have a card, chances are you say, “Of course I do!”
A business card is essential, but it’s not enough. It’s 2013, and whether you’re in a B2B or B2C field, you’ll find that your customer’s expectations have changed. Specifically, in today’s marketplace, customers expect to be able to find and engage with you online. This means, at a minimum, having a website.
There are business owners who don’t believe this. I encounter them all the time. They tell me how they’ve been successfully operating for years – decades, even, or generations! – without a website.
Let’s talk about why this marketing model isn’t sustainable. The fact you’ve got a loyal customer base right now is great – but without a website, how are you going to grow your business? No matter what type of business you operate, people who are interested in the products or services you offer overwhelmingly begin their search for that sort of business online. If you don’t have a website, you’re not even a part of the conversation. You’re not an option they can consider. Every customer base needs to be continually replenished with new business, or your company will die through attrition as old customers stop doing business with you and there is no one to replace them.
Word-of-mouth recommendations can only do so much. Even if your customers enthusiastically recommend your business to their friends, if a simple Google search returns no useful information, you’re not going to capture that traffic. Today’s customer expects that a business will have a website in the same way they expect you to have a business card or a sign in front of your location. Even the Amish, who are so leery of modern technology that they still use horse-drawn buggies rather than cars, have information about their businesses posted online.
When a business doesn’t have a website in this day and age, it raises questions in the customer’s minds, such as is this business legitimate and trustworthy? Are they really professional? Just as a business card acts as a signifier that you’re truly a professional, today a website acts in the same way. If you’ve been operating for years – decades, even, or generations – your business deserves a fighting chance to remain viable in the web-driven marketplace. The time to get a website for your business is now! Contact us to schedule a free consultation and learn how we can create a website that fits your business needs and your budget.