Not every business NEEDS a website.
Does that sound odd coming from a Web Designer? Well, it's the truth. I'm tired of watching as countless agencies try to push the agenda of a website, without considering the specific needs of each business. What kind of businesses would benefit from a website, and which can do without? Let's break down the websites that could use a website, and which ones may consider going another route.
Home Made Crafts
This is one area where a business may benefit from going a different route. There are many options for selling homemade crafts that do not require a website. For example, Esty, FB market, eBay, Amazon, iCraft, the list goes on. However many of these come with high fees and limitations of selling third party. How can you determine if it is better to use a third-party seller or have your own website?
Ask yourself these questions:
- Do I plan to scale my business?
- Will the fees in the third-party sellers negatively impact my sales?
- Can I afford to create a website that is professionally done?
- Will I make enough to cover the cost of maintaining a website?
Take time to weigh the pros and cons to really determine the needs of your business.
Mom & Pop Shops
Are you a local Mom & Pop shop mulling over the thought of getting yourself a website? You may not need to unless you plan to scale, sell online, or need a big boost in your marketing to stay afloat.
You can think about these questions to decide:
- What is my goal with creating a website?
- How far-reaching are my services?
- Can I cover the costs of hiring a designer (your nephew who’s good at computers won’t cut it) and maintaining the website?
- Am I already well known in my community?
- Can I handle holding inventory and updating it to reflect what I have and what I don’t?
For many Mom & Pop shops, a website may not bring in the business that they are hoping for. However, if you are looking to grow beyond your local community a website is a must. It is an essential part of marketing beyond small communities. Of course, Websites can help to get your name out there if you are less established and new to the community.
Facebook pages and Facebook communities are also excellent ways to connect with your local community and introduce yourself to your neighbors.
In contrast with the other businesses mentioned above, websites for Trade and Service-based businesses are an essential part of your marketing plan. You’d be hard-pressed to find a successful trade or service business that does not have a website.
Especially for trade/services a website provides:
- A platform for the community to come to know your business
- A way to schedule your appointments and visits
- A payment gateway as well as a way to send invoices
- A professional presence
- A way to interact with new (potential) customers
If you are strapped for cash, Fiverr and Upwork offer freelance web design for extremely low prices. However, if your business is heavily dependent on a website, I would shy away from these sites. If you just want a digital business card, these are viable options.
To be fair, all of the above may be categorized as entrepreneurs. For the sake of discussion, I will focus solely on individual entrepreneurs, sometimes referred to as solopreneurs. This can include, Freelancers, Coaches, Consultants, Real Estate Agents, Accountants, essentially, one of the myriads of career choices involving being your own boss.
One can make an argument that a website is essential for all the above. At any point, they can all certainly benefit from having a website. However, one fault of most solopreneurs is becoming the complete do-it-yourself personality. This is what has allowed them to branch free, but it can also be detrimental when it comes to understanding limitations. If a solopreneur can afford to hire a professional designer, this is an excellent marketing tool and can be a powerful asset along with a solid social media presence.
If you are a solopreneur ask yourself these questions:
- Do I have design skills? Do I know what it takes to create an engaging site?
- If not, can I afford to hire a professional website designer?
- Is my current marketing strategy sufficient to scale?
- Do I have a productive client engagement strategy?
Although websites can be costly, they have a powerful impact on solopreneurs marketing.
All-in-all, although you can’t be dogmatic about what business should and shouldn’t have a website, it is well worth the time and effort to brainstorm and determine if your business could benefit from one.
If you are wondering if your business could benefit from a website, feel free to sign up for a free discovery call with me to help you see how your business needs can best be met.