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Thread: Should every small business have a website?

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold Mansfield View Post
    Yep. And that's what it boils down to. In this day of being able to find information about anything instantly, people aren't going to do your sales and marketing for you and call for more information. They just aren't. Unless you are the only game in town, and even then you are still leaving money on the table by not providing your potential customers with an easy way to find out more about you and instructions on how to do business with you.

    You think people just know? Well they don't.
    You think "If they're really interested they'll call"? Really? What number? How would they know you exist to even know what number to call?
    The Yellow Pages? I just threw my new one in the trash because I already have pages left in the old one that I use as glass cleaning wipes.

    What if they weren't interested, but would have been "sold" by more information on the website?

    Like I said, it's your business. Run it how you want. No website just creates more opportunity for those that do.
    Harold, I realize you are in internet marketing and web design so you constantly work with clients that need web presence. But, you are assuming that every business markets through the internet and/or needs a public online profile. You are assuming every business needs to be found online. It just ain’t so.

    Many businesses market through other channels and by other means. There actually was commerce before the internet and there is billions in business transactions that take place without benefit of web sites.

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    If I owned a small gas station, I can see not having a website. I've never googled the closest gas station. Used my GPS, yes but not something I'd look for online. So I don't believe every business must have one. That being said I can't stop saying to really small businesses they must invest in a website. It can be done for so cheap on your own so there really is no excuse. Advertising on craigslist just doesn't cut it!
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  3. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wozcreative View Post
    An example of this is the pawn/oddities store not that far from me. You'd think a pawn shop wouldn't need a site, but I absolutely love that they do.
    One of my clients is a local pawn shop. They even asked me to do an e-commerce site for them. Turns out *many* people enjoy being able to browse their inventory online, place their order, and either have it shipped to them or pick it up in the store.

    Quote Originally Posted by Freelancier View Post
    This is funny: the people who do web sites are saying everyone has to have a web site. I'm shocked!

    As a web site developer/designer, you come into contact with 100% of the types of business who need a web site and 0% of the businesses who don't. As a developer, I come into contact with 100% of the types of businesses who need my type of software development and 0% who don't. But I wouldn't even consider generalizing and saying that 100% of all businesses need my type of software development to survive in the modern world. That's just not a realistic assessment of the business world.

    Web sites are a marketing tactic, nothing more. If your best potential customers don't look on the web site find someone like you, then that's not the marketing tactic you need to use for your business.
    I come into contact with businesses who generally don't need a website on a regular basis. Some of them I socialize with regularly. The primary reason for not having a website that I am told boils down to fear of attracting the wrong prospects.

    However, I (and many others in my generation) simply won't do business with someone we can't research during our free time. I place a cost on making phone calls, and it is a lot faster (and less expensive) for me to do a quick lookup on someone whose card or information I've been handed to get answers to my most basic questions in determining whether there is an opportunity there. If I get 10 cards for accountants, all from trusted and respected sources, I can call all 10 of them and determine that only 3 would be a good fit, or I can go to the websites on the 4 cards that had them and determine that only one of those would be a good fit. Two without may have been a better fit, but it would have required giving up a day versus giving up a half hour.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Altenhofel View Post
    One of my clients is a local pawn shop. They even asked me to do an e-commerce site for them. Turns out *many* people enjoy being able to browse their inventory online, place their order, and either have it shipped to them or pick it up in the store.



    I come into contact with businesses who generally don't need a website on a regular basis. Some of them I socialize with regularly. The primary reason for not having a website that I am told boils down to fear of attracting the wrong prospects.

    However, I (and many others in my generation) simply won't do business with someone we can't research during our free time. I place a cost on making phone calls, and it is a lot faster (and less expensive) for me to do a quick lookup on someone whose card or information I've been handed to get answers to my most basic questions in determining whether there is an opportunity there. If I get 10 cards for accountants, all from trusted and respected sources, I can call all 10 of them and determine that only 3 would be a good fit, or I can go to the websites on the 4 cards that had them and determine that only one of those would be a good fit. Two without may have been a better fit, but it would have required giving up a day versus giving up a half hour.
    This is very true, an example of how a website can tell me if someone knows what they are doing is when I met with a developer/designer. He talked a BIG talk! I was impressed and really thought I should connect with this person and learn from them. I went to their website and that totally changed my mind! The guy has no hope in hell in terms of running a business!

    Yet another example of having a website and a good one at that is printers.. a printer that has the opportunity to quote me right away via their forms will get my business. If you haven't invested the time to make the experience and information easy for me then I won't be playing your game.
    Last edited by Wozcreative; 06-23-2014 at 10:16 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freelancier View Post
    If your best potential customers don't look on the web site find someone like you, then that's not the marketing tactic you need to use for your business.
    True. Although I'd love to meet the business owner that says their target demographic doesn't use the internet.

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    However, I (and many others in my generation) simply won't do business with someone we can't research during our free time.
    So have you thought that maybe you were not the business' best potential customer? Again: it's a marketing tactic to serve your marketing strategy. Perhaps their marketing strategy isn't to attract you or your business, because you don't fit into the profile of customers they want to attract. Marketing is that simple: attract who you want to sell to and make it easier to sell to them. If a web site isn't going to advance your sales process, then there's no point to it.

    I have many web sites, because they serve my marketing strategy. I have a handful of clients who don't need a web site, because it doesn't serve their marketing strategy, and after studying their business model, I tend to agree that it's not going to help them enough to warrant the investment of time and money.

    Although I'd love to meet the business owner that says their target demographic doesn't use the internet.
    Read above. I listed two of them who target customers who would not use the web to find them.
    Last edited by Freelancier; 06-23-2014 at 10:57 AM. Reason: Keep making stupid typios....
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freelancier View Post
    I have a handful of clients who don't need a web site, because it doesn't serve their marketing strategy, and after studying their business model, I tend to agree that it's not going to help them enough to warrant the investment of time and money.
    I have a hard time believing that information about a business online isn't beneficial. But that's just me.
    Curious, If you don't have a presence online, not even basic information, where exactly do the people who are your target demographic go to find out more about your business or at least find basic contact information?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold Mansfield View Post
    I have a hard time believing that information about a business online isn't beneficial. But that's just me.
    Curious, If you don't have a presence online, not even basic information, where exactly do the people who are your target demographic go to find out more about your business or at least find basic contact information?
    In the old days you'd have to either call a few people to get the contact info or you would have to physically drive to the location to speak to them unannounced. I guess you can google them in hopes that they have a linkedin account or on a directory?
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    100% yes. Get off on the right foot and start building out content and engaging users to visit your site as soon as possible! Tools like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. are simply for outreach to bring them to your site where the real conversion happens.

  10. #40
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    If you don't have a presence online, not even basic information, where exactly do the people who are your target demographic go to find out more about your business or at least find basic contact information?
    You think that the customers go looking for these companies and that's not the paradigm in some industries. See the examples for bidding on government contracts, if it ain't in the bid, it doesn't get considered, and that includes your web site. For the clients I mentioned, the vendor calls on the CEO or COO of the company, and arranges a meeting and presents a proposal. The CEO/COO doesn't even look at the web to confirm the information, because everyone knows that if it's on the web it's always true, right? Instead, they might pull up a D&B on them or request references.
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