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Thread: Should every small business have a website?

  1. #1

    Question Should every small business have a website?

    Do you think every small business should have a stand-alone website? I mean not a profile on Facebook or similar, but a website under it's own domain name?

    I think not every business needs a website. For example it doesn't make sense to advertise a local greengrocer's shop online. Or maybe I'm wrong? What is your opinion?
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    Yes, every business should have a website. Period. All of the excuses for not having one are just that, excuses.

  3. #3

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    I agree with Harold. Facebook may work great now, but what if they change something in two years and your 1000 posts don't do you any good anymore? You have no control. With your own website you have control.

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    Yes. Your business should be available to everyone at all times of the day and night. Think of it as an additional office.
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    Most businesses need to make use of the internet and electronic communications to some extent but many don’t need a “web presence”. Many shops like convenience stores and local eateries don’t benefit from a website because that’s not how they attract customers. Shops that depend on foot traffic really have no need.

    There are also many non-consumer businesses that don’t need a web presence. Some businesses, like mine, depend more on personal referrals and live networking. I had tried a site and facebook ,LinkedIn and twitter but took them all down very quickly. They just didn’t serve a good purpose and made me look more “commercial” than I wanted. My typical client just doesn’t come from the internet.

  6. #6

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    Still don't agree Paul. While a website may not bring in business today, restringing a domain and a two page site cost's pretty much nothing. It's something you can use in the future.

    Take the one of abou 20 Chinese restaurants in my area. Will ordering online make them business? Probably not. But when I do a google search do I know they are there and I am talking to the place I want to drive by in 15 min and have my food?

    Dentists don't generally need a website other than a page on the doctor, directions, and hours. They still need a site.

    Aside from that, you can also create additional revenue streams with a web site.

    In all cases get a site, put up a page or two and let it age.

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    Dentists and Chinese restaurants probably should have web sites so you can check out the menu and the dentist. But, the gas station on the highway, the coffee counter in the office building and the newsstand on the corner probably don’t have much use for one.

    In today’s world most businesses can benefit from a web presence, but I don’t think it’s necessary for every business.

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    In today’s world most businesses can benefit from a web presence, but I don’t think it’s necessary for every business.
    We've done this discussion before... haven't we?

    It's a question of whether the same marketing tactic will work for EVERY business, and the answer is no. There hasn't been invented a single marketing tactic that will work for every single business out there.

    When approaching the question, you don't worry about tactic. You worry about strategy and then let your tactics come from that.

    If you're a dentist, you want an online presence so that people can research you and how great a job you're doing for your clients. You want potential customers to find you, to be able to call you. So accessibility (having people who don't drive by find you), equipment, testimonials, services offered: those are your marketing messages you want to focus on as part of your strategy to win.

    As Paul points out, if you're a mini-mart, you want people driving by to see you and stop. You don't worry so much about someone searching for you on the web, because no one searches for mini-marts on the web unless they're looking for your location and you can do that with Google Places (or whatever they just renamed it to) without having to put together a web site. For the mini-mart, it's all about location, layout, and signage: those are your marketing messages that matter.

    So... start with the marketing strategy: what are the top 5 ways your best potential customers will find you and stick with you... and how do you exploit that?
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    There actually is one marketing tactic that works for every business: customer service.

    Usually things like mini-marts and coffee carts are chains, and guaranteed the chain has their own site, just not one specific to the location.

    Generally though, you want a website. Having a well-designed and informative site will instill trust in the visitor and they'll be more likely to give you a ring or send you an email.
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    Every business should have a website. No reason not to!
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