The Importance of Having a Website For a Small Business

Well, let us start by knowing what a website is. A website is a virtual space allocated to an individual, a corporate entity, an organisation and even a country on the worldwide web or internet whereby the views – be it social, religious or political – of that person or body are propagated and disseminated to the world at large. Now, the importance or significance of an internet presence through a website to the rapid financial growth and success of an individual or a body cannot be over-emphasized. An advantage that readily comes to mind is the greater market that the internet affords to everyone who is wise enough to exploit it to one’s advantage – especially now that the world has become a global village, whereby anyone can get access to the internet even at the remotest of all villages with GPS-enabled phones and proper web settings.

The benefits of having a website are numerous indeed. Apart from the one that l mentioned in the last paragraph above, the internet gives you a 24/7 (24hrs a day / 7days a week), 365/6 (365 or 366days a year) access to everyone anywhere around the globe. And that means that even while a website owner may be sleeping, eating, playing or attending to the needs of his or her family, the website is always open for business and automatically attending to the demands of the site’s visitors without fail every single second, every single minute, every single hour, every single day of every single year. With all these benefits, you would expect someone to incur a huge monthly bill as running cost and overheads, wouldn’t you? But, what do you actually incur as your “office” overheads or running costs? Nothing! All you spend in many instances is the time and cost of building the website and hosting it on the internet.

My practical experience over the years as a small time business person has brought to the fore some reasons why many small-scale business persons, probably just like myself, do not have websites. Many of them may not yet be fully exposed to the internet. Additionally, they may know virtually nothing about the internet as well – and, as humans, we tend to fear what we do not understand and hate what we cannot conquer. Similarly, many small business owners are skeptical about the internet because, not only do they not understand how it works, but they equally see some site owners perhaps in their neighborhood who appear not to have made any remarkable progress with their sites.

Anyway, now that we have substantiated the need for a small time business to have a website, the next matter which needs to be given thorough and adequate consideration in order to arrive at a meaningful and result-oriented action plan is: given the many service providers rendering website building and hosting services that are available on the internet, which would be the right choice to employ as a practical and success-driven tool? My research on the web revealed that only a handful of the numerous website building and hosting service providers possess the requisite tools that would ensure the ultimate success of any small business on the web. Hence, a small business owner need to be particularly discerning in order to make a wise choice that would guarantee and precipitate a massive traffic-building process unmatched anywhere else on the net.

This is so because it is not sufficient to have a website that nobody visits. In other words, traffic or visitors to a website has a direct bearing on the income a business makes from having a website. Hence, more visitors to a site means more income, and no traffic invariably means no income for a business.

In the same vein, a consideration of the experiences of other small business owners would indeed be helpful in this regard. I stumbled on the following documented internet dossier of some selected small business owners in some parts of the world which l feel would particularly be of help too – http://case-studies.sitesell.com/Kitoje_netpro.html.

Conclusively, having analyzed the underlying causes of business stagnation and apparent lack of growth for many small businesses, we have highlighted the dire need of having a website as a huge boost for rapid growth and financial success for small businesses. In order for any small-scale business to embark on the road to sustainable growth and financial success and be well-equipped with the requisite “road map” blue-print for business success, it is imperative for such business to have a website. On the other hand, there is nothing anywhere which says that a small business person who has already taken some wrong decisions cannot make a detour from a dead-end road leading nowhere and with all the signs of failure clearly written in BOLD print.

BOTTOM LINE?

Every small business owner who decides to have a website with an expert website building and hosting firm is destined for success even during these times of global economic recession.

What Is Preventing Growth for Small Businesses?

As a small business owner or manager you will be faced with a great number of things to do to grow your business! It is likely that you will neglect some while focusing on others that perhaps you may be more comfortable with performing.

Did you know that more often it is the things that you may not be doing that will have a much greater impact on your business growth than those that you do? What are these? – read on!

  • Understanding your Customer Market
  • Adequate Planning
  • Managing Cash Flow
  • Operating a Marketing and Sales Development Process
  • Targeted Marketing Campaigns and Programs

Understanding your Customer Market

Every business must make a priority effort to truly understand their customers and what drives them to purchase your products or services. Without an ‘intimate’ understanding of your target customers you will be undermining ALL your efforts to grow your business.

Dispose of any shot-gun approaches you may have to marketing and advertising and use your smarts to achieve Better Marketing Results. Get started by developing your own ideal customer profile.

Make sure your ideal customer profile includes a description of the attributes of your target customers and the buying criteria that your ideal customer will use in selecting your product or service. This is a very crucial point, it is not your criteria that you consider important – it is what your potential customers considers important.

Find out what is involved in their buying cycle, what risks if any are perceived in their buying cycle and where your potential customers go to research and engage within their buying cycle.

Adequate Planning

“Businesses that fails to plan, plans to fail” It is a simple truth – you need to know where you are going to get there!

Marketing planning is crucial for small business owners and managers to maximise their company’s ability to succeed in the marketplace. The marketing plan does not have to be a large voluminous document that gathers dusk after it was developed. Be practical and prepare a condensed version of between two to three pages that you can frequently refer to in a highly visible location within your work area. This way your marketing document becomes a useful plan and guide to growing your business.

Marketing planning has several key benefits for your business:

  • Gives real focus that drives ownership and motivation to achieve success
  • It provides a firm foundation to evaluate priorities
  • It defines your market and matches the communications needed for your prospective customers
  • It is a definition of your business success

Managing Cash Flow

Many a small business owner will neglect this critical aspect of managing their cash flow. Small businesses that do not have positive cash flows will encounter significant challenges with insufficient funds to pay creditors severely limiting their business growth potential. Lack of cash flow management in small business is evident in “feast and famine” situations.

You must make cash flow planning a central element of your management priorities. As a business owner you must be able to identify your cash flow status on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis in order to make sound decisions for your business. Keeping your finances in order and your cash flow healthy is essential to growing your business.

Cash flow is the lifeblood of your business. Successful business owners always maintain a firm grasp on their cash flow and are able to describe and predict their cash flow situation for the week, month and year.

Operating a Marketing and Sales Development Process

Better marketing results are qualified potential customers or sales leads for your business. Sales development takes those qualified leads and works to convert them into paying customers.

Unfortunately, many small businesses do not have a structured process or procedure to manage these sales leads into customers. There is nothing more painful for an interested customer to be ignored because of a lack of prompt and professional follow through. All ‘hot’ prospects need your immediate attention before they grow ‘cold’ or purchase from your competitors. It is absolutely essential to formulate a process for follow-up and conversion of your sales leads into customers. For example, you could set-up a defined day of the week for all your sales development activities. For those prospects that are not yet ready to buy you must make them become part of your on-going nurturing engagement marketing until they are ready to buy.

Unlike traditional approaches to marketing where you specifically target prospects with direct response offers, engagement marketing allows your audience and potential customers to interact with you and shape how they would like to communicate with you.

Targeted Marketing Campaigns and Programs

In today’s business environment the customer will control when and how they would like to receive your marketing messages. Your marketing message must be highly relevant and compelling for your target audience. Your message must resonate with the ‘conversation’ that is happening in the minds of your potential customers.

Marketing is business development and must take place for your business to grow! Integrated marketing that makes use of the Internet with your web presence and social media is the approach that small business must implement for your marketing campaigns and programs.

Essentially, an integrated multimedia campaign allows a one to one personalised engagement with the recipient. It has the ability for the recipient to immediately accept the offer or secure additional information with readily available technology such as their mobile phone or access to the Internet.

If any of these issues are holding back on your business growth you must immediately take the appropriate action to remedy your situation. There are many sources of external expert assistance in the form of business consultancy firms like as PMZ Marketing that will be able to assist you overcome these issues.

Related Articles:

  • Conquer the Top 6 Small Business Marketing Challenges
  • What is the Profile of a Successful Small Business Owner?

Small Business Achievement – Thinking Through Pre-Action Not Reaction

You want to be one step ahead. Small business leaders often need to work incredibly hard to maintain everything. Reaction to events is commonplace, but it is pre-action that is truly the way to grow your small business. Pre-action is a great strategy to grow your small business.

Anybody can react to a situation. The truly exceptional people will take positive, preemptive action: pre-action. You want to take action before your competitors. Rather than reacting to market conditions, you want to predict marketing conditions. By taking the correct action before your competition does, you will create a competitive advantage for yourself.

How can you do this? Educate yourself about your industry. Stay knowledgeable about trends. You can do this by doing research yourself, hiring a researcher, or directly asking your clients. Let me provide you an example of how I did this for the creation of my Aspirations book.

I directed my book designer by providing them a general theme for the creation of sample book covers. I really liked one more than the others, but I am market focused. I wanted to create a book cover that people would like. A reactive person would have published a book with a specific book cover, and if it did not work, they would have tried another cover.

I created a simple website and slides of the various samples that I had. I emailed my client and potential clients and had them participate in an online survey. I showed the slide to my business college students and had them comment as well. People appreciated the opportunity to participate in the creation of a book. With their comments I was able to make a pre-action oriented decision.

By substituting pre-action steps for reactive, you are creating a powerful strategy to grow your small business.