Does my small business need a website?

 

This is a question that many small business owners have asked themselves time and again.  While the answer is almost always yes, it is important to realize that not everyone uses a website for the same thing.  Most use a website with advertising as the primary objective, while some businesses simply use it as a tool to communicate with customers.  Let’s look at these fictional scenarios together:

 

Carl’s Auto Diner was founded as a small auto repair shop that slowly evolved into a diner with each customer request for a vending machine, then coffee, then stools, and eventually sandwhiches.

Carl has maxed out all of the space he has for his diner.  Customer tables filled the area where he once glided uver oil spots on a mechanic creeper, and spatchulas had replaced socket wrenches as tools of the trade. 

At this point Carl is afraid that if he has a website his business will grow larger than he can handle, does Carl need a website?

 

Carl does not need a website to advertise his business unless he develops a plan foir expansion.

Carl could use a website as an informational tool for his customers.  He can easily communicate weekly and holiday hours to customers, weekly or monthly specials, and meu changes.  An online menu could also help customers know what they want to order before they arrive.

 

Mary’s Cupcake Shoppe is a small business on a street that doesn’t garner much traffic, however this is not a problem for Mary because she has a website that get’s plenty of attention thanks to great critics reviews, and business directory listings that link back to her website.

Mary also has a great group of repeat cusomers that spread the word about her business, and potential customers are able to view Mary’s unique cupcake designs on her website before stepping foot in her shop.  

Mary needs a website because she is a small business without little to no advertising budget, however she makes a quality product and the most efficient way to get the word out is to give her custoemrs an easy way to communicate her message. Having her own website allows her to have some control of the message and images being shared about her company, and this great image marketing technique would not have been available to Mary with word of mouth alone, remember “a picture is worth a thousand words.”

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