1. Establish A Presence
At the end of last year, about 153 million people were online in the United States and about 10 million are expected to adopt the Net this year. (eMarketer)
More and more people are looking for services and products on-line than every before. Peoples’ habits are changing. People move to a new area and very often rely solely on the Internet to learn about the new area, research and find out who to go to for what. Many people research and find their homes and jobs over the Internet. Most people are coming to expect that any professionally run business will have a web site. With a well-designed site your small business becomes a real player both on and off the net.
Add your Web Address to your stationary; business cards, other advertisements and you’ll have visitors knowing exactly where to go for answers to their questions and where to send their friends to for great service.
The more people know about you and your company the greater the chances you have for attracting new customers. More is generally a good thing when running a business, unless you’re talking about expenses!
2. More Advertising for Less Money
With a web site you can have pages of full-color advertisements that run 24 hours a day and 7 days a week! You get to present yourself and your services to your customers using many descriptive pages, images, etc. This tends to build peoples’ trust, which in turn, makes them more likely to purchase your products and services.
3. Bolster Your Current Ad Campaign
Include your web address in your current ad campaign and people will turn to your site for more information. Gathering more data is often a first response to a well-run ad campaign. With your site address listed in your ad, you will have people coming to YOU to get that information and your services. A better return on your advertising dollar is a great reason for a web site.
4. Save Time with Answers to Frequently Asked Questions Online
Do you spend time answering the same types of questions for each of your clients? Well that may never stop but there may be some hope! With a web site you can put the answers to these frequently asked questions online and ask your new customers that you have begun working with to visit these pages. You can even email them out a link to these pages. Your customers will appreciate the knowledge that you will be providing them and it will not require much more additional time than sending them an email or recommending that they read your “feature article”.
5. Educate Your Customers
The first step of any sale is getting the client familiar with what you are selling. In this day and age more and more people are looking on the Internet to get the information they need to make educated buying decisions.
Include articles of interest telling your potential clients about your services. When they call you to discuss your services, half the sale is already done; you’ve already given them your “pitch”. You will even save time (and money) because the ones who do call are interested, warm (and sometimes hot) prospects, not just someone calling to gather data.
6. Get Referrals
Referrals are a number one way for small businesses to get new clients. On your web site you can add a “refer a friend” link where your current clients (or just visitors) can send your link to a friend who may be interested in your services. This will increase your number of referrals!
7. Create a New Customer Base
Did you ever notice that many people who use the Internet do so in place of the traditional information lines (newspapers, yellow pages, etc)?
With a web site you will be able to reach a whole new segment of potential clients that may have missed your current ad campaigns. A good, informative web site will attract many people who may not have heard of you otherwise.
8. Get Email
With your web site you will also get email addresses for your business. On your site will be a link where people will be able to email you for additional information. This is a fast and effective form of communication that enables you to get the answers or information needed for the client at your convenience and send it along. Time is money in a small business; with email you’ll be saving both.
9. Establish a Relationship with your Clients
People generally prefer to do business with people they “know.”
On your site you will give people the opportunity to get to know your business (and perhaps you) and feel more comfortable with you. Once this is established they will be more likely to want to do business with you as compared to the other, similar company whom they know nothing about.
A picture or profile of you or your associates will make you more real to the client and make the client more likely to contact and communicate with you.
10. Gather Contact Information
A newsletter can be an expensive promotional action. With printing, postage and time spent, the costs can add up. With a web site you can have people who would like to receive your newsletter send you their email address. You can then email your newsletter to all of the people in your database. You don’t need to pay for printing or postage for these newsletters. Continual contact with prospects leads to more clients!