When I wrote the blog post on whether a business really needs a brochure, it brought up the question of whether every business also really needs to have a website.
Once again, my answer is going to be a big, fat, ‘it depends’. Yes, I know it’s frustrating to just not get a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer, but it really does depend on what type of business you have.
If you have a business that already has enough customers and you really don’t want or need any more, you most likely don’t need a website. Also, if you get as many customers as you need just by them passing your location, such as a gas station at a busy intersection or a deli located in an office building, you probably don’t need a website either.
However, most businesses can benefit by having some sort of a web presence. People today typically will use a search engine like google when looking for things, such as a wedding photographer, a local bicycle store, a spa, or even a veterinarian. If your business doesn’t have a website at all, they’re never going to find you.
For example, when I was looking for a body shop to fix my SUV, I googled body shops in my area and looked at the different customer reviews to determine which I would visit. This doesn’t mean I didn’t also ask friends for body shop recommendations, but when they gave me one I’d immediately google the shop to check the online feedback.
Depending on your business, you may only need a simple website with a couple of linked pages that include your company’s logo, a description of your business, store address, phone number and hours of operation. Or, if you have a complicated offering with various industries and services, you may need a more extensive website with dozens of pages and links to your company’s Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.*
It is very important that you keep in mind that the idea of having a professional brand for your company doesn’t stop at the business cards and brochures. Make sure your website is also professionally designed to best represent your company to potential customers.
* I now realize that the next “Do I need…” blog entry is going to have to be about social media, such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.