Often we are faced with the question “do I need my own website to run a home based business?” The following 10 reasons outline the benefits you will have in owning your own website.
1. Establish A Presence – Fact is, millions of people access the internet everyday and this number is expected to double over the next couple of years. Having your own website for your home business will allow your internet business to achieve maximum exposure. It may also boost your image and improve your business’ credibility. Your website can contain a simple 1 page site with information about your home business (for example contact information, hours, etc) or a more complex website for you to share your expertise, experiences, education and enthusiasm to the great world wide web.
2. Creates a 24 hour service – A website is accessible 24 hours a day/7 days a week – Weekends, Holidays, Weekdays etc. It basically works for you even when you are not working. This ensures that you don’t miss a sale!
3. Expand your market to the global level – Your website allows you to tap into potential markets your probably would never have considered. These include the international market, where you can communicate with potential customers from all around the globe, specialised markets, where you can direct your website to attract specific customers of a particular expertise, age, interest etc and the local market, where you can meet up with people in person to talk about your business.
4. Inexpensive, flexible and simple – The average cost to get a domain name and reliable web hosting for a year can cost as little as $100. Most web hosting companies have access to website builders which will allow you to build a website with no technical knowledge. Even if you were to get a web designer to create your website this usually costs under a thousand dollars. Compare this to spending the same amount of money in putting a decent size ad in your local paper. The difference is that the local ad you just spent money on expires after that edition is read whereas your website will be yours and advertising for you on the internet for as long as you like. You also have the flexibility of adding features such as forms, polls, surveys etc to collect visitors names and email addresses for future correspondence.
5. Improve customer service – you website can be a world of information to your browsers and available to them when they are ready to learn more. Your website can also contain a “Frequently Asked questions” page which will help potential customers understand and clear up any queries without taking up your time. This should reduce your support costs by about 20%. You website may also allow feedback from customers. This is a valuable tool to see what your customers think, how you can improve and what can you further provide to satisfy them.
6. Set up an online shop – With this added advantage a website will bring in more sales for you as many people like to research items of interest before buying it in today’s world. While they are excited and interested in your offer, this is the time you must “catch” that sale as they are more likely to purchase it if your offer is available at the e click of a button.
7. Readily updated information – Beauty of your website is that it can be green one day and red the next. You have the opportunity to change appearance, information and the words in just a few minutes. You can update information readily and you can update it as many times as you want. A website is easier, cheaper and more convenient to update than brochures, business cards, price lists, and inventory. This saves many dollars in printing and distribution.
8. Better ad tracking and marketing – Advertising, press releases, more advertising, more press releases – all this adds up to one word – expensive. One advantage of having a website is the ad tracking features available. You will know exactly where your customers come from and can repeat that particular strategy or advertisement. You cannot do this offline, it would not be practical to ask every customer that comes into your shop where they heard about you or which ad did they respond to. The internet allows you to do this and this in turn allows you to target the specific market you need.
9. Addition of blogs, pictures, videos – Posting to your blog on a regular basis or adding multimedia content to your site will not only improve the attractiveness and effectiveness of your offer but also improve your site’s exposure on the search engines.
10. personal satisfaction – lastly it doesn’t come without saying that having your own website will definitely give you some personal satisfaction. You have the chance to experiment with and learn about design, and the freedom to present and emphasize the information you want the way you want to. Creating and maintaining your own Website allows you to learn more about today’s technology and keep up with times.
Overall the advantages of having your own website for your home business is clear allowing you benefits in both time and money. A small investment now in a website can lead to great profits in the future.