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Do I Need A Website For My Business?

Updated on December 10, 2009

What Sort of Business?

Perhaps the question really should be, what sort of business do you have, or are you planning on starting. If you have developed your own product such as an ebook then you could use a website of your own, but it’s not essential. You could market your product through affiliates. So what exactly does that mean? Simply put an affiliate is like an agent who sells you’re product in return for a commission. You will find that many large corporations like Amazon use affiliates these days to generate sales for them.

If you sell a service rather than a physical product then you might find it invaluable to have your own web site, more and more people turn to the internet as their first port of call when searching for something, even when they are looking for local shops or services like plumbers they expect to find them online. In these circumstances not having your own web site could mean losing business.

Your own website can boost your business

If you’re a small business selling physical products in your own locality it may not necessarily be worth having your own site unless it’s a simple one with little more than contact details and details of what you offer. However, as I said before more and more people will search the internet rather than pick up a phone book. If you’re selling small physical products which are not difficult or expensive to ship then having your own website could give a serious boost to your business. Remember that the internet covers the whole world, so if you’ve got a product that people need or want you could find yourself with a lot of new business so you have to be prepared to handle it.

Passing trade

You will have to bear in mind that although the “passing trade” on the internet can be hundreds of thousands rather than the few dozen or hundreds who would pass your store front it’s not quite that simple. As many people have found to their cost just putting up a website and sitting back and waiting for visitors could mean a very long wait. It’s like putting up a sign in the desert, the only way anyone will see it is by accident, you need to promote your website. this could involve online and offline advertising, "SEO" or "search engine optimization" so be prepared to get expert advice.

Opt-ins and Back end sales

There are various advantages to having a website of your own, more opportunities to earn money. You could have paid advertising on your site or use something like Google adsense, newspapers and magazines online do this but you would be well advised to do it only if these things didn’t divert attention away from what your own company is offering. A better way might be to have what’s known as an opt-in form on your website, you know, those boxes that appear asking you to enter your name and email address in return for which you’ll send them regular information about your latest special offer, which could generate many extra sales with little cost or effort on your part. This gives you the opportunity to sell to the same customers over an over again. Money is made from a sale, fortunes are made from repeat or “back end” sales.

Can I build my own website?

Absolutely. Especially if you're not afraid of a challenge. As with most things in life, some of us find certain jobs or activities baffling, difficult or just plain impossible. Others take to them like a duck to water. If you're terrified to even consider building your own website then maybe you should leave it to someone else. If you're confident about giving it a try go ahead. There are many options available from full blown web design software used by professionals, to dead easy to use "Drag and Drop" site builders which you can master in no time. if you go ahead with getting your own website you'll need to also get web hosting which is where you put your website. In simple terms it's the hoarding you rent to put up your poster. Some web hosts like Hostgator have a free website builder you can use once you sign up.


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    Business Owner 8 years ago

    You are right on with small companies needing to have a website. To many businesses miss out on jobs because they can be found! Myself included! When I built my website I got a few more clients right away. I even joined some directories. Eventually I joined with a lead company to help me gain more clients.

    Maybe you could write another article on how to gain and keep clients?