During the much iconized post-World War II era, small businesses counted on referrals from family, friends, neighbors, and community members to grow their client base. But in today’s competitive markets the question predominates: Is word-of-mouth enough?
About 60 percent of very small businesses—made up of one to five people—don’t have websites according to a recent survey commissioned by GoDaddy.
That leaves a lot of businesses relying on word-of-mouth to get their name out. No one can dispute the value of referrals from trusted sources, but the realities of the modern world demand that businesses have an online presence.
Does my business need a website?
To answer whether referrals are enough, you may want to consider how often you’re asked the question: “Do you have a website?”
A study done by Search Engine Land found that 91 percent of consumers now use the web to research their purchases and that 85 percent go online to find local businesses. Without an online presence, businesses run the risk of being effectively invisible: A majority of potential clients may never even know a small business exists.
The web gives your business an edge
But don’t just have a website because the public expects you to… do it because it gives you a competitive advantage. Of the surveyed businesses that have websites, 83 percent said their online platforms gave them a competitive advantage over businesses without them.
Many small businesses feel that the technological tools they need to compete are out of reach. Of the reasons businesses gave for not having a site, many said that that they couldn’t afford it or that they lacked technical expertise.
Those who don’t think they can afford a website may not realize the affordable options available. With today’s tools, it is possible to establish and maintain an affordable web presence.
Tools like WordPress, a state-of-the-art website creation tool, offers the capacity to expand as your business grows. By designing in WordPress, it’s possible to quickly establish a web presence, a critical feature in keeping costs down.
I’m committed to offering contemporary and professional websites to individuals, nonprofits, and small- and mid-size businesses—at an affordable cost.