Running a business is hard work. The skills needed to start and grow a business changes from year to year. Approximately 7,000 businesses go bankrupt each year in Canada from lack of vision and poor planning. A business plan is required that must include a marketing analysis, marketing plan and sales strategy that includes online marketing, sales, and customer service. Without a website, there are lost opportunities that will limit the growth of a business.
Lost Marketing Opportunities
A well-designed and maintained website gives a business legitimacy. It represents a store front that is open 24/7. Employees will have business-related email address such as firstname.lastname@example.org instead of using a generic email ending with @hotmail.com or @gmail.com which prevents the business from having a polished and established look. It will be easier to find talented people to join a business from a career’s page where job openings are listed.
Potential customers will come to the website to read about products and services. They will be able to download product brochures, read frequently asked questions and reviews made by customers then reach out to through the contact form if they have questions.
In addition, a business’ website allows it to expand geographically since people from all over can search and find the website.
Lost Sales Opportunities
Without a website, potential and recurring customers will need to directly contact the business to find product information and place orders. A website allows customers to self-service so they can find their own product information then purchase online or request more information through a contact form. Think of the time savings and security issues over having an employee process purchases through email and over the phone.
Lost Customer Service Opportunities
A website’s knowledge database can contain articles with solutions to a customer’s problems. For products that need to be returned, a website can contain instructions or a form to generate a RMA (Return Material Authorization) number and packing slip. Also, a website can contain a product feedback form for customers or a testimonial form. Without a website, customers would rely on an employee in a customer support position and would only be able to provide support at specific times.
If a business doesn’t have a website, people may not know the business exists except for word-of-mouth or through traditional marketing mediums such as fliers in the mail, newspapers, radio, and TV. Maybe the business will get lucky and a customer will walk by the store or dial the wrong number and start a conversation.