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Small Businesses Without Websites Will Go Extinct Like Dinosaurs

By October 27, 2017 2 Comments
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Are you a small business without a website? Sorry to be a hater, but your business is in deep trouble of being extinct soon—like really soon.

This isn’t the boy who cried wolf. It’s an honest alarm.

Before we get into why, let me explain a high-level approach at the new business world.

Retail giants are in desperation mode after seeing other giants fall:

  • Circuit City declared bankruptcy in 2008
  • Blockbuster submitted bankruptcy filing in 2010
  • Sports Authority filed bankruptcy in 2016
  • Toys “R” Us goes bankrupt in 2017

I’m not making the point these companies didn’t have websites, because they certainly did. But they didn’t have a smart digital strategy to sustain their business or take it to the next level in the future.

For example, Toys “R” Us made a terrible decision by choosing to use Amazon for its e-commerce in 2000 instead of building out its own digital e-commerce store. When Toys “R” Us finally decided to get off the Amazon drug and wisely build their own e-commerce capability, they were already years behind their competitors and struggled to catch up.

The toy giant’s costly move to ignore its own online presence and online sales contributed strongly to its future bankruptcy (while Amazon’s profits are richer than ever).

The point is that you don’t want your company to ignore its online sales and become the Toys “R” Us of your space while your competitors steal your customers.

We’ve seen how that ends. We at Illumen Media want you to stay in business and thrive.

The only way to future-proof your business is to be on top of the newest trends: having a website to greet online shoppers and turn them into customers.

No Website, No Online Sales

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I hear the counterargument all the time when I do sales for my digital marketing company, “Oh no, we don’t need a website or online advertising. We use word of mouth to bring in new business.”

The funny part of this story is more often than not when I hear this I’m standing in their office lobby and it looks like a ghost town, kid you not.

In my head I’m thinking, “Sure looks like you could use some more sales! You sure you have enough income to pay for the electricity bill this month?”

Business clearly isn’t booming and they don’t have a website, you put the pieces together.

Now I’m not naive to think the only thing that can derail a business from bringing in new customers is the lack of a website. They could have a terrible product, zero marketing, unhelpful service, or rude customer support among other issues that are hurting the company’s success.

However, you can’t be too naive to believe that more online sales wouldn’t help a business grow into the modern world we live in. You’d have to dismiss the success of Amazon altogether to hold such an ancient perspective.

But here we are with nearly half of total businesses without a website to market themselves. In short, no online presence means no online sales.

That’s billions of dollars of revenue left on the table that each old-school company can grab a piece of the pie by adding a website and running online marketing campaigns to grab the consumer’s dollars.

Maybe they falsely believe their type of company doesn’t need a website. Maybe they don’t realize the power of online marketing. Maybe they’re scared of what they don’t know in a technical aspect. Maybe they’re stuck in the “we’ve always done lead generation this way” mindset. Or maybe they don’t believe they have the money for one.

Who knows the real reason, among plenty of other excuses I didn’t mention. I’d guess it’s a combination of all the above.

What I’m absolutely certain about is the loss of sales in the short-term and long-term for these website-less businesses. That’s undeniable.

Below is a list of every major benefit companies without a website and online traffic miss out on.

Reasons Websites Generate Sales

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A solid website can become the x-factor of your entire business going forward. Don’t underestimate its potential.

1. Websites market your business 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

A website is truly your digital storefront with the best part being it’s always marketing your products and services 24/7/365, even when your office is closed.

It doesn’t need a lunch break, to sleep, or to recharge over the weekend.

And vacations? Your website has you covered. Holidays? Check. When you’re home taking care of your sick child? Done, don’t sweat it.

Literally any example you can think of, your piece of digital real estate will keep working for your business when you and your employees call it a day or take off work.

Get a solid, modern website and it will market your offerings non-stop to new visitors. This kind of workhorse effort should win employee of the month, every month!

2. Websites help your business get in front of new customers.

For local B2C businesses, thousands of consumers a day in a 10 mile radius of your business are typing in “(insert desired service) near me.” And people are also just as much searching for solutions from B2B companies.

Guess what? The companies with websites compete to be near the top result. And the companies without a website aren’t even in the game—they have a 0% chance to bring in any of these active online customers.

Also you can pair Google ads or Facebook ads with your website to jump to the top of these searches and promote your services at a very cheap rate of a few dollars per click. With no website, you can’t use the best modern advertising methods—Google and Facebook ads—to your advantage.

If you get in the game of attracting new customers by having a website built, marketing your business will take a giant leap forward.

3. Websites bring in more profits for your business.

It gets better than just marketing. With a well-designed website optimized for business conversions, your inbox will be filled with new leads and sales orders for you to wake up to.

That’s the definition of making money while you sleep—every sales rep and business owner’s dream come true.

All you have to set up on your new site is a form to capture visitors contact information—perfect for insurance companies, consultants, and software companies who need to have a consultation or demo to move the buying process forward.

And if you’re selling a product or service that can be bought right away, utilize an e-commerce plugin to let the customer buy from your site right then and there.

Besides being a master marketer and salesman, what else can the website do for your business?

4. Websites improve customer service by communicating important information.

Your site also acts as a communications center to answer customer questions, explain the benefits of choosing your business, and inform them of your company policies.

Just take a look at how some of our clients utilize their website to improve customer service:

  • A local baseball organization has a homepage list with all of their tournaments by date, name, age group, fields, and cost to enter
  • A dog groomer has a FAQs page to answer questions about what dogs they groom, the services they provide, and what payments they accept
  • A shopper software company utilizes video to explain their online tool and has a button for requesting a demo

This will save plenty of incoming phone calls and email correspondence when you can link to a page that already answers their questions to a tee. Plus, if there’s any confusion by a customer, they can always fill out the form on the Contact page to get clarification too.

It’s always good customer service to deliver answers to customer questions that’s just one click away.

5. Websites boost your company’s credibility and trust.

Not having a website is almost as bad as not having a business name. It’s sketchy. People like to see the copyright, address, telephone number in your footer.

They like to see your office building on the site or a picture of the CEO. Personifying your company in these manners builds trust, and we all know customers need to trust you before they pull the trigger to buy from you.

It’s not even the digital marketer in me who says this: If I see a company without a website, I 100% question if they’re still in business anymore. It’s a red flag for me and a concern for some other potential customers of yours.

Instead of giving the public a shaky feeling about your business, give them the opposite emotion of trust through a knockout website that shows we’re legitimate and ready to serve your needs.

6. Websites make it easy to expand your presence.

Businesses have been built solely on the back of search engine traffic (SEO), and you’re trying to say that free traffic from Google searches isn’t valuable to your business?

That’s crazy talk, especially if you have ambitions of growing a statewide, regional, or national presence in the future.

Even if you’re only local, you also won’t have to pay for online ads if you have a steady stream of organic traffic coming from Google.  

And even if you don’t want to grow your business, wouldn’t it be nice to raise your prices because of high demand? That’s more money to go in the pockets of your loyal employees and your own as the business owner.

Or you could take the work you want and profit share with a smaller company to send them business since you’ll have more than enough after your SEO kicks in.

7. Websites save you money and time.

Consider this. The average cost of one employee is say anywhere from $20,000 to $60,000 or more per year for a small business, and the average cost of a standard website is around $1,000 to $3,000 for the build and then a small monthly hosting fee.

And already we’ve laid out how your online presence will improve your company’s marketing, sales, customer service, and brand reputation.

Couldn’t you let a few employees on your staff go since the website would make their previous job responsibilities redundant? That could be cost-savings of over $100,000 plus.

And an informative website with a helpful Frequently Asked Questions page can also save your employees time since they can redirect phone callers to the website instead of explaining the policies.

Since time is also money for a business, the question should be changed from where are you going to find the extra money for a business website to how can you afford not to invest in one?

8. Websites work to future-proof your business in the growing digital economy.

I see it time and time again. A company relied on radio, magazine, tv, billboard, or other old-school advertising to generate business. But then this well dried up and they have no way to make up ground in the new digital company.

Companies with mobile-ready websites are prepared for the new mobile age. Not only that, if done right, their website is actively:

  • Capturing emails to communicate and build relationships with their audience
  • Linking to the company’s social media pages (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter LinkedIn) to build their followers and stay top of mind with consistent posts
  • Pointing people to their Google listing to leave a review
  • Producing social media shares from their blog posts
  • Getting customer feedback to improve business operations

A website done right can build a future-proof base of touch points with your customers.

Plus, if a new technology comes out bigger than the internet—doubt it, but possible—you just lead your website traffic to that new platform and carry on.

Your Business Needs A Website

Call us at Illumen Media biased since we sell websites. But I swear I’d be singing the same song if we sold piano lessons.

A website is critical to your business success—some would argue there’s nothing more important based on its versatility to win you more business.

Do the best thing for your company and get in the digital world to connect with your audience. After all, you wouldn’t want to starve your business of these benefits.

  1. Websites market your business 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  2. Websites help your business get in front of new customers.
  3. Websites bring in more profits for your business.
  4. Websites improve customer service by communicating important information.
  5. Websites boost your company’s credibility and trust.
  6. Websites make it easy to expand your presence.
  7. Websites save you money and time.
  8. Websites work to future-proof your business in the growing digital economy.

And if you have a website but it’s bad—ugly, hard to navigate, not mobile optimized, doesn’t clearly communicate what you do, doesn’t convert sales—you’re in the same sinking boat.

You too need to upgrade your digital real estate with a new and improved website. Sure it’s an investment, but the new website should more than pay for itself in the first year it’s up.

You’ll also change your company’s trajectory from the path toward extinction toward one of hopeful promise.

Why risk going out of business when your company can thrive online?

Related: 9 Ways To Update Your Business Website Out Of The Stone Age

Brian Robben

Author Brian Robben

More posts by Brian Robben

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Grace R. Doherty says:

    You actually make it appear really easy with your presentation but I in finding this topic to be actually one thing which I believe I’d by no means understand. It kind of feels too complicated and extremely broad for me. I’m looking forward to your subsequent post, I’ll try to get the hold of it!

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