Does my small business really need a website?
If you're a small business owner, one question you've no doubt asked yourself time and time again is "What can I do to stand out against my competition?"
Recent research by GoDaddy shows that at least one answer to this might be much more obvious than you might think - simply be online. According to their figures, a staggering 60% of the UK's smallest businesses (1-5 people) still don't have a website.
In 2015, when there are now officially more smart devices in the world than people, it's difficult to imagine any circumstances under which even the very smallest business wouldn't benefit in some way from a web presence.
The research shows that those small businesses who do already have websites are in general significantly more confident about the prospects for their business over the coming years than those without, hinting at a definite correlation between having an online presence and having a successful business.
Also of some interest are the reasons given by small business owners who do lack a website as to why that is, the most common of which being the belief that their business is simply too small to justify having a one.
In some cases this may be a slightly misguided notion in 2015 with the entire developed world now operating around the internet, mobile and social media. There are even services now which allow you to compare reviews of any number of your local takeaways, peruse their menus and then place a complete order, all entirely online. We simply live in an age now when an enormous percentage of the population go to the web first and foremost to look for any kind of product and service they might require, no matter how trivial. To be absent from that space is to ignore that market completely.
Other factors cited by small business owners for not having a website included lack of time and high costs. Thankfully though, both of these issues are becoming less and less relevant with the increasing number of affordable managed website services now available. And remember, having a web presence doesn't have to mean an all-singing, all-dancing site that supports online transactions and the like - even a single page site with your phone number on is better than nothing as it still means people can find you and get in touch.
So there it is - if you're a small business owner and you've already made the leap to being online, you've no doubt already reaped some of the benefits - you may well even struggle to remember how your business managed before!
And if you haven't - well, the internet isn't going away, and if you can't beat 'em...
Source: GoDaddy/RedShift Research
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