Does your business need a website?

If you were given a store to run, would you put out an eye-catching sign to let passers-by know what you have to offer inside? Would you build an attractive entrance and design the store so as to entice people to come in and browse? Would you invest in high quality marketing materials to help promote your business? Would you want to stay ahead of your competition? If you wanted your business to succeed, chances are that your answers to all of these questions would be a resounding yes.

Turning potential clients into actual clients generally requires that they believe that as a business owner, you care about what you do and how you do it. One way to project this is to have a modern and well-maintained store-front friendly and helpful employees and an overall image that makes a positive first impression.

Your website as your online calling card

How many times have you been handed a flimsy and tattered card? Or one that contained misspellings, crossed out numbers, or faded colours that were obviously printed using a home printer? Most likely, that made you wonder how much care the business owner would put into delivering his/her product or service. As a potential client, I want to know that the person who I will be buying from cares about his/her business image and invests in conveying why I should do business with their company rather than with their competition. The same can be said about websites.

What if your business does not sell products on-line?

What if your business does not sell products on-line, would you still need a website? The answer is a definite yes. At the most basic level, it is important to note that people rarely use telephone books or printed directories to find the products or services they need. That’s why today, any business that hopes to be taken seriously must have a website. This is true even for businesses that have no products to sell on-line. If your business does not sell products, you need a website to sell your services, promote the benefits you offer over your competition, showcase you portfolio, post testimonials, and provide all of the information necessary to encourage visitors to take the step and contact you.

Any business that does not have a user-friendly, professional-looking website will instantly lose the opportunity to make that critical first impression that turns prospects into customers.

Creating a website for your business is faster, easier and less expensive than before. If your business has made it this far without a professional looking website, count yourself as lucky, but don’t wait much longer. Your competition is probably already updating theirs…

For more information about the latest tools and open-source applications that can be used to create a cost-effective and efficient website for your business, please refer to my post, Web design, as we know it, has changed. Also, just like handing out home-made business cards or having an unprofessional Website will hurt your business, so will a poorly maintained social media presence. For more information, please refer to my post, Why should you use Social Media?

Ali Mohammadi is the founder of Global Access Group, a web design company; Global Access Hosting, a web presence provider company; Montreal Networking Group, a Montreal-based business networking group; and Fantasia Events and Entertainment, a Montreal-based special events management and coordination company.