I was asked the other day by a plumber friend of mine why he should spend money on a business website. His argument was that he was busy enough as it is and that he didn’t have the time or the energy for new customers.

This prompted a lengthy and lively debate about marketing, credibility and customer service. All things small businesses seem to overlook. To share some of that conversation in a more audience friendly format, here are some of the many benefits a website offers any business of any type, anywhere.

A business website is a 24/7 storefront

The internet is open 24 hours a day 365 days a year. It is always there doing its thing and so will your website. If you don’t want phone calls asking about the area you cover, the services you offer, things you do and don’t do and other random questions about your offering, put them on your website.

Add a simple contact form and you’re providing another way to contact you too.

Market reach

Make sure your business website is responsive (will work on mobile and tablet) and you widen you market reach massively. Whether you want to concentrate on local business or want to spread your wings internationally, being out there and searchable is the only way to do it.

Quality equals credibility

One thing many small businesses suffer from, especially the trades, is credibility. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. If you see a builder’s van with a mobile phone number on it parked next to another builder’s van with a landline number, web address and email address, which are you most likely to contact first?

If you have a quality website, you already begin the task of building a reputation for quality.

Accountability

Small businesses have to fight to convince new customers that they are reliable, can deliver on promises and be accountable for what they do. A good quality business website will deliver all those things. If you provide full name, address, contact number, email address, social media account details and anything else that can help, you’re already proving to your customers that you have nothing to hide.

Any half decent smartphone can work with your website to answer customer queries through your site or social media. Calls from landlines or freephone numbers can also be diverted to your smartphone so you can be contactable while working anywhere. It all helps to build trust without changing the way you work.

Answer questions before they are asked

If you offer products or services that take some explaining, you can do it on your website. You can take your time, go into great detail and offer lots and lots of information about what you offer. This not only adds trust and value in the eyes of your customer, it also stops those phone calls asking those very same questions!

Be responsive

A business website is an engagement platform. From it you can talk to your customers through the site itself, email, social media, Instant Messenger and more. They can talk to you from their desktop, phone, tablet, or laptop making it quick and easy to open dialogue with your customers.

You can then respond during the day on your smartphone or in the evening from your device of choice.

Outperform the competition

Many small business websites are poor quality affairs made ten years ago and never updated. Many include poor content, spelling and grammar errors, low resolution images and generally let the side down. A quality website that has been professionally written with customers in mind is the only way to go.

Brand image

Building on the above point, a great website helps build brand image. If you portray quality, people think quality. That’s something that not only brings in new customers but repeat customers as long as you deliver on those promises.

There are many, many reasons why you should have a business website and these are just a few. If you think it’s time to elevate your business, contact Coastal Content today. We deliver fully functional business websites in Cornwall and beyond from as little as ?650!

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