I’m a small business owner…do I need a website?
One of the most important things to me as the owner of this little, middle-of-nowhere agency is to give sound marketing advice to my fellow small business owners. One of the questions I get asked a lot is whether or not a client needs a website.
The Short Answer?
No. I mean, if we’re thinking macro-level here, the only thing you really need is a sharp object, two sticks to start a fire and the love of a good woman. This is probably counterintuitive to a lot of what our fellow marketing folks are saying on the internet, but there are quite a few case studies of businesses who are making it work without a website, and some without a digital presence at all [gasp!].
For example, I just heard about a woman who repurposes men’s shirts into little dresses. Her business is entirely run via Facebook, and she has grown to over a dozen employees. My very own mother has a successful restaurant, sans website. Easiest sell there is and I’m not even going to go there, because quite simply, she doesn’t need it RIGHT NOW.
And here’s where this post takes a terrifying turn. That phrase “right now.” Especially in our rural communities, where folks have dug their heels in at their favorite watering holes for decades, you can skate by relying solely on word of mouth and a few well-placed ads in your small-town paper.
We our locals, but times are changing. The way you, your parents or your grandparents shared information just isn’t happening anymore. The phone call is being replaced by the social media tag, or the website link. Information is shared electronically, and our old-school referrals (still valuable, of course) are morphing into online reviews, recommendations and star ratings.
Did you know there’s a whole new market of Gen Xers, Millennials and that group of Ys who could be talking about you right now? Without a website, or at the very least a fully developed social media presence, you’re leaving the narrative of your business in the hands of a bunch of internet weirdos you may never meet.
If you have a website, it is the official word on you and your business. This is the only corner of the world wide web that you can stake any claim to. And as your audiences shift from baby boomers to those dreaded millennials, it’s important to reach them where they are – on the internet.
So you may not need a website right now – but if your goal is to grow business into the next decade, it’s definitely time to think about it…and we can help!
As my grandma used to say,
“the only thing you truly need is a good crack on the ass.”
But that’s a blog post for another time and most likely another place…
~ Emily Gall