A view that is still surprisingly common is that a small business by nature doesn’t need the exposure created from a website. Small business owners have many reasons that they feel a website isn’t an appropriate advertising medium for their business, the most common reasons being:
- Most of their customers are local and will therefore already know their business exists
- They already have sufficient advertising coverage in the phone directories and their local paper
- They think it will be too expensive to have a website
So let’s deal with each of these issues to ascertain if the assumptions made are correct. We’ll use the example of Mr Brown who owns a cleaning company in Anytown and doesn’t have a website for all of the reasons above.
1. We’re a local business so people already know we exist
Many small businesses have built a solid foundation within their local community and its right to assume that many local people will be aware their business exists. However, it’s also equally right to assume two other facts. Firstly, that not all potential customers are local and secondly, even local customers may not use your business regularly and be fully aware of your range of services services, pricing, opening hours, products, etc. Let us look at two potential examples where Mr Brown’s lack of a website might negatively affect his business…
- Mrs Jones has been made executor of a late relatives property in Anytown and the property requires cleaning before it is placed on the market. Mrs Jones lives over thirty miles away and therefore has no local knowledge of cleaning companies in the area the property is situated. The easiest way for Mrs Jones to find a suitable cleaning company is to search on the Internet for ‘cleaning companies in Anytown’. Unfortunately Mr Browns Company is nowhere to be seen but his competitors are easily found by Mrs Jones.
- A firm of Letting Agents want to find a carpet cleaning company in Anytown to recommend to their Landlord clients. They are aware of Mr Browns cleaning company but aren’t aware that Browns Cleaning Ltd also conduct carpet cleaning. Instead they search online for ‘carpet cleaners in Anytown’ to find a suitable company. If Mr Browns Company had a website, the Letting Agents would have discovered his company offered a whole range of different cleaning services, including carpet cleaning.
2. We’re in the Yellow Pages, Thomson Local and the local paper
Before we examine this objection in depth, it’s worth pointing out that over 94% of adults in the UK now have Internet access either at home or in the workplace. Advertising online should be considered a ‘must’ for small businesses rather than a supplement to traditional advertising. The simple reason – cost.
Every time your phone rings with a potential new customer who has responded to an advert in a traditional advertising medium, it costs your business a set amount of money; your cost-per-enquiry (CPE). Put in simple terms, if you have 100 customer enquiries a month and you spend £200 per month then each enquiry has cost you £2.00.
It is surprising how little analysis most businesses conduct for this crucial element of their business expenditure. Establishing the CPE across all of your advertising media will quickly determine which ones are providing value for money and which aren’t.
Research shows that traditional advertising media are on average almost ten times more expensive than for enquiries from a website. To put this into a typical situation, when was the last time you picked up either the phone book or local paper to find a product or service as opposed to searching for it online?
The other obvious benefit a website has over traditional advertising is the amount of content you can include in a website is significantly greater than you can feasibly have in a physical advert. When it comes to the Yellow Pages and Thomson Local, the companies with the biggest marketing budget are the ones that get noticed whilst smaller companies are left trailing at the rear of their relevant sections.
With a website, you can compete with bigger companies on an even playing field.
3. It’s too expensive to have a website
Having established that a website will give you a significantly cheaper return on your advertising budget than traditional media, we can examine the pre-conceived notion that many small businesses can’t afford a website.
At Avara, we have specifically designed our website packages to be as flexible and affordable as possible. As a comparison, we contacted our local newspaper to enquire about the cost of lineage advertising in their’ Trades’ section of the newspaper. The cost for a twenty word advert was £20.70 per week – and that’s a price you’ll pay every week, every month and every year
Costs for the Yellow Pages and Thomson Local are significantly more for a medium that is becoming less and less effective with the rise of online searching.
There are still many website design companies around who do charge extortionate prices for their services but at Avara, our entire business model is based on providing exceptional value for money to our small business Clients. Equally, we are 100% confident that our websites will increase your business enquiries significantly so every penny you pay us will be achieved back through increased sales many, many times over.
We hope this information has helped you to reach a conclusion on the many benefits of having a website for your business but if there are nay other questions you may have, please contact us on 01252 416 222 and we’ll be more than happy to give you the answers or take a look at your website design page.