Small Business Websites

Online Presence: No Longer Just an Option

Written by Clayton Reeves for Gaebler Ventures

Websites used to be a luxury, but they have quickly turned to necessity. Even small businesses can't operate as efficiently if they do not have a well functioning website. Here are some reasons you, as a small business owner, should invest in an online presence.

In the past, online presence has been more luxury than necessity.

Online Presence No Longer Just an Option

In an evolving market place where customers are becoming ever more demanding and educated, it is no longer an option. Businesses must have an advanced and easy to use online interface or they simply will not be able to compete with companies that do.

There are several reasons to go online, with five major ones that stand above the rest.

#1. Open all the time

Online stores are open twenty four hours a day, three hundred and sixty five days a year. There are no holidays or off days for an online store. It is an automated machine that can run with very little direct supervision. Although there must be safeguards to prevent downtime, with the proper structure and foundation these sites are now very reliable.

#2. Advancement of technology

The technology is now very easy for smaller companies to use. It used to be a difficult effort to get online server space, a domain name and technical support. Now, a simple site can be built for a fraction of the cost with bundled support services. With the advent of overseas programming and software support services, everything has become cheaper and easier to use. This gives small businesses the chance to be able to afford an online site.

#3. Operate a nice more effectively

The internet allows a small business to maintain an online niche in a much more reliable fashion. There are an incredible amount of niches that need to be filled on the internet. Small businesses are more flexible and responsive to these niche markets, and by going online they can take advantage of the needs of the marketplace.

#4. Larger audience online

Small businesses can occupy these niche markets and then gain a larger audience by going online. There may not be suitable demand in a geographic area for their product, but going online creates instant access to a larger customer base. More customers, when targeted and served with efficiency, usually translate to higher revenues and growth. Going online can give you this access without much risk.

#5. Creative, instant feedback system

Finally, going online offers an instant way to get feedback about your products and services. Although feedback in person is also possible, people are much more likely to rate an online provider with a simple menu then fill out a review card by hand and send it through the mail. The quicker the better, as far as customer surveys are concerned. With online shopping, people are able to rate their experience and give valuable feedback on where the company can improve. This can provide a small business with the opportunity to fine tune their operations and improve customer satisfaction.

All five of these are great reasons for a small business to take their business online. There is no doubt that businesses that do not have an online presence are at a serious disadvantage!

When he's not playing racquetball or studying for a class, Clayton Reeves enjoys writing articles about entrepreneurship. He is currently an MBA student at the University of Missouri with a concentration in Economics and Finance.

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Conversation Board

Do you agree that every small business should have a website these days?

  • Maria posted on 2/26/2009
    Great article! I definitely agree that every small business should have a website. It's imperative that business owners continually find new channels to market and utilize the vast opportunities that exist online. The more exposure you have the better opportunity there is to attract new customers.

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