I've read several sources that say 55% of small businesses don't have websites at all. I'm not sure how accurate that is ... but still, this is shocking to me. I suppose it may have something to do with not seeing an immediate return on investment, both in money and time. Perhaps many of these folks are not web-literate also. However, they should see the benefit of at least having a simple page up for directions and contact information. Something which would be easily inserted in print advertising and business cards. Personally, I do assume a company that I cannot find on the internet either doesn't exist anymore or is a very small operation.
It does seem a completely missed marketing opportunity to not have a website, especially as these days you can have something professional on line at a very low cost.
Some common reasons cited for why a Small Business doesn't have a website include ....
1. Not tech savvy, and unsure what to put on or how to have it done.
2. Budget is always an issue with startups and most existing small businesses (especialy intodays economy), and they need to really understand the value for their particular industry.
3. Time ... its one more thing for them to have to "manage". So many small businesses might do a site once, and never go back to look at it again.
4. People over 40 don't see the value or need as much for a website for more than just directions to the location or the most basic of information. Some don't even think its necessary at all.
To businesses that have so little IT awareness that they don't think a website is necessary, they need to remember that their clients may be more forward thinking. If they have no website then presumably they are not using the internet at all for business and are missing out on online word of mouth. They also are unable to track what is being said about them online by their computer literate clients, and this might do them a big disservice. A bad review by a client that you don't know about can escalate and get out of hand. Some kind of basic web presence and Social media understanding really is a must for a business, however big or small.
Although there are reasons some small businesses don't have websites ... there's really no excuse today for not having one. The potential benefits to your bottom line far outweigh any reluctance holding you back from having a web presence. It just plain makes good business sense.
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