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Is a Website Essential to Business Success?

This is the topic of a business forum that I was reading today. Most topics generate half a dozen replies but this topic has so far generated half a dozen pages of replies and the discussion has become quite heated.

In the main, people fall into one of two camps. Those that believe a website is essential and those who vehemently believe that it is not. There were even one or two people arguing that having a website could actually harm your business.

As I am a web designer, you could be forgiven for thinking that I will definitely fall into the first camp, that I believe a website is essential for all businesses. Whilst I definitely lean towards this point of view I would not argue for it in all circumstances.

What I would argue is that having a website only has the potential to benefit your business and the absence of a website is a risk that could harm your business.

Old established businesses would argue they do not need a website

Let me explain. Let us say that you are a local builder and all of your work comes from recommendation. As you are a good builder with an excellent reputation, you are absolutely flooded with business, far more than you can cope with. You could argue that you have absolutely no need for a website.

However, one thing we have learned from the recent credit crunch is that nothing should be taken for granted and that things can change overnight. If your business were to suffer from a sudden downturn, you might find that you have to start marketing your business again. If you are actively seeking new customers then a website is an extremely useful tool in backing up that marketing. It allows customers who are interested in using your business to do a bit of research on you.

If your website is brand new, it can sometimes be difficult for customers to find your website if they do not know its address. This is something that becomes easier with time as Google places more trust in old established websites.

So to summarise, I believe that you need a website now. Whilst it may not be 100% essential, there could come a day where it does save your bacon. It also just might save you from insolvency.

The costs are so low (especially with and AB Publish website) that I believe there is nothing stopping any modern business from having its own website.

So why not create your own website today? One day, you might be very pleased that you did.

Thu 7 April 2011 12:52:48

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