Do you see yourself as a traditional entrepreneur? Are you a local business owner who firmly believes that a professional website is just too fancy for your brand image and is just a waste of money? Are you the type of business owner who thinks local businesses need not worry about websites or online presence?
Some of the more successful local business owners who have embraced the value of professional websites might disagree with you on that. Allow me to shed some light on the importance of business websites and how they might affect your small local business.
Why websites? What’s so beneficial about them?
For traditional entrepreneurs, especially when it comes to the Filipino small business owner, relying on modern forms of marketing is almost non-existent. We Filipinos like to keep things traditional, almost to the point of detriment.
Needless to say, the “build it and they will come” mentality and overreliance on word-of-mouth marketing is still very much a thing among Filipino business owners, especially local and small enterprises.
But is this old-fashioned mentality still effective, especially when you factor in the fact that most consumers live online nowadays? The truth is, most of us can’t even buy anything or eat anywhere without having to go online and check for reviews and ratings first. This is the world we live in, like it or not.
The Internet is the new vehicle that carries the echo of word of mouth across every corner of the marketplace. And you better jump on the bandwagon if you don’t want to get left behind.
Why Having a Website and an Online Presence Is Crucial for Your Business
- To add some credibility to your business, local or otherwise.
Even if you’re running a local business in a small town somewhere in the Philippines, having some credibility can still do wonders for your business. Credibility breeds trust and trust breeds loyalty. And if you’re a small enterprise, loyalty from customers is very important, don’t you agree?
But how can a website bring credibility to your business?
As mentioned earlier, most consumers today go online to research products and/or services to make better decisions as to how or where they should spend their money. And whether you like it or not, if your business doesn’t have an online presence, it’s a likelihood that you won’t even be considered a prospect.
As far as today’s consumers are concerned, if you have no website and no online presence, you don’t exist, even if you only cater to the local market.
- To enable you to provide relevant information to your target market.
You know how traditional businesses produce pamphlets and brochures to give to potential customers so they will have an idea of what the establishments can offer them?
Well, websites are the brochures and catalogues of the digital age. And they are delivered directly to the customer’s laptop computer, tablet, and smartphone where information can be accessed anywhere at any time.
- To allow you to have a digital space, a platform, to show off your work.
You can think of your website as your own personal showroom, where you can display your products, achievements, and services for everyone to see.
People go online to find entertainment and consume information. Want to go see a movie? Let’s check online for what’s currently screening. Want to eat in a restaurant? Ask Siri for the nearest restaurant with great reviews.
In need of a particular product or service? Do a quick search on Google. Surprise, surprise! Your company is right there on Google’s search results page. How about that?
- To help bolster your customer service efforts.
A website is not just for displaying what you are selling. It’s more than just glorifying your brand and showing your target audience how good you are and why they should buy your products or avail of your services.
A website can also be a conduit, a channel for information sharing and communication. You can use it to improve customer service and strengthen your relationship with your consumers. And that is how you turn casual customers into loyal patrons.