As a website designer, you’d expect my answer to this question to be yes. It’s in my best interest after all to sell you my services.
A good example of that was a site I built for the local Kiwanis Club. It was a nice looking site and did everything it was designed to do. But as officers for the club turn over every year, that meant constantly having a new person needing to learn how to update it. Eventually they caught on to the idea that all they really needed was their Facebook page.
The truth is not all businesses need a website. Perhaps even most businesses don’t need websites in southern Illinois. Do you need to have a presence on the internet? Absolutely. If people are looking to contact you, the first place they turn to now is Google rather than the Yellow Pages.
But there are options for getting information about your business out there. Facebook is great for that – simply create a personal account and add a business page. There are numerous business directories as well to post your business, phone number, address and hours. And these are all free.
Want to take it a step further? We’re happy to create custom graphics for your social media pages. Need photography? We do that too.
In a small town, most referrals for businesses come by word of mouth. Need a dentist? Your neighbor is more than happy to recommend one. Need a mechanic? Word of mouth not only lets you know whose out there, but you learn who actually seem to know their stuff.
And in Carmi, as well as most of southern Illinois and small towns throughout the midwest, the simple truth is this is how most people find your business. You don’t need a website simply because most people here aren’t going online to look for someone in your field. They don’t need to, because chances are, they’ve already heard of you.
So how do you decide if your small business needs a website? Ask yourself these questions …
- Do you have a steady stream of customers who you can direct to your site, and hopefully educate them about your services?
- Are you in a competitive market, where you have competitors with websites who seem to be getting a lot of traffic?
- Are you looking to pull in customers from the surrounding area, where word of mouth about your business isn’t likely to reach them?
- Are you trying to market a product or services nationwide or even world-wide?
- Does your town, like New Harmony, Indiana for example have a steady base of tourists who will be looking for your services?
These are all good reasons to invest in a small business website, and there are many more. There are no one-size-fits-all answers to this question, and the best thing you can do is sit down with an advertising professional and go over the ins and outs of your business with them.
I’ll will be happy to listen to your story and make honest recommendations, free of charge.