There was an interesting article in Entrepreneur this week about small businesses and their web presence, or rather, the lack thereof. In the article, author Justin Kitch notes that 60% of small businesses don’t have a web presence and that this rate has remained relatively unchanged for years.
Let’s consider some of the barriers that may keep small businesses off line.
- “I can’t afford a website”: In years past, getting a website designed was a high cost proposition owned by a select group of talented graphic designers and web developers. However, just like almost everything else today, getting online has never been faster or more affordable. With out-of-the-box software applications such as Shopify and ready to use design templates, it has dramatically reduced both the time and cost to get a site up and running. It also frees up your budget to spend on making the front end represent your brand rather than setting up the “nuts and bolts” of the site. The trend towards hosted solutions, also means that there is no need to maintain your infrastructure or spend capital on hardware. If you last looked a web development several years ago, you will be very surprised at just how affordable it is to get a site created and even to add ecommerce capabilities.
- “I don’t understand the technology”: Web technology can often seem intimidating to someone who has had little experience beyond browsing on the Internet. Often time people are worried about getting in over their heads or not being able to learn new software. But similar to above, technology has simplified the user interface…today’s web tools are intuitive and designed with the average user in mind. We find that many people who have never dreamed of building a website are successfully experimenting with the new tools available today, and, are actually enjoying it! Don’t forget there is also a whole slew of web resources such as forums and blogs to learn, leverage and share your knowledge with other users. Plus, with today’s sophisticated reporting tools, managing your website is easier than ever.
- “I don’t need a website”: Many small business are established in their own market or niche and have a solid local customer base. But what business doesn’t want more customers? A website allows you to get your message out to prospective clients wherever they are in the world. It also provides an easy way for existing customers to refer someone to your business or to share product information. But a website goes way beyond opening up new markets…it also offers a whole new way to connect with your existing customer base. Imagine doing market research with visitors on your site, or instantly communicating your latest product offering through a blog post, or trying 3 different ad campaigns in the same day…all of this and more is available to any business owner willing to learn a few new tools.
So what’s stopping you? Sign up with Shopify (affiliate link) today and see for yourself how easy it is to get your business on online and selling!