Small Business

Is a Website Essential to Your Business?

The answer is an emphatic yes!

In today’s digital world, most businesses, especially small businesses, won’t survive without a Web presence. A business’s online presence, regardless of industry, can have a huge impact on its ongoing success. Studies show that 88 percent of consumers do online research and read reviews before purchasing anything in-store or online.

A website can accomplish many different marketing strategies to help your business grow. Some of these include:

Builds Business Credibility

A website provides legitimacy to your business. Most consumers today expect a credible business to have a website. Having a website that looks good and clearly conveys quality information gives you the opportunity to make a great first impression as well as show prospective customers you’re a real business.

Builds Brand Recognition

A good website establishes who you are, what you do and what makes you different/better than your competitors. It showcases your brand. By doing this successfully, you increase the likelihood of consumers buying from you.   

Builds Leads

A website can generate leads. Once people find your business online, they can learn more about your product or service and how to contact you from the information you’ve provided on your site, giving you the opportunity to increase your customer base and sales.

Saves Time and Provides Customer Service

Many potential or existing customers want simple information like your hours of operation or where you are located. You can provide this information without forcing the customer to call you or distracting your staff from focusing on other important aspects of your business. Providing this kind of useful information on your website increases your business’s internal productivity as well as delivers a better overall customer experience.

Provides the Best ROI on Your Digital Ad Spend

If you plan on utilizing digital marketing to increase your leads and grow your business, you will want to drive traffic to a source of useful information. Your website is the perfect place. It is best to have your website up and running before you begin a digital ad campaign.

Builds Organic Traffic

By being online and having a SEO-optimized website, your business has the opportunity of showing up in Google search results. With a SEO-optimized website, you increase the likelihood of your site showing up in the results when people are searching for a product or service. This gives you a chance to increase your customer base significantly.

Provides Updates and Announcements

Your website is out there 24/7/365. So, it’s easy to post time-sensitive updates and announcements to your customers. It provides a way to keep your customers current on everything you’re doing. The more relevant this information is to them, the greater likelihood you will be able to gain sales.

Most businesses who don’t have a web presence, cite concerns of not being tech-savvy enough, not being able to manage a website or the cost. The good news is there’s a solution out there that will work for you and the specific needs and resources of your company. Do your homework and due diligence. Begin by looking at websites of competitors or companies you admire and jotting down the best ideas you see. Then meet with a few Web designers (get references) and compare approaches, level of service, expertise and cost.

In the end, the cost involved to design and maintain a good business website is well worth it!

Exciting News! We are busy enhancing our website to continue providing state-of-the-art online service to our customers. We plan to launch our new site before the end of the year! Please visit our website, IntracoastalBank.net, for updates.

Their Future Depends on You

Small businesses have been severely impacted by the Covid-19 crisis. The economic hardship, caused by the pandemic, has forced many small businesses into bankruptcy, or to drastically scale back operations, leaving them struggling to survive. About 53 percent of small business owners don’t expect to return to pre-Covid operations for at least the next six months, according to the Small Business Pulse Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau in December 2020. Now, it’s more important than ever to ensure local small businesses recover because of the role they serve in driving economic vitality into our local communities.

According to The Small Business Economic Impact Study, conducted by American Express in 2018, small businesses account for 44 percent of the economic activity. The study also states that every dollar spent at a small business supports 50 cents in local business activity, and every ten jobs created at a local business supports an additional seven jobs within the community. Consequently, losing these businesses could have a devastating ripple effect on a local community.

Supporting your local small businesses – some added benefits:

  1. Community Support. Local small businesses become an integral part of the communities they serve. By supporting these businesses, small business owners will likely give more back to their communities in return. It’s a win-win!

  • Community Desirability. The unique flavor a small business brings to a community makes it a special place to live or visit.

  • Unique Offerings. Local small shops can fill a narrower niche than big-box stores. They can cater to the customer looking for something unique or uncommon.

  • Personalized Customer Service. Many small business owners know their customers by name and make it a point to develop relationships with their regulars. Customers are more than a number.

  • Competition. Competition is fostered by communities with many small businesses, which keeps prices low and innovation high.

As the impact of COVID-19 lessens and many of the local businesses you once frequented are open again, here are some surprisingly simple ways you can help and support them:

  1. Shop locally and online. Patronize open local shops. If you’re still not comfortable shopping in person or if the store is still not open for in-store service, many small businesses have an online presence as well.

  • Do something small for your favorite local shop each week. Making a small purchase or giving them a positive review online each week can go a long way to help them stay afloat.

  • Buy a gift card or shop now for later. Think about gifts or gift cards you can buy right now and give later. You may not need these today, but the revenue from these sales is a huge boost to the business’ bottom line during this critical time.

  • Order take-out. Even if your favorite restaurant remains closed for indoor dining, you can support them by curbside pick-up or delivery (e.g. Grubhub, DoorDash, Uber Eats, etc.).

  • Tip generously. Whether you eat in or take out, give a generous tip. Tips are even more important right now to small business workers who may have lost hours due to in-house services being shut down.

  • Recommend your favorite small businesses to your friends and family. Word of mouth, especially when it comes from a friend or family member, can go a long way to help support local small businesses.

  • Advertise your favorite small businesses. Small businesses often have branded merchandise (t-shirts, caps, etc.) By purchasing these items you will be increasing their sales revenue as well as promoting their business when you wear them.

  • Consider small before big. Before hitting the “purchase” button on your favorite big-box online store, always be mindful and take a few extra minutes to determine if you could be supporting a local small business instead.

We are stronger together and because of that we can be a great source of support to our local small businesses. Together we can truly make a difference and help save our small businesses and the jobs they create.

Recent Comments