Yesterday the post office dropped off a copy of my town’s telephone directory. Yes, hardcopy. Every year the book gets thinner. Do people still use the Yellow Pages section? The post office goes to great expense to print the book, but the weight of the publication tells me my town’s businesses are prioritising their online presence. So should you. You do need a website.
Why do you need a website? Well, just look at your own internet habits. What is the first thing you do when looking for a product, information, or doing a background check on a business? You go online and do a Google search. If you can’t find an individual company, you move on to its competitor, and your potential customers are doing the same. Today people expect a small business, startup and even a home business, to have an online presence.
You don’t need geek-level technical skills to have a website. Nor do you necessarily need to hire a website designer. You have a number of free options to showcase your services and products.
- Create a business page on Facebook
- Create a blog in WordPress
- Use one of the many free design platforms like Wix
However, if you do want to take your online presence to the next level, you should consider owning a domain. Your domain is, in fact, a little like owning online real estate. Best of all, nobody else can use it. Imagine conceptualising a name for your business only to find out that another business has already created a website with the same name.
Tip: Even if you are not ready to move away from the free website platforms, it may be a good idea to at least register your business’ URL with a hosting company. The fee is minimal and paid annually. At the very least you are preventing someone else from poaching your great name! Owning that URL is like having an online “street address”.