TWO YEARS AND COUNTING, VALUEBEAM LTD IS 2 YEARS OLD. According to Bloomberg, 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs who start businesses fail within the first 18 months. A whopping 80%…
Steve Jobs also asked ‘why’. He challenged every single operation within his company. Everyone, from the engineers to the accounting staff, did things differently, because Jobs would ask them why they did things in a certain way.
And answering, “Well, that’s what everybody else is going” simply wasn’t good enough.
When I started my first business several years ago, the first thing I thought was “I need to get a website”. Why did I think that? Why do I need a website?
I decided to get with the program and copy Steve Jobs to answer the fundamental questions about why I, a small business owner, actually need a website.
Why Do I Need a Website?
Reason #1 – Online brochure
Companies spend millions creating brochures and distributing them. By having a website you can skip that entirely. Your potential customers can find out about you and any of your products online. If you get most of your business through networking and personal connections, then they will want to check out your website.
Reason #2 – More customers
More than 2.4 billion people use the internet every day, and some 90% of those have purchased something, or contacted a company, online in the last 12 months. So by not having a website, you will be missing out on a big piece of the pie.
Reason #3 – Business value
Have you tried getting a business loan recently? It’s not easy, but if you try and the bank manager asks to see your website, you better have a pretty good one. It doesn’t just stop with the bank, the perceived value of your business will be lower in everyone’s eyes – especially your customers.
Reason #4 – Influence
By having a website potentially thousands of people are going to see it. You are able to influence people’s decisions and educate them.
Reason #5 – Time to show off
You know that great feeling you get when people recognize your work? Well, by having a website you can show off what you do and take pride in your work.
Reason #6 – Helps with business goals
That’s right! When it comes to writing the content for your website you are going to revisit things about your business that you haven’t in years. You will most likely reassess your business goals.
Reason #7 – Low barriers of entry
Ever wanted to start a business? Well, now you can do it with virtual space. In fact, by using some free website providers you don’t have to pay a penny.
Reason #8 – 24 hours per day
Your website runs 24/7 without any supervision or need to lock it up. You can always be there for your customers.
Reason #9 – Communication with customers
By having a blog or even just a feed on your website, you can update customers on your newest offers, products, promotions, events, photos, or any other content.
Reason #10 – Marketing
The internet has opened up a whole new world of marketing that didn’t exist before. Your website can attract new business by using a whole host of low cost marketing techniques.
Reason #11 – Customer support
You can greatly reduce the cost of customer support by have a ticketing system, or even just an FAQ on your website. I can think of about 5 companies off the top of my head that streamline your customer service straight from your website.
Reason #12 – Email@mywebsite.com
I know there are other ways to do this, but by having a website you can have your own email firstname.lastname@example.org. It is more professional and easier to remember. I know you love your email@example.com , but it doesn’t really resonate with customers.
Reason #13 – Press releases
I know that sounds a bit far out, but it is true. You can run really cheap press releases online about your business, but to do it you will require a website. In fact, I have had clients who were absolute nobodies get one million views on YouTube because of online press releases.
Reason #14 – Stick it to the man
The best answer to “Why do I need a website?” would be that you can stick it to the man. It is the easiest way to quit your job and earn a living.
Reason #15 – Any topic or hobby will do
Do you love sports? How about ballet, alternative dance, photography, holidays, Kit-Kats, cars, skateboards, science or animals? Well, then you have a business idea just waiting to happen. The internet has room for an unlimited number of niche blogs that can attract traffic and revenue. Just pick something you love and start writing about it.
Reason# 16 – Connect with fellow web masters
On a little side note, if you own a website you get to call yourself a ‘web master’. Pretty cool! But reason #16 for ‘why I need a website’ is that you can easily make new business and personal connections with other website owners. This can lead to extra streams of income for you!
Reason #17 – Gives you a voice
Have you ever been in an argument with someone and said “Well, I have written an article about that on my website, and actually, that isn’t the case.” It feels great! For some reason people don’t want to argue with you if you’ve written about something on your website. It also gives you a place where you can voice your opinion without judgment. If someone leaves you a comment you don’t like you can just drag it over to the spam folder.
Reason #18 – Do business your own way
You don’t need permission from your boss or company lawyer. Ash Ambridge drops the ‘F-Bomb’ all the time because she can, and no else is asking her to stop. Now she has a world class business with thousands of customers.
Reason #19 – Beat the big guys
Have you ever wanted to get into business, but don’t know how to compete with all the big names out there? By creating an incredibly beautiful website with a solid strategy behind it you can smash the big guys to pieces. You have no chance of building bigger skyscrapers, but your website can break down the perceived wall between you and them.
Reason #20 – Instant credibility
Have you ever had difficulty making that sale? Or convincing someone that you are the real deal. By having a well structured website you can foster instant credibility with anyone. You can provide the ultimate proof that you are, in fact, the realest of all deals (couldn’t resist that phrase).
Reason #21 – Helps you to find a new job
I bet you didn’t see this one coming. I have been harping on about how a website can help your business, but it can help you personally too. Not only can a website host your resume or CV, but by owning and managing your website you have demonstrated tons of hard and soft skills. Having worked in HR once upon a time, I know it is valuable.
So… why do I need a website?
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Like many people over the past several days I was saddened by the untimely death of Steve Jobs, but inspired by the story of his amazing, if too brief, life. Jobs imagined technology as a force to make human lives better.