I feel like I need to start this post with a declaration: I LOVE offline businesses. I really do.
Even in today’s hyper connected world where we seem to be able to get pretty much anything through the click of a button, there’s a place for traditional, brick and mortar style businesses.
There are some things that simply need to be presented in a storefront or at a local market or delivered in person. And there are many people who relish being able to hold things or sample a taster before they buy.
So I don’t know about you, but I’m definitely of the opinion that offline business aren’t going anywhere-at least not in my generation.
That being said, I always encourage my offline business clients to build an online presence. There are too many awesome marketing and growth opportunities that you can’t afford to ignore.
One of the foundations of a solid online presence is a website. Now, I’m not saying you need to throw down thousands of dollars for a website, but I do think that having a strategically designed website is a must.
Here’s are just some of the reasons why…
10 ways a strategically designed website will bring big-time benefits to your offline business.
1. When you have a website, you can be open for business 24/7.
You don’t need to operate within regular trading hours so you’ll be able to make sales or take orders/bookings around the clock. And it will be really convenient for customers to get more information, get in contact with you, make bookings, manage their orders, etc. Plus, since you can automate almost everything, you won’t have to work extra hours or pay your staff overtime.
2. Having a website will boost your credibility and make your business seem more legit.
Having a website not only proves your business exists; it also enables you to display your business details, showcase your portfolio or product range, answer FAQs, share testimonials, and explain guarantees, terms and conditions and refund policies. All these things work together to create a strong and positive first impression-an impression that says “This is a real business. We’re here to stay. You can trust us.” It shows that you take pride in your brand image and care about helping customers and prospective customers.
3. A website provides a platform to communicate with your target market and promote your stuff.
A website makes it super easy to share updates, announce special offers and keep your customers informed without requiring much money, time or effort.
4. A website give you a platform to provide extra value to customers and potential customers.
This will increase your customers’ trust in you and position you as an expert. You can share helpful blog posts, PDF guides, tutorials and other useful extras to make your customers feel cared for and help them get the most out of your products and services. This is the foundation of an unforgettable brand and it will set your business apart from the competition and ensure you stay top of mind with your customers.
5. When you’re online you can target a wider market.
Depending on what type of business you run, a website will enable you to be found by people anywhere and everywhere. You won’t need to be limited to the town you live in, so you’ll be able to help more people and your potential for growth will be larger because you have wider customer pool.
6. Search engine optimization means more potential customers will be able to find you.
With good search engine optimization, your business will appear in search results so you’ll be easier to find and you won’t need to spend a fortune on advertising.
7. A strategically designed website will help you to provide your customers with top-level customer service.
Without too much effort, your website can simplify the buying, sign up, and communication process for your customers. Plus it’ll provide a standardized level of customer service and experience for your customers, so every customer will leave your website with the same positive impression.
8. Referrals will be super easy.
Happy customers will be able to tell their friends and family about your business by simply clicking a button to share the link to your site. And it’s much easier to say “Oh check out “crazycutebags.com,” than it is to try to give someone directions to a actual physical location.
9. In some cases, a website can remove the need for your business to have a storefront.
You could create your products at home and then mail them or deliver them to customers who purchased from your online shop. This will drastically reduce your running costs because you won’t need to rent business premises, buy lots of display shelves, or pay for any decorating.
10. A website will help you understand your market better.
Your website analytics will give you valuable insights that will help you to understand your customers and their preferences, and to determine if your marketing is having the effect you want.