General Question

ariherzog's avatar

Why does a small business need a website?

Asked by ariherzog (33 points ) November 22nd, 2010

I am increasingly discovering management consultants, business coaches, and similar sole proprietor firms without websites.

I’ve met many of their practitioners and they explain they publicize their phone numbers, email addresses, and/or postal addresses as means for potential clients to contact them—and their businesses are booming.

Are they anomalies because they are old-school marketers, or because they recognize a static website is not necessary?

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11 Answers

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Their businesses are booming because they have good businesses. The question is, would they have even more business if they had a website?

JLeslie's avatar

If they have enough business already, maybe they don’t want to bother with a website. Advertising when you already have your business at the level you want causes more work, meaning, fielding more calls, and if you cannot handle more business competently you can lose your reputation.

marinelife's avatar

It may or may not. It depends on how it gets the word out about its presence.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

It’s a simple validation point. The question always arises, “Do you have a web site”?. You don’t want to begin a business relationship by saying “No”.

The web site is every bit as necessary as a business card. It can be a one page intro banner. That’s all you need. Further, add a contact page. It’s a simple mechanism that tells your clients “I’m for real”.

fireside's avatar

It depends on the type of business.
Those that you mentioned require a lot of time devoted to each client, so the company may not have the resources to bring on more work and would prefer to rely on word of mouth referrals to bring them qualified candidates.

Having a website in their industry may create the need for a full time person to review potential candidates and handle the incoming traffic.

If it is just a single person who isn’t interested in managing a staff and expanding their business, then there is no need for a web presence.

I do agree that if the company is approaching candidates and potential clients who don’t know them, then it would be best to have some sort of web presence to do their passive marketing for them after the initial contact has been made.

wundayatta's avatar

If it supports the mission of the business, then yes, the business needs it. If it doesn’t help forward the mission, then it’s just a gewgaw. It’s hard for me to imagine how any business would not want a web presence, even if it’s only a single page with information about how to contact them, or an email link. The web is how people look, these days, even in word-of-mouth businesses.

grumpyfish's avatar

So—my company has a website. We’ve seen 168 visits in the last month, 133 unique visitors. 1,965 unique visitors in the last year.

How much business we get based on our website is hard to say. However, we have our phone number on the front page of the website, and 7 of the top 10 searches for our website are people looking for our website. Probably to call us.

We are not an online business—we’re in the construction industry—and 90% of our clients have been our clients for years and years. But many of them find it faster to google the company name and then call us than it is to look up the number in Outlook.

Does a company need a website? No. Does it help them get and/or retain clients? Yes.

YARNLADY's avatar

My husband won’t even do business with people who don’t have websites. This includes the vendors for his company and the maintenance workers we hire for our rental and home.

Andreas's avatar

@ariherzog Welcome to Fluther. This is a good question as the above comments state.

When I’m searching for something these days I go straight to the web.

The spelling of a word: I put what I think the correct spelling is in a search box and have my question answered.

I want to buy: The web.

A phone number: The web.

So, if a business doesn’t have a web site then their current good amount of business may in times dry up so they have no business, as others have already said.

djthegreat's avatar

If you want a business to grow, a properly maintained website is crucial. Fifteen years ago, not so much. I dont see how anyone justifies NOT having a website for their business, in this day and age.

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