While having a website may seem like an unnecessary cost if you're not a prolific internet user yourself, but based on recent figures from the UK Office of National Statistics, in Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) of 2017, 89% of adults in the UK had recently used the internet - that's a big business opportunity you'll be missing out on if you don't have a web presence. Even if your business' website lists little more than your address and opening hours, maintaining a web presence could give you the edge over more technophobic competitors.
1 - If you get it right, your website will be the best tool you have for promoting your business. Your website will essentially become an online shop-window, accessible to customers all over the world, which means the better it looks and more and up-to-date it is, the better impression it will make on consumers.
2 - Whether it's three o'clock in the morning or Christmas day, the internet never closes - which means your business is open all the time, without any extra effort from you. If you choose to have an online store, your customers will be able to dictate when they want to buy, rather than limiting themselves to your opening times.
3 - If you are locally based, having a web presence will open your business up to new markets outside your local area, giving people from across the world the chance to browse your products or services.
4 - A well-designed website will make your business appear more professional. In fact, a well-considered website can fool customers into thinking your business is larger than it is and could even level the playing-field between your business and its more established competitors.
5 - If you get it right, your website will be the best tool you have for promoting your business. Your website will essentially become an online shop-window, accessible to customers all over the world, which means the better it looks and more and up-to-date it is, the better impression it will make on consumers.
6 - If you're starting a business on a shoestring, the costs of putting together a website will be cheaper than buying or renting premises, and could attract business from further afield than a high-street based business would.
7 - Feedback is often a difficult thing to attain and more often than not, feedback on your business will be limited to the negative. The internet allows you to enter into a dialogue with your customers, though: use surveys, questionnaires and feedback forms on your website to do market research and find out exactly what your customers' expectations are.
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