This is a question often asked by people who have a local business with a local client base. They may have a long established business that almost everyone in the area already know about and visit, so why would a website benefit them?
The same question could also be asked of any famous brand name retailer...
Why do M&S (or example) need to advertise on TV when everyone already knows about them? But they do, and they spend millions.
Websites are different to TV advertising, but the concept is the same. It is about reaching out to a new audience as well as a reminder to those who may not have visited for some time. The adverts on TV can (and often are) very irritating, as we can't switch them off when we are watching a film or a favourite soap, but a website is only ever visited by people who are looking for a solution - either a product or a service.
Your business may be local, and you may already use local advertising, but a website can attract business from those who don't read the local papers. It is also much cheaper than advertising, and it never expires.
Why restrict your market to your local area when a website can work for you covering the entire country. You can also direct people to your website for information about your services, opening times, directions, special offers, etc etc.
These days, more and more of your customers are browsing and searching for services such as yours on their mobile phones. Having a website that can be viewed on mobiles is therefore an essential asset that can't be ignored.
If people are visiting you, then having a map and directions on your website will be a major benefit to your customers, and reduce the number of no-shows; especially important for any business where appointments are required.
Sending out printed brochures and technical sheets is expensive and time consuming, so why not have them on your website for customers to download and view from anywhere, either as pdf documents, or just presented directly on your pages.
You can include order forms, price lists, product descriptions, photos, maps, and technical guides etc. You need never have to post documents ever again.
If you work in a specialist market you can supply your customers with up-to-date market news and information that will encourage repeat purchases, customer loyalty and attract new customers.
This is most often achieved by writing blog articles (just like this one) which is easy to update. It also benefits your SEO because the search engines see your site being updated regularly with useful information, which is important on any website.
Traditional advertising is expensive for the very limited space and audience reach that it provides, whereas a website has unlimited space, unlimited audience, and a much greater return on investment (ROI).
If you think of your website in terms of advertising your business, then you will immediately see the value of a business website.
You can also add your website address on your adverts, so that people can easily find more detailed information. This in itself can reduce your advertising spend because you can focus on smaller adverts with bolder headlines that attract attention, and with a web address for more information.
We all know how many millions of people now use social media (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube etc), and these are a major discussion forum for enthusiasts of every subject, so if visitors to your website like what they see then they are more likely to mention it to their friends on social media. This creates extra free advertising for you.
Never underestimate the value of social media, even if you don't already have a Facebook page or a Twitter account. Visitors can spread the word of your excellent service for you, which can include links back to your website. This improves your brand recognition.
Having a website for your business is now considered an essential asset for every sector of the market, local, national and international. It is an extra shop window that is open all hours, and it is a global glossy brochure that can be updated in an instant.
You can be assured that every visitor will make an assumption about your business & services within the first few seconds of seeing your website, so you can never afford to skimp on the website design or presentation quality. If you 'make do' with a cheap and scrappy website, it will have a negative impact on your business and most visitors will simply go elsewhere.
If you have a professional website that presents a quality image for your business, then visitors will enter, and many will be converted into new customers.
So, there are only two questions you need to ask...
1: If you don't have a website for your business, what are you waiting for?
Now is the time to join the internet revolution.
2: If you already have a website, does it do your business any justice?
It may be time for a refit.