Vail Tech: No reason for a business not to have Web site
Vail, CO Colorado
VAIL, Colorado – A couple of weeks ago I had a Vail Valley business owner approach me and tell me that he wanted to have a Web site built, but that he was only doing it because someone else had told him he needed one.
While this is actually a good reason in itself – that, being an established business, his customers expect him to have a Web site, it got me thinking about all the other reasons businesses need to have a Web presence in today’s economy.
Since I’ve never really taken the time to sit down and write all of my reasons out, I thought for this week’s Tech Bytes I’d do just that, and share with you my top 10 list of reasons why a business, no matter how big or small, needs to be online.
Reason #10: Gives your business a professional image
Having a Web site lends credibility to your business. A well-designed site that is easy to use can give your clients a good first impression and instill the confidence they need to do business with you.
Participate in The Longevity Project
The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.
Reason #9: Your competition has a Web site
In a competitive market like ours, it’s important to always stay one step ahead of the competition. If your competitor has a Web site, you better have one too to protect your market share.
Reason #8: Green
Stop wasting paper on brochures and handouts, and instead put your Web site address on business cards to direct people online for more information. You can fit a lot more content on your site, and save trees in the process.
Reason #7: Always open 24/7
You have to sleep, but your Web site does not. Having a Web site gives your customers 24-hour access to your business to get answers to questions, order products or book reservations.
Reason #6: Can track your campaign performance
With a Web site you can see exactly where your traffic is coming from, how much time your customers are spending on your site and what information they are most interested in. You can’t get that same information with print ads or brochures.
Reason #5: Additional marketing opportunity
If your customers are like me and no longer use the print yellow pages, you’re missing out on potential leads if you’re not online. For most people, URLs (e.g., vaildaily.com) are much easier to remember than phone numbers, and give customers the opportunity to quickly and easily forward the Web site address along to friends (not so easy with a brochure).
Reason #4: Ability to make quick changes
Say you decide to offer a new service or move to a new location. If your only form of marketing is print-based, you’ll need to reprint all of your marketing materials and redistribute to all your potential customers. With a Web site, changes can be made quickly and efficiently (of course, depending on your developer) and with an integrated content management system, could even be done in house.
Reason #3: Inexpensive
While you should expect to pay a bit for a quality Web site, these costs can usually be easily recuperated with the amount of new business that a good site will bring in. Overall, it’s one of the best values for your marketing buck.
Reason #2: Additional revenue opportunities
Rent is cheaper online, and e-commerce stores, product samples, reservation abilities, and just plain old leads will bring in more money for your business, from markets you would not be able to reach without a Web site.
Reason #1: Tourists!
Our communities depend on tourists to keep our shops and restaurants open, and chances are, before those tourists leave home they (or their travel agents) spend some time online scouting out the hotels, restaurants and shops that will make up their must-do lists while they’re here. If you’re not online, you’re not being found.
And what about after they leave our valley? Maybe on the plane home they decide they just have to have that beautiful painting they saw while browsing your shop, but won’t be able to order it online if you’re not online.
Jessie Williams is the owner of Second October Media, http://www.secondoctober.com, a Web development and graphic design firm in Edwards. Have a tech question you’d like answered? E-mail her at email@example.com.