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Does Your Business Really Need a Website?

In business these days every marketing dollar counts. Competition for customers is tight, and you need to be the first name that comes to mind when the need for your service arises. Unlike the mega-corporations, the rest of us need to be generally frugal with our marketing budget, so selecting just the right pieces for your campaign can be a challenge.

There are several key pieces of collateral that every business needs (logo, business cards, signage), but the single, hardest-working promotional tool is a business’s website. Long gone are the days where a website is a frivolous expense. These days, if you don’t have a website, it is costing you money. Across virtually every demographic, consumers are likely to begin the pre-purchase decision-making process online. And if you’re not in the mix, you are out of the running.

Think about the vacationing family. Most hotels now offer in-room broadband as well as a complementary office area with a community computer. When it comes to deciding where to have dinner, they get a list of local restaurants and begin searching for the related websites. Those that offer online menus (often with associated price) are reaching their customers before they’ve left the hotel. Where is the family most likely to dine, at the restaurant with dishes and prices that they know is right for them, or the restaurant whose offerings are still in the dark?

A more common example is the individual in search of professional services. A website provides more than just an answer to the question “can you do this for me?” It makes a business’s first impression, beginning the selling process. You can demonstrate your expertise in your field. You can cross-sell by bring to light related products or services the site’s visitor may not have thought of. You can educate your customer on their terms, which is a great position for any business to be in.

Your company’s website is your front door to your potential customers. By presenting a professional, well thought out, and easy to use website, your initial impression can be one that results in more customers and more sales.

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