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Today’s modern business world can seem like it’s dominated by technology, especially where marketing is concerned. Small business owners are told they need a website, a Facebook page, and a presence on Twitter and other social media.

Then they are told they should blog (which we’re for, of course) and consider podcasts and creating YouTube videos.

But many small business owners might take pause at all this high-tech marketing. After all, these things are an investment—of time at least and often money. They might argue that they’re too small, or that they sell a product or service that doesn’t lend itself to web sales.

Unfortunately, that could be a mistake. The internet has become so ingrained in American life that having a presence on the web is now a necessity. Back in the day, you’d never have thought of not being listed in the yellow pages and now that holds true for the internet.

For this post, we’ll focus on the most basic. Namely, why your business needs a web page.

First of all, at this point your customers expect it. We mentioned the Yellow Pages above and for a reason. Once people looking for a service or store let their fingers do the walking. Now they let their mouse do the walking.

While there are some guides that may list your company’s names and address for free—such as from a Chamber of Commerce—most people expect more when they are searching the net. They’ll search for the service and then visit business websites. They’ll expect to be able to review what you offer and prices before they even think about getting in the car and going to your business. Having a website simply makes your business seem more professional to the modern shopper.

This, of course, means your site will be up against bigger businesses and corporate chains that offer what you do. But keep in mind that one thing hasn’t changed since the Yellow Pages’ day. People will still look for the closest option to meet their needs. Local businesses can often provide services and goods more conveniently than a larger store miles away.

But in order for local customers to find you, they have to know you’re there.

Second, your website is open 24/7, even if you’re not. Potential customers will be able to review your site at all hours, even when you’re closed. That equates to 24/7 marketing. People don’t really drive around and check out stores in their area that much these days. Now they do it late at night online.

Third, your website has more reach than ever before. Back to the yellow pages example. Your business was listed in one book for your general area. But on the web, everybody everywhere has access to your page. Sure, you’re not likely to get customers coming through your door from hundreds of miles away, but you might find some new customers in the next town over. Or the town after that.

The point is that a webpage expands your marketing reach. And if your business does lend itself to online shopping and shipping merchandise, then there are no limits to how far you can expand.

A website also allows you to tailor service to specific customers through personalized accounts and customer profiles. The web is a valuable marketing tool and can be used for a number of promotions from online coupons to a customer reward system. You can also use your website to get valuable customer feedback.

Finally, however, the most important reason that you need a web page is that your competitors have one. For most things, mimicking your competition isn’t a great idea. You want your business to stand out and be different.

That can apply to a website as well and it can be worth the investment to make sure your site stands out and you use it proactively. That, of course, might also include using social media and the host of online marketing options available.

But simply not having a site gains you nothing and gives an advantage to every competitor that’s out there.  When a potential customer sits down and uses a search engine to find a store or service, they’ll come up on their screen while your business will be left in the dark.

Do you live in Cumberland County and need small business consultation? Call us at 8856.794.8400.