The coronavirus (COVID-19) forced many around the world to rethink everything, from work to school to everyday life. In response to work and school closures many people were forced to go online to keep up with business and learning. Out of necessity many companies have had to race to digitally transform their places of work to be able to operate effectively, causing those who weren’t already online to ask themselves, why not? Whether you have an e-commerce company and all of your business is online or you have a big contract with one government agency and don’t think you need a website, those others companies that are able to use technology well to keep going are the ones who have pulled ahead of their competition.
This alone should be enough reason to create a website and begin branding yourself online. You can magnify your size and capabilities to prospective clients and create any image you want. Today, businesses in every industry, of all sizes, must establish a successful online presence. If you don't have a strong online presence, not just a website but a good one, then you will lose business to competitors that do. You need to have an online presence because your prospects and customers expect you to have one. It’s the first impression they will get of your company and you want it to be one that wows them.
Nowadays we’ve become really used to having everything available at our fingertips. One click of a button and it’s ours. Your customers expect the same for any product or service they’re getting from you and they want you available 24/7/365 for them. Having a website isn’t just about selling your products, it’s about making your company accessible to answer questions, provide support and solve problems. With an online presence, you can give them just the information they want, right when they want it. This means you can spend more time working on the revenue generating activities in your business and spend less time handling common customer service issues. By creating a product spec sheet or a frequently asked questions page once, your current and future clients can have access to that information for years to come. It not only saves you time, but allows you to provide better customer service.
With a business that doesn’t exist online you have limited yourself in the number of potential new customers you can find, not to mention the ones that can find you. When done right, you can literally have thousands, even millions of people viewing your website at once. Just think about what potential your company has when exposed to an unlimited number of people looking for the exact service or product you’re already offering. It all comes down to the way you’re marketing customers. You can increase traffic to your site through an endless amount of avenues online such as email marketing, social media, and content marketing, just to name a few.
Increasing your response time means happier clients. Utilizing the internet allows you to deliver price estimates, purchase orders, and confirmations instantly. Depending on how busy you are, it can sometimes take hours, or even days to process orders or send out proposals. With a website you can track inventory, sales numbers, outstanding orders - pretty much everything. Think of the time and money that could be saved by using the internet as a tool to reach more prospects, convert them into qualified leads and ultimately customers, while maintaining a process that is somewhat if not entirely automated. What about when customers have questions during the middle of a busy work day? Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a place they could go to get those questions answered quickly? It’s impossible for most businesses to make themselves reachable at all times. Without the internet that is. Even just an informational site can lead clients to your page to read about your products and answer questions that you’d normally have to do over the phone.
Having a website with the right features can even help cut down your operating costs. Creating an e-commerce site enables you to receive orders online and reduces the need for customer service staff. You could manage your business with less employees and have a much more efficient way of tracking all your sales. You can also utilize lead generating tools online to replace full time sales reps. What about adding a chat feature to take over customer service issues? The possibilities are endless when it comes to the internet and if you’re not already on or don’t have a site that presents you in the right way, your competition is already two steps ahead.