I have been asked time and time again whether it is really worth businesses having a website. My answer is always the same and really don’t think I am going to deviate from it for many many years. I need to put to bed the fallacy that a website is an option for businesses and something that needs to be put in place as and when. NO, having a website is not an option for any business anymore; it is paramount to secure longevity of ANY business. Sounds harsh…No… it really is reality.
It is fact that a massive 47% of businesses do not use social media within their organisations. That’s huge considering the internet has now been around for Twenty years! The ironic thing is that ALL of these companies that do not have websites themselves use the internet to run their businesses!! What a paradox. These businesses are fully aware that they are buying constantly from other companies that are online, yet they don’t have a website themselves to offer their goods and services to a national or even international audience.
I hear excuses all the time as to why these companies do not operate with a website and to be honest they are either really weak or excuses that are totally invalid!
“We can’t afford it”. Reality, you can’t not afford it!
Online Sales are increasing daily. If your company does not embrace selling their services or products online their sales with DEFINITELY go down. Fact.
Websites needn’t be expensive. Ensure you secure a deal with a credible company that doesn’t charge you the earth and are not bargain basement where you will end up with a website that will do damage to your business.
“We do well without a website”. We all know businesses that do really well without a website; however could you imagine how well they would do if they also embraced the internet. Large corporations like “Argos” are currently closing around 10% of their physical stores and investing in online platforms to deliver their value to the market place. If your company does not emulate these big players, your business can certainly die.
“People will not buy our products or services online” Ok that may be true; however, there is a huge amount of offline sales that are secured as a derivative of the customer researching the product or service online prior to making the sale. Bear in mind that you watch TV ads on a daily basis and do not buy the products or services you see on the commercial immediately. Seeds are planted and the companies that are advertising secure the deal further down the road. You need to plant the sales seeds initially on your website.
“We sell on word of mouth” True, word of mouth has always been, and always will be an excellent vehicle for securing sales. I understand that, on average, the customers who get a good service will tell around 12 other people. But believe me, a website shouts louder than your existing customers. I would expect that your customers would be able to tell one person at a time how good your company is, a web presence has the ability to tell thousands at any one time. Put your testimonials on your website and they will be read by thousands of potential customers that visit your website prior to making a purchase decision.
Let me jog your memory for a moment, do you remember ‘Golden Wonder’? These were the guys that made the best crisps in the world. Everyone that does remember these iconic snacks knows that the company was deemed very stable and ‘going nowhere’. Golden Wonder was a household name with very little competition. That was until ‘Walkers’ came along. Walkers took the stance of investing huge amounts of their capital in marketing to drive the brand forward and create awareness. I am told that the guys at the helm of Golden Wonder laughed and thought the huge marketing budgets that Walkers’ set aside for advertising was Kamikaze and it wouldn’t be long before Walkers would implode and the competition would be gone, leaving Golden Wonder to dominate the snack market….How wrong could they have been. On 9th January 2006 Golden Wonder went Bust. As you are aware, Walkers are a flourishing company that fully understands the value they add to the market place needs to be reinforced in the minds of potential customers to fend off any competition.
There are many other companies that thought they were doing it right, when in fact they were doomed to failure. Most of these failures were a derivative of neglecting the responsibility to understand trends and customers buying patterns. Here are some of these companies.
Lehman Brothers 2008
Amtrak Express Parcels 2008
Dolcis Shoes 2008
Empire Direct 2009
Land of Leather 2009
Waterford Wedgwood 2009
Sea France 2012
Comet Group 2012
JJB Sports PLC 2012
Ok so that’s a little group of companies that didn’t do it right. They have to take full responsibility for their actions. Under no circumstances can any of these companies blame external influences. The evidence of this is in our face!! I’ll tell you why; every single one of these companies operated in an industry that was stable. All of the companies here have equivalents today making vast amounts of money trading in today’s market. Therefore I would say that its not’s “What you do” it’s “How you do it” and if you don’t change what you are doing you won’t change what you are getting.
Please don’t make a mistake and destroy your company, get online today and you will never look back.