In 2016, Businesses Without a Website Are Invisible
According to numerous studies, between 50 and 60% of small businesses have a website and for the larger players, the figure rises to close to 80%. It has become the most essential marketing tool of the new millennium and it's all because of one simple reason. It works.
The whole concept of shopping for products or services has been radically altered by the Internet and how the post-Baby Boom generations use it. In the old days, (known as the years "BC", or "Before Computers") researching a major purchase, say a new propane barbecue for example, involved a day-long "shopping trip" to visit a couple department stores and/or hardware retailers which carried various grilling options. After the exhausting, time-consuming shopping adventure, you would then make a selection based on your impressions of the small sample group which had been viewed.
IRL* Shopping is So Last Week
Nowadays, everyone from net newbies to senior citizens are tossing aside shopping In Real Life (*IRL) and embracing online shopping as a way to compare prices, research product features, read reviews, as well as actually buying their heart's desire. They don't just do comparisons on items geographically close to their homes anymore, with international shipping being so widely available and often included free with many purchases. Modern retailers understand only too well their competitors aren't just across the street, anymore but across the globe. Failure to understand this fact may render your company invisible to any new business.
Service Providers are No Exception
A company which provides services to a well-defined geographic area may believe they have no need for a worldwide website, however, due to the local nature of their business model. An example would be a small snow removal and dirt-work company based in Leduc County we'll call, Honest Bob's Bobcat Services with their proud slogan, "We Can Dig It!". Obviously Bob the owner isn't flying around the world with his Bobcat looking for parking lot clearing contracts in Siberia or South America. Why would he need a presence on the worldwide web when his business isn't worldwide?
Seek and Ye Shall Find... (but only if you're online)
The reason our friend and his Bobcat still need a website is that when homeowners in Bob's trading region decide they need Bobcat services, they no longer reach for the phone book. That's so "last week" it went the way of the dodo and the day-long shopping trip. Instead, nowadays the first thing they will do is grab their smartphone and conduct an Internet search for "Bobcat services Leduc". It is absolutely vital when everyone in an entire society reacts to each emerging need by first looking online, it's smart to be found where they're looking.
* For any millennials reading this and wondering what a phone book is, it was an enormously expensive to produce, awkward to read, four-inch thick hard-copy collection of phone numbers printed in a tiny font. Yeah, we don't miss it, either.
The Bottom Line
It is apparent in this post-millennial world that every company, no matter the size, location or business model, needs to have a website. It is what smart business owners do. This need is not only because of how virtually everybody finds out about anything, anymore, either. The larger concern may be, if you do not have a website, potential clients may be forgiven for wondering why you don't; assuming they ever hear about your business at all.