This is my first post here in Engadget's Public Access, so please bear with me!
This topic might have been written a million times across the Web, so I know you'd go off and say, "I know what he's going to say."
Despite the millions of resources we have online, there are some people that do not believe that having your own website can be profitable in the long run. Can't believe it?
Nearly 50% of Small Businesses Do Business Without a Website a New Survey Finds - PRNewswire
These small businesses believe that having a website is irrelevant or they simply can't afford to have one at their current status.
For small businesses, a website is not "irrelevant" to your business. In 2015, StatisticBrain compiled different statistics from sources E-Marketer, Barlow Researchers, U.S. Census Bureau, and Jupiter Research. Small businesses should note these findings:
According to Google's 2015 data, 50% of consumers who conduct local searches on their smartphone go to a store within 24 hours, and nearly 20% make a purchase within a day. Of the small businesses that have websites, 69% of them are having annual sales of $1,000,000 – $2,490,000.
Small businesses without a website are losing annual sales of $1,000,000 – $2,490,000.
While most small businesses do own a Facebook Page instead, creating a website is another avenue that can be used to promote your products or your services, effectively. Because of today's increase in demand for website building, you can now build your own website with a simple drag-and-drop interface or via themes that can be downloaded for free or purchased for a fee.
Here are some ways on how you can own a website. Even though these techniques on having a website might require you to pay for something, I made sure that you're not shelling out more than a thousand if possible.
1. Hand Coding Your Own Website - perhaps this may not cost you that much, but it can be time-consuming and gruesome especially for small business owners who aren't knowledgeable when it comes to coding a website. If you have enough time in your hands and you'd like to spend the weekend learning how to code, you can Learn how to build 14 websites for $14! We recommend pursuing this course to familiarize yourself on how to handle a website, especially the basics of managing it as well. HostingITrust is a trusted Global directory of Web Hosting and Web Design service providers. If you're looking for a better hosting company, visit their site and choose from their global directory hosting and design service providers.
2. Use Website Builders - Although I do not recommend using website builders especially for accessibility issues, a website builder is perhaps the easiest way for small businesses who want to build their own website. In this post "Best Website Builders", Robert Mening listed the Top 10 Website Builders you can use to build a website. What I liked about his review is that he's fair and he's straightforward; this guide's not trying to sell you anything. He also included a comparison table, some notes on payment, and even tutorials on setting up on each website builder.
3. Use Blogging Platforms. If you want to start out a blog about your product or services without the eCommerce capability, it's easy to setup a WordPress.org, Tumblr, or Blogger site. It's very simple to setup, but with limited functions that you can enjoy through a self-hosted website.
If you're still not convinced, here's a short article at Entrepreneur on Why You Need a Website. Even if you do decide on creating and building your own website, how it looks like and how users enjoy is also important in developing your website.
People are now searching for your brand online. If they don't see your brand online, they are likely to dismiss your business as unavailable or indefinitely closed. Signing up for directories is a good idea, but nothing else increases trust and brand presence than your own website.
In your opinion, if a small business doesn't want to have a website, do you think having a Facebook Page would be a better option? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section!