A CLOSE relative who is outside the country, but looking to get married in Zimbabwe later on in the year, has asked me to help her look for service providers.
This exercise has proved to be harder than I thought. Websites play an important role in helping her make decisions on which providers to use since she is outside the country.
Unfortunately, my general observation is that the websites of potential service providers are either non-existent or sub-standard.
Consequently, a number of potential service providers have fallen along the wayside because they have no web presence.
I have been referred to various vendors who, from what I hear, do a sterling job. The only problem is I am not the one who needs convincing.
The potential client is miles away. What she needs is not just word of mouth, but evidence of credibility.
One of the most surprising things when you look at small businesses is how many of them do not have a website.
You would think that in this day and age everybody would know how important a website is for all businesses.
Clearly that is not the case. Any business that does not have a website is missing out on one of the most powerful marketing tools available to them.
There are several reasons why it is important for businesses of all sizes to have a website. In this article I will highlight just a few:
- Potential customers are increasingly spending time online. According to Internet World Statistics, as of June 2012, there were over two billion Internet users in the world.Consequently, if you are seeking an audience, more customers, or people to influence, the web is where your business needs to be.These days most people will go online and research products and companies before they make a purchase. If you do not have a website, you are missing out on all of this potential business.
- A website is also important because it helps you present a professional and credible business image.
- If you do not have a website that you can refer people to, potential customers are going to assume that you are a small timer and are not serious about your business.
- A website will give the impression that your company is bigger and more successful than it may actually be.
- A website is your online brochure or catalogue that can be changed or updated at anytime at a much cheaper and faster rate than print material.
There are various reasons small businesses give for not having a website.
The main one is the belief that they are expensive.
Breaking news, they do not have to be. The truth is, just a simple site that tells people about your company and your products will be more than adequate.
Nonto Masuku is an executive partner of an image management firm