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Why New Businesses Need A Website In 2024

May 14, 2024 | Branding, Business, Website Design

Business Website

Although 2024 is just 24 hours removed from 2023, it feels like a reset. The new year is the first day of the new you. Day Number One in fulfilling a resolution for achieving financial independence by becoming an entrepreneur.

And the first step in starting a new business in 2024 is setting up a website.

What Are The Benefits Of Having A Business Website In 2024?

What kind of business are you planning to start in 2024?

Are you thinking of selling products or offering professional services? Are you considering monetizing special skills such as personal training, translating languages, or writing?

Are you interested in becoming a freelancer and offering your services to multiple clients? Perhaps you’re dreaming of life working as a digital nomad in Spain?

It doesn’t matter what type of business you’re planning to put up in 2024 – single proprietor, partnership, or corporation – or the kind of trade you’re thinking of getting into – retail, provider of services, or freelancing – your business will need a website.

For sure, you’ve read about websites and what they’re used for. Websites have been around for decades. Throughout those years, websites have evolved in design and function.

The first iteration of web pages was only good enough to run static promotions and ad campaigns. Websites were primarily used as online marketing brochures for businesses.

While the website remains an effective platform for marketing and promoting a business, the innovations in digital technology have harnessed its full power and optimized more benefits for businesses in 2024.

1. Adapt to the New Normal

A New Normal is defined as the current state of a region – its economy, society, and governance – after a crisis has been resolved or abated. The 2020 global pandemic resulted in lockdowns that derailed even the world’s most powerful economies.

By the time the world reopened for business, it was clear that the pandemic created a seismic shift in how work and life functioned. Consumers used the time during lockdown to explore the Internet and all of its possibilities.

People saw how the Internet created opportunities for them to transition from 9-to-5 employees to entrepreneurs.

Businesses struggled to adapt to the new normal. Consumers preferred to shop online. Companies with brick-and-mortar locations were paying for rental spaces they couldn’t afford.

Many businesses also had a hard time convincing their employees to go back to work.

The pandemic was a wake-up call for people. They realized that life and work were unpredictable and that time with family was limited.

Employees preferred to work remotely from home or just start their own home-based businesses. The shift in employment preferences led to “The Great Resignation”.

Today, the new normal is just “The Normal”.

Although cities no longer mandate the wearing of masks and businesses are 100% open, consumers prefer to handle business online. In the United States, 43% of American consumers shop online. Only 27% of Americans still shop at physical locations.

Likewise, more companies are incorporating telecommuting work arrangements or hiring remote workers to fulfill their manpower requirements. Job market site Upwork estimates that 22% of the US workforce or – 32.6 million Americans – will be working remotely by 2025.

With consumers’ growing preference for online establishments and businesses continually shifting to Internet-based business models, it’s more important than ever to have a business website in 2024. The business website is your business address, and your office on the Internet.

2. Have a Virtual Contingency Plan

The key takeaway from the 2020 pandemic was that companies with website versions of their businesses survived and even thrived when the economy was closed.

These businesses included retailers of medical supplies, food, supplements, exercise equipment, pet care supplies, clothes, video games, cosmetics, and healthcare items.

Similarly, providers of delivery/logistics and dropshipping services were also in demand because they were asked to transfer the goods from businesses to consumers.

Private employees who were working as freelancers as a side hustle continued to earn money. Many freelancers found more projects because companies that couldn’t operate the physical office depended on them to get work done.

Having a website for your business will create a virtual contingency plan in case an event happens that forces your physical location to shut down.

For example, natural disasters, events of political and societal unrest, and accidents that cause fires or floods could affect business operations of your brick-and-mortar establishment for a prolonged time.

If you have a website that can support and run business operations, your customers will continue to enjoy your products and services even if the physical location shuts down unexpectedly.

3. Streamline Business Costs

Are you thinking of getting into the retail business? If you plan to open a physical location for your store, you’ll have to pay for the following:

  • Store construction
  • Furniture and fixtures
  • Computers and POS
  • Menu boards (for restaurants)
  • Display cases
  • Initial inventory
  • Monthly rent
  • Utility expenses (power and water)
  • Security and advanced rental deposits
  • Business permits
  • Services (Internet, security, garbage disposal)
  • Warehousing for inventory
  • Store supplies

In addition, you’ll need at least 6 months working capital to cover the salaries of Full-Time Employees (FTEs)

In comparison if you have a business website, your expenses include the following:

  • Web Design/Development costs
  • Cost of Domain
  • Web Hosting services (annual fee)
  • Software licenses (monthly subscriptions)

The cost of the website will depend on its design, functionalities, and features. An e-commerce website with advanced features that include multiple payment options, animation, cart abandonment recovery, and product searching and filtering will be more expensive compared to a basic e-commerce website with an e-portal.

However, the cost of an advanced e-commerce website will be comparatively lower than the cost of a physical store that’s built from the ground up.

Acquiring a domain name and subscribing to web hosting services is like registering a business trade name and signing a lease contract at a commercial property.

However, by comparison, the cost of acquiring a domain name and signing up for web hosting services is much lower than renting a physical space for your business.

The cost of a domain name can range from US$10 to US$20 per year but might change depending on need. The same can be said for web hosting services. Generally, you’ll pay more to avail of advanced features.

Depending on the location and the size of the space you’re leasing, you’ll end up paying thousands of dollars in advanced rent and security deposits. Every month, rent will be a recurring expense along with utility services, Internet and phone subscriptions, salaries, benefits, and office supplies.

With a business website, your recurring expenses include Internet and phone services, and perhaps a few subscriptions for apps and online-based services. You can download apps for communication, file storage, website security, and project management. Some of these programs have free options available.

As an online retailer, you can outsource services such as content writing, digital marketing, customer support, and graphic design. Instead of hiring FTEs, you can build a remote team consisting of freelancers.

When you outsource services to third parties or hire freelancers, you can pay per productive hour or on a per-project basis. Either option is a better way of managing your operating budget.

You can become a drop-shipper and have the supplier be responsible for the storage and transportation of the products you plan to sell online.

Lastly, it’s cheaper and more efficient to market an online business.

Physical locations often go the traditional route and distribute flyers, post streamers, post ads in newspapers, and other Point-of-Purchase marketing strategies to push their products to customers.

Not everyone pays attention to flyers, posters, streamers, and newspaper ads. They can be annoying and a distraction. Only people who are interested in the product will find value in the materials.

And once the promotion is over, the materials will just find their way into the garbage can.

Digital marketing tools, processes, and strategies are used to promote websites. Content – blogs, videos, and images – is optimized for search engines so they can be found by the target market.

Compared to flyers, posters, and streamers, digital content can be reused. All you need is to update the information and re-post after a few months.

No paper waste!

 

Website.That .Will .Grow .Your .Business

4. Expand the Reach of Your Business

Your business can be accessed by anyone with an Internet connection. If you’re a real estate agent, you might find potential buyers from a foreign country who are interested in buying some of the properties identified in your list.

Outsourcing is a proven way of reducing operating costs. If you’re a graphic designer or content writer who’s interested in finding corporate clients, put up a website for your freelancing business and include the following pages:

  • About Me
  • Services
  • Blog Page
  • Portfolio Page
  • Client Testimonials
  • Contact Me

Write blogs and post them in your social media accounts, especially LinkedIn, 2 to 3 times a week. Always include the link to your website in your social media posts.

You’re not confined to business hours or logistics with a business website. Your business is open 24/7 and 365 days a year.

5. Keep on Pace with the Competition

As of 2022, 71% of businesses have invested in a website. This is a massive jump from a few years ago when fewer than 50% of businesses had websites. The significant increase in the number of websites has been attributed to the 2020 pandemic.

Put simply, entrepreneurs want to protect their businesses from uncertainties. In the United States, an estimated 43% of businesses closed down because of the pandemic.

If you’re still part of the 29% of businesses that don’t have a website, you better get on the same page as your competitors. Without a website, you’re leaving your business vulnerable to uncertainty.

Also, not having a business website is not a good look. The market for your particular goods and services will compare your business with others in the industry.

70% of consumers prefer to transact with businesses that have a website.

Consumers will view businesses without websites as being “less invested” in their business and “not concerned” with the experiences of their customers.

6. 100% Control Customer Experience

The key to business success isn’t just providing customers with the best products in the market. Success is also attributable to creating memorable experiences for your customers.

A website allows you to manifest your vision for the ideal customer experience. You have 100% complete control over the features and functions that you want on your website.

You can’t do this on social media because these platforms operate based on their algorithms. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and other popular social media networks run on algorithms that place restrictions on how members manage their activities.

  • Include chat support services on every page
  • Customize the CTA’s per web page
  • Link your YouTube videos to the Home Page
  • Use AI for chat support
  • Create content specifically for your target market without fear of being suspended

With a website, customer experience is 100% your call. It’s up to you how to engage with your visitors, where you want them to go, and what you want them to do next.

7. Open New Streams of Revenue

Even with a website, you can continue to operate your brick-and-mortar business. Not only will the website provide you with a contingency plan but it will also open new streams of revenue for you.

As we mentioned earlier, your website is open 24/7, 365 days a year. It doesn’t take holidays off and isn’t subject to operating hours. While the doors of your brick-and-mortar business are closed, your website continues to be accessible to interested parties.

Customers can place orders for your products. In many cases, deliveries won’t be done on the same day. However, you’re assured of sales deposited to your bank account.

Also, you can introduce products that aren’t available at your physical location.

For example, if you’re selling musical instruments, the physical store won’t have enough space to carry all of the brands that you’re authorized to sell. The website can showcase the brands that aren’t carried by your physical location.

Storage and delivery of the product can be made easier if you become a drop shipper. With this type of system in place, you earn additional sales without incurring much cost.

8. Learn More About Your Customers

Another cool feature of your website is that it collects information about your customers. A website can gather data in many ways:

  • Onsite Web Analytics
  • Offsite Web Analytics tools
  • Heatmaps
  • Session recordings
  • Keyword Research
  • Customer/Chat Support

With the use of these tools, you can find out:

  • Key demographics – Gender, Age, Location, Income Level, Occupation, among others.
  • The topics they enjoy reading about.
  • The length of time a visitor spends on a web page.
  • Commonly used keywords to launch a search query.
  • Common problems and issues of your customers.
  • Feedback on your products and services.
  • Customer preferences on website design and its features.

Having these tools will give you relevant data that you can use to make business strategies and decisions. You’ll be able to identify which types of content and marketing processes are delivering good ROI and which ones aren’t. Thus, you can be more efficient with your marketing budget.

You’ll know how to customize your business website to give customers an excellent user experience every time.

9. Build Your Business Brand

A website is essential for building your business brand for the following reasons:

  • The design elements – colors, graphics, space, and text – best represent your business.
  • The home page will feature your Unique Value Proposition (UVP), a short statement that tells visitors why your brand is exactly what they’re looking for.
  • The blogs, web copies, images, videos, graphics, and other forms of content tell your story and give site users a better understanding of who you are and why you started this business.

In other words, with a website, you control everything. You create the narrative. You provide the experience based on your vision.

If you think you can manage your brand’s reputation by using social media alone, think again. Social media networks use moderators to manage content that’s posted by the community.

These moderators use company prepared guidelines to identify which pieces of content violate the rules.

The business website is yours. It’s up to you to decide what types of content you want to post and how you want to present them to your audience.

10. Easier to Upgrade

Physical offices and stores need frequent maintenance, repairs, and upgrades. Sometimes a complete renovation is needed for retail shops and restaurants to give customers a whole new experience.

Conducting maintenance, repairs, and upgrades on physical locations is expensive and time-consuming. It can also be a logistical nightmare because you’ll have to coordinate with professional service providers.

Maintaining and upgrading a website is much easier. Updates and upgrades can be done automatically. You can set up the website in a way that software updates are installed right away whenever they’re available.

The best way is to sign up for one of our Extreme WordPress care packages. We have options to fit every budget.

By availing one of our Extreme WordPress care packages, you don’t have to worry about maintaining your website. We’ll do it for you! Plus, we’ll protect your website from potential cyber-attacks.

Conclusion

The worst thing you can do for your business is to not give it a website. Without one, you’ll be at a huge disadvantage to your competitors. It’s never too late to set up a website for your business.

Businesses may have gotten away with not having a website 10-15 years ago. However, with consumers becoming more dependent on the Internet and mobile technology, setting up a website for your business is no longer an option.

To succeed in today’s business environment, you must have a website.

If you’re still sitting on the fence, come off it and give us a call. We’ll build a website that will help you achieve your business goals. And if you need a website redesign, we can do that for you as well.

 

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