Does Your SME Really Need a Website?
If you are reading this, then that means you are on our website – welcome! In 2015, many small business advisory shows and newspaper columns will say that having a website is absolutely essential for every small business.
But there are many more options for having an online presence now, and many of them may be a better fit for your small business or medium sized enterprise than a dedicated website.
Some years ago, websites were thought of as the natural evolution from a traditional listing in the yellow pages. But then Google came along. Google prioritises websites based on their content, relevance, and design when internet browsers type something into their search bar. Importantly, it also privileges those websites that pay for positioning through advertising.
So having a website without putting in all of the required work to get it found by the right people is a little like putting up an expensive sign at the end of an empty street – chances are no one will see it!
Plenty of Alternatives
For many customer-facing businesses, Facebook is a much simpler and easier alternative to having a dedicated website. Facebook is like having a website without having to bother with web hosting, expensive website design or search marketing.
In addition, it is easy to use and you can have a conversation with your customers in a much more natural way than you can with a traditional website.
Facebook works well for a range of businesses, from plumbers to restaurants to signwriters. It is also a great medium because the user base is roughly evenly split between males and females, and is well spread between the different age brackets.
The biggest thing that Facebook has going for it though is its huge user base. Over 13 million Australians currently have an active Facebook account.
Its biggest drawback is that you will only reach Facebook users.
Instagram is a more niche offering that works really well for more some small and medium sized businesses. As its name suggests, it is a photo sharing medium. That means that designers, cake decorators, restaurants, caterers and clothing brands are all well suited to Instagram.
The best part is that the service is free to use, and that the user base is much more engaged than other online audiences. Again, the drawback is that you will only reach other Instagram users.
LinkedIn began as a professional networking platform, but has evolved into a one-stop-shop for many more business functions. If you have business clients, then LinkedIn is a fantastic way to connect with them, either through personal messaging or through the publishing platform.
The ideal situation is to have your own website, and connect it to social media platforms. Having an online presence that is totally under your control – your website – is important, because other platforms could one day disappear, taking your business with them.
For more advice about how to grow your business from a financial perspective, the Scott Partners’ team welcomes your call today on 1300 365 455.