Why Businesses Need, and Business Ideas Should Start with a Website

Before the days of the internet, most businesses wouldn’t dream of NOT listing themselves in the Yellow Pages. In those days, if the business wasn’t listed there, how would anyone even know about the business unless they relied fully on local foot or drive-by traffic? If you didn’t pay for this service, your business would be all but invisible. So paying that yearly or monthly fee for a yellow page ad was pretty much a standard business expense. In fact, many businesses still list their business in the yellow pages today, even though ads within them are no longer actually printed (they stopped printing books in 2019), and listings currently cost anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars per month!

The question of whether it is a wise investment to list your business in the digital yellow pages may be a question worth investigating depending on your business type and the specifics of your market. But the main point I’d like to make here is that things are very different today. This could probably go without even having to say it, but hopefully we’ve already convinced you that your business needs to participate in the modern digital economy. If you are NOT already convinced of this, please read our article here. And given what we all know about the modern digital economy, it is not a new or novel claim to say that the internet and online searching have all but replaced the need for and usage of the phone book. But one thing remains the same: If your business isn’t “Listed” in the place where people search, how would anyone even know about the business?

So where DO you need to list your business? On your own domain on the world wide web.

Why You Need a Website

In today’s digital world, there are so many well-known reasons why businesses need a website that we feel we hardly need to belabor this point. But in case you are one of the hold-outs and still need convincing, here are our top three reasons:

  1. People know your company exists, and they can find you. (If you are not convinced of this, read this article.)
  2. You gain access to business e-mails that match your domain. Businesspeople who do not use domain-based emails for their company operations miss out on many key advantages (if you are using Gmail or other similar FREE email accounts for your business, shame on you!). We will discuss the importance of domain-based emails in a later article, but for now, we offer the following statement: Having access to company emails (that match your website domain) may be the most important reason to go through the steps of creating a company website early in the business development process. If you already have a business and DON’T already have business emails set up, contact us for suggestions on how you can resolve this issue right away!
  3. Once you have a website started you can now start marketing, advertising, and driving traffic toward your site (and in turn, toward your business) using ALL available options: Traditional marketing avenues, social media sites, and print and digital advertisements. Reflective Equilibrium has MANY more suggestions for you when you are at this stage – so contact us today if this describes your status and/or stay tuned for future articles on this topic.

Are Social Media Sites Sufficient?

Some may argue that with the arrival of social media sites, a business website may not be a requirement anymore – so long as the company has a social media presence. But there are severe restrictions and limitations to social media resources that render this idea very risky. Yes, it is true that presenting your company on Social Media sites can help your customers find you, connect with you, and in some cases even do business transactions with you. But by their very nature, social media sites (or any site that you do not own) will have the following limitations:

  1. They can restrict what you can say or do on the site.
  2. They own all of YOUR content that you place on their site.
  3. They have a more limited audience (their user base vs. the world wide web)
  4. Social media sites are trend-based and sometimes can fade in and out of fashion with their users (think Myspace).
  5. Social media sites can change their rules or even delete your content at any time according to their own terms.

Having a presence on social media sites is definitely not a bad thing – in fact, we want to teach you how to do this more effectively! But we strongly believe that you should only use them AFTER you have set up a website that you can point people to after they find you on whatever social media site you decide to leverage. So if your company depends exclusively on social media sites for its online presence, please consider our above suggestion of creating and building your OWN business website as fast as you can!

Should you create a website for a business while you are in the Exploratory, Start-up, or Initial launch phases of your Business Development?

Our short answer: Yes.

Locking in your business domain name(s), setting up email accounts, and starting the process of creating a website can be one of the best things to do when you are in these early stages – the earlier the better! Why? If done right, this can be a LOW-COST investment that you can use to start telling your future customers about your services, build up a customer list, and get them excited for your business launch even before you open your doors! Can you imagine having a line of customers ready for your business offers on your first day of business? If you build your website early and then leverage the power of simple (and even inexpensive) marketing and advertising tactics, you can turn that vision of eager customers waiting at your doors into a reality.

If the idea of launching your business website seems daunting or seems like a foreign language, contact us! We offer several levels of service that can help you check this item off your to-do list. Or stay tuned to this website, where we plan on offering plenty of articles and DIY training to help you along the way.

The Best way to Start Today

If you don’t already have a website for your business or your business idea, the biggest question you should be asking yourself is how to get started. The first thing that we recommend doing at reflective equilibrium is simply getting a domain. Of course, this also assumes that you already have your business idea locked in, and you (hopefully) have some kind of idea for the business name. If you are stuck here, reach out to us for this as well – we would love to help you brainstorm!

One hurdle might be that the exact name that you want for your business or website may not be available or might be too expensive (the price of domain names can vary wildly depending on the “market value” of the name you choose). In the next article of our “business launch series”, we provide lots of detailed instructions for purchasing a domain and address these other issues. Click here to read that next article. However, if you’d prefer to consult with us please reach out to us directly and we can provide you with the information you need and help you overcome any obstacles you are facing.

Stay reflective, and stay true to your vision!

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