Do I really need to have a website?

The short answer is yes.

Every business needs to be online in some kind of form today. It’s becoming less of a luxury and far more of a necessity.

At the least, you probably have a Yellow Pages online listing (even if you started in the print versions only, they’ve converted everyone across to online for free). You may also have some other business directory listings (such as True Local and Hot Frog), but these only give you space to provide your name, phone and a brief overview of the business. Not an ideal selling tool; only good for someone searching for you who has forgotten your phone number.

Did you know that we hit the 10.5 million mark for internet subscribers in Australia in 2011? That’s half our population (in other words, a fair few people)! If you don’t have a current online presence, you’re missing out on a huge market.

A lot of Australians now search online before making purchases. Sometimes they’ll go in-store to finalise the purchase, other times they will just buy straight off the website. If you’re in retail, have you considered how online sales are impacting your business? Otherwise, have you thought about how to promote your business online to encourage people to visit your store?

This also means for local service-based businesses, you’ve got more than your local counterparts as competition now. People can search far and wide online before picking up the phone to the closest business in location – technology is making it possible to transact all kinds of business from far and wide.

So make sure your online presence is presenting your business at its best. Make sure your directory listings are complete, your social media profiles are updated and your website looks amazing. Remember, most first impressions are now made online, and first impressions count.