When it comes to small businesses having a website, size really does matter.
The larger the size of a small business, the more likely it is to have a website. The smaller the business, the less likely it is to have a website. This being said, do you want to look like a larger business or small business?
According to a survey conducted in September 2008 by Barlow Research of 680 small businesses, drawn from the Dun & Bradstreet list, ranging in size from $100,000 to $10 Million in annual revenues, here is the overall breakdown:
49% of small businesses – currently have a Web site
13% of small businesses – do not have a Web site but plan to within the next 12 months
38% of small businesses – do not plan to have a Web site within the next 12 months
However, averages can mask the true picture. If you break down the Barlow Research numbers by size of business, the data gets really interesting.
Percent of businesses that have a website, by annual sales size:
45% – Revenues of $100,000 to $499,000
49% – Revenues of $500,000 to $999,000
69% – Revenues of $1.0 Million to $2.49 Million
67% – Revenues of $2.5 Million to $4.9 Million
73% – Revenues of $5.0 Million to $10 Million
And what about midsize businesses? For businesses with revenues of $10 Million to $500 Million in size, 84% have websites.
This data could suggest that businesses with websites are more successful and shows the importance of a website but, not necessarily. Here are a few points:
(1) When marketing Web-related services to small business prospects, one size does not fit all. It’s tempting to lump all small businesses together, but as the data shows, you will want to make distinctions based on size of the business. There are huge differences between a business with $120,000 in annual revenues, and one with $5 Million in annual revenues — even though both are called “small businesses.” There are differences in how big their expense budgets are; the benefit to be derived from having an online presence; and so on. This being said, a smaller business can still have a smaller website presence vs. the thousands of dollars spent for a high-end big business site. The nice thing about websites is that you can spend as little or as much as you want but still have an online presence.
(2) Consider the needs of the business. If you are selling an item then a website is a MUST vs. someone in an industry like an elevator repairman that works for a union who doesn’t need a website. This being said, just about anyone can benefit from having a website or blog if you want the world to know about you. If you don’t, then stay off the internet.
(3) An easy example to use is a hotel who wants to promote their specials. Hotel ‘A’ doesn’t have a website and is relying on word of mouth and advertising in their hotel to let people know about their specials. Hotel ‘B’ has a website with a web form that allows people to sign up for special deals so e-mails all the potential customers about the promotion. Hotel ‘B’ also adds the promotion to their website and re-submits to the search engines so anyone looking for hotels can see the special deal Hotel ‘B’ has going on. Hotel ‘B’ can also offer discounts for signing up with their newsletter so they can acquire e-mail addresses to keep in front of potential customers. There are a lot of things you can do with a website and it is an easy way to market to the WORLD vs. the small area by your hotel if you don’t have a website.
Websites are constantly changing and in today’s world, having a website is a very important part of most businesses – If you don’t have one, you may not be taken seriously. A website can make an at-home business look like a multi-million dollar business or, if you have a bad site or non-updated site, you can make a multi-million dollar business look like a garage business. There are also many new technologies out there that allow the client to update their own website which saves them money if they have the time. Look for my next article on what questions to ask a website designer so you can make an informed decision when you pay for your next website.
In the meantime, start looking at competitors websites and ask yourself this question, “does my website look professional and is it updated? If someone was searching for my business online, would they be inclined to choose my business over my competitors based on how my website looks?” I always research the competitors websites to get an idea of how high-end the site needs or doesn’t need to be since sometimes the competitors websites are horrible so you can purchase a very affordable website that will still blow away the competition.
Check back regularly for more information on cost of websites and what to look for in a website designer. Have questions? Contact me or post a comment and I will respond as soon as possible. Have a great day!
Websites Direct, LLC – some article information from an article by: Anita Campbell