After spending many hours the last 6 years, up late feeding a baby in those glorious new born weeks, a lot of my time was spent scrolling through Facebook and Instagram, online shopping and just trying to connect with the outside world while immersed in the baby bubble.
There were handmaidens that made beautiful garments and sold them through Facebook groups. Or mums on Instagram who made unique pieces of jewellery or other creative wonders. And they all had an online presence through social media, but a lot hadn’t taken the next step to make a website for their small business, where I could shop the whole collection or get to know more about the business.
Coming from a finance background I just couldn’t understand why!
Then delving into the statistics behind small business, (I’m an accountant at heart), my observation was backed up by the 2018 Telstra Small Business Intelligence Report, which found only 50% of businesses have a website. Then of these statistics, if we consider just sole traders, and a lot of mums out there with start-ups of their own fall into this category, those businesses having a website was only 34%. This is a crazy low statistic!! And a massive opportunity being missed or overlooked by these small businesses.
Benefits of creating a website for your small business.
Even if you only provide a service, think the corner coffee shop, a mechanic business, a butcher, a hair dresser, a handmaiden, you should consider having your own website, as this is one of the best ways of exposing your business to the mass populations of the world.
The internet is an extremely effective ways of getting your business name and brand out there. Even if you offer a service and don’t have a physical product to sell, studies have shown that 60% of potential customers would stop considering a business if they don’t have a website or cant find any information about the business online through Google.
That’s ALOT of potential sales walking away from your business, just because you don’t have a website.
By going online with a website, you are reaching a global audience, just imagine the potential for your business if you could expose your products and services to a potentially unlimited number of interested people, as well as the ones who are already following you on Facebook or Instagram.
I know myself, sometimes as a family we want to go for a drive and chose a destination based on………… coffee, but then when I jump online to look for reviews of coffee shops in the area chosen as our destination, their just isn’t much of an online presence for your small coffee shop. Now think about it, if you have made the effort to open a business, being a cafe or hairdresser or handmaiden, then take advantage of what is available to everyone and put a website up online. The statistics above, show it will be an effective way of attracting business.
It’s cost effective
Owning a domain name is relatively easy and pretty cheap. You can by your own website page from a domain registrar for as little as $15 annually. By having your own domain name you are essentially claiming your piece of online real estate, and branded correctly could potentially be a good investment for you. (Follow my link about how to go about getting your small business up and running online here.)
Then you need to look at web hosting options, which is the service of online storage space you use to “host” all of the files associated with your website, like your web pages, images and emails. There are various providers out there and all offer different packages and options. You are also likely to need some training on getting the website up and running (web design can get expensive, so look at doing it yourself). I recommend checking out Wealthy Affiliates, who provide a wealth of knowledge condensed into one user-friendly platform. There is online training on website design, they offer web-hosting, domain name registering, and even provide tips on marketing your business. It’s free to sign up and look around, then if you decide it’s what you are after you can upgrade your membership.
So for as little as the cost of your weekly coffee, your website could potentially allow you to connect to the masses, bring in more sales, enquiries and essentially increased turnover.
Your small business is accessible 24/7
Coles, Woolies and 7 – Eleven are all open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and with a website online so is your business!
Your clients and customers can read about your products, place orders or ask questions anytime day or night. Then you can respond to them when you have the time, allowing for a great customer experience which is essential in keeping these customer coming back.
Online, your business can be generating leads or informing prospective customers about what you have to offer all while you could be sleeping soundly, or bathing the kids. So by having a website, it’s essentially working for you when you can’t, this is great value for just purchasing a domain name.
Let’s have a look at a few more stats about Small Business
My focus is on Australian statistics to get some perspective of the benefits available by going online, however the premise of the article applies regardless of where your business is located given the opportunity having a website online can bring to your business.
Figures for 2015 show 9 in 10 Australian businesses are small businesses, and they employ over 40% of Australia’s workforce, while paying around 12 per cent of total company/business tax revenue. This means that small business, and success of small business is pretty bloody important to the Australian economy, and this means your small business is important to Australia!
On the flip side the small business sector is very volatile, with sole trader small businesses have the lowest survival rate of all businesses in Australia. Of approximately 2.1 million business started in 2011, only 1.4 million were still trading by 2015. This is a pretty big attrition rate with only 66% surviving. This means you have to give your business EVERY CHANCE OF SURVIVAL!
Finally, I couldn’t find any up to date stats on the following and I was really surprised to read that in 1991, 31 per cent of small owners/managers were women, by 2015 this had only increased to 34%.
Say what?! In 24 years Australian woman managing or owning their own small business only increased by 3%. This statistic is pretty discouraging and I know of a lot of intelligent, entrepreneurial women out there. So are you making the most of your potential with the opportunity a web based business could provide?
Your small business might seem small, but it’s success is very important to more than just you, it’s also important:
- to Australia;
- to all our daughters who will be future business women; and
- for other women out there, who aren’t sure they are ready to put their idea out there online and make a business of it, so show them they too can success.
Let’s get women in business networking, supporting and empowering each other and improve these statistics. Use the internet, make a website, it’s a resource that is accessible and available to you and its cost effective. So if you haven’t already, why not make your small business a website and let business boom online?
Whats stopping you from taking your business online? Please feel free to comment below.
(If you want to read further, statistics were obtained from the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman here.)
Read next: The Wealthy Affiliate review here.