Why do small business owners, especially those in the trades, feel like they don’t need to focus on a professional website?
When I started doing research for Katama Bay, I found a large group of local small businesses had taken ads out in a weekly neighborhood newspaper. 99% of those businesses were in the trades – offering construction, masonry, painting, etc. And 54% of the businesses advertising in this paper did not have a web page or professional email listed on the ad.
Researching these companies on the web, I found that most, if not all, did not have a professional website, professional email address, or even simple Google or Facebook business pages. These local companies are not alone. In fact, according to a 2017 CNBC/SurveyMonkey Survey, 45% of small businesses do not have a professional website. That’s almost half of all the small businesses surveyed that said they do not have a website!
I am a homeowner. When I need an electrician, plumber, or any other home service, the first thing I do is ask my friends, either in person or on Facebook. I will usually receive more than a few recommendations. Immediately, the second thing I do is look for their business website to find out more about them. If one of these recommended businesses does not have a web page or at the very least a Facebook page, I usually skip them onto the next. And I am not alone:
“It’s still surprising that so many businesses don’t have a website. This ignores the fact that most Americans are on the web, looking them up. Studies have shown that over 70-80% of people will research a company on the web before making a purchase decision, usually by visiting its website. Even having a one-page website can establish credibility. It shows that the business is actually real and has taken the time to put out a presentation.” Rehan Fernando, CEO at EIGHT25MEDIA via Clutch.co
These businesses without websites, even ones that are recommended by friends, are missing out on sales because most customers want to see a website before making a purchase.
Getting back to those businesses that are advertising in the local paper, let’s assume that these small businesses feel like their local ad will get sales. The price of the ad was right at the top of the advertising section and it’s significant – approximately $350 for the for 10 weeks. That’s around $1800 a year for a hyper-local paper ad that probably ends up in the recycle bin.
In order to justify this cost, a business has to know they are at least making $1800 in sales from the ad. And as pointed out above, most potential customers that do see the ad will try to find the business on the web before trying to contact that business. So even if the business is spending on the ad to generate more leads they end up shooting themselves in the foot by not having a web page.
So why would these businesses spend significant money on this hyper-local ad space and not have a website? Maybe some think it costs too much. Maybe some are not convinced they need one. The point here is to realize that any small business, whether it’s a cleaning service, electrician, or landscaper, needs a website.
Contact us if you have any questions or want to learn about the cost for creating and maintaining your website. (it’s cheaper than you think.)