Can your Small Business survive COVID-19 without a website?

It’s surprising to me how many small business owners avoid building a website because they think it will be too complicated or expensive. The good news is that owning your own website does not need to be costly or overly difficult to achieve.

If you are a small business owner, why should you be considering a small business website? The truth is we are living in times that are changing the way that people interact with the world around them – and that includes how people consume.

With the arrival of COVID-19 many businesses across Australia are now wondering how they will stay afloat. With customer footfall now severely restricted, more agile business owners are now considering new sources of revenue to keep their businesses alive.

For many the answer is to ensure they are making money through a website online. While people may not be able to browse your store in person, they certainly have the time to look online to get things they want and need.

The inability to freely go shopping for things will ultimately change the way everyone thinks about buying. Of course, it’s lovely to stroll into a shop, but once people adjust to shopping online more and more people will be seeking out what they need on the internet. If you are not there, then your business is at a disadvantage.

It’s surprising in just a few weeks how people are changing their business models to survive. Restaurants who were full of patrons are now building take-out businesses, local coffee shops are selling beans, and who wouldn’t shop online if they knew they could get hand sanitiser and toilet rolls right now.

Even many older people are spending more time indoors and they are relying on the internet more for everything, communication, connection and ordering in supplies. The number of internet users is growing fast, and people are learning that things that tool hours can be done in minutes with a computer without leaving home.

Consumer research shows that increasing numbers of people are searching for products and services they need before they leave home. People decide on the product, the price and where they are going to buy before they get into their car. These days even fewer people are ‘shopping around’ by going store to store for the best price. This means that if you don’t have a website, you’re at a big disadvantage.

iven that websites are relatively inexpensive why would you risk losing so much business? The cost of hosting a website is about ten dollars a month and you can build a web presence for less than a thousand dollars, and a whole online store for not much more.

People now expect you to have a website. With many people using their mobile devices for communication that’s often the first question they ask, when they want a way of contacting you. People aren’t always available to call you during your business hours, and so a website provides a way for them to leave a message or ask a question when it’s convenient for them. And that question could be the one that closes a sale for you.

Perhaps you think you can’t afford a website, but in our experience working with many small business clients, our experience shows you can’t afford to be without one. It’s an expense to start, but your return on investment can be measured in an uptick in enquiries, sales and repeat business.

Once your website is up and running it can cost as little as $20 a month to maintain, but factored into your price and taking into account new business it easily becomes profitable in a short amount of time.

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