Yes, Your Small Business Should Have A Website

Small businesses make up 96 per cent of Australian companies and while most of them have internet access, only half of them have their own website. It seems like a no-brainer for any company to have an online presence, but many small businesses have thrown this in the "too hard" basket. However, there are easy ways for even your local fish and chips shop to make themselves known on the world wide web.

If you are a self-employed tradie working out of your van and working long hours, the last thing you'd want to do is faffing about on the computer trying to conjure up a website. But this isn't the '90s where your only option was to learn basic HTML just to create horrendously bad Geocities page.

A quick and dirty way to be visible online is setting up a Facebook page. It's extremely simple to input the details of a business such as address, contact information and opening hours but the trade-off is that it gives you less control over how the page looks. An added bonus is that it doubles as a message board for any business updates you may want to share with your customers -- although the dialogue flows both ways, which means any criticisms are public (unless you delete them which can cause its own set of problems).

In any event, Facebook is the bare-bones approach. For those selling commodity goods like clothing and homeware, you can opt to join up with e-commerce marketplaces. Shopify and Bigcommerce are just two options for that. They can host your online store which includes integrated payment systems.

If you are ready to take it a step further, a fully-fledged website is what you’re looking for. Many web hosting companies are ramping up efforts to woo small businesses and are offering up tools and services to make establishing and managing a website a painless process. One of these companies is GoDaddy, which has just launched its Australian operations.

“It’s important to have your own brand and your own identity online and be able to run your business and engage with customers there,” GoDaddy international executive vice-president, James Carroll, said at a local launch event. He added that he’s seen first-hand how having a website has helped boost business for sole traders and small mum-and-dad operations overseas and is keen to educate Australian small businesses that creating an online presence for themselves is not rocket science.

For a complete guide to setting up your own website from start to finish, we have just the article for you here.

Do you run a small business that has benefited from having an online presence? Let us know in the comments.


Comments

    If you operate any kind of retail store, PLEASE put your opening hours on there. And if you run a restaurant, PLEASE put your menu up as well.

    Once a week at work we decide to go out and get takeaway. Everyone puts in an order, someone drives down to collect, everyone PayPals their share. We call it Stir-Friday (or Taco Tuesday / Thursday, even when we don't get tacos). There have been a few times when we've avoided a place because they don't have a menu available online. When you only get 30 minutes for lunch, you don't have time to drive around, nor do you want to call a place up and ask them to read out the menu. If it's online, you email the link to the menu, everyone replies with their order, you're done.

    So please do the right thing and put a menu online. Doesn't have to be fancy or even include prices, as long as we know what you serve. We have at least 3 F&C shops in our town, and their menus vary, so if you want something that isn't "common F&C", you need to know what's there.

      +1 to the menu
      opening hours and days is also a no brainer!

    My in-laws' solicitor does not have a website. I was wondering why they seemed to prefer paper mail over email for simple, time-sensitive messages, so I searched for them. No website. Seriously.

      Create one for him.

      Firstly, how old are the in-laws and how long have they been operating? It could be something simple that they have been operating since 1960 (example only) and since business works, why change it. Their clients could be in the same boat as them, old and not willing to change. I do know that there is some things that must be in paper form like some ATO forms so it might be something like that. I would approach them and ask them if you can do the web site for them. Get in their good books. Be the great son in-law

        It's the solicitor that represent my in-laws, not my in-laws' solicitor business. My in-laws are old, I have no idea about the solicitors but I would assume old school. I thought every self-respecting commercial operation would at least have a nameplate site. Not so.

    I already open my-self bussiness with Shopify it is really good, easy and pretty custom. The platform is complety about financial, all reports inclued sales, products, if you guys want to open or selling websites to small company I recommend Shopify. Honestly website is not all you need to work very well your SEO and Backlinks to be first position on Google. There are so many online tools to optimize your website, because Shopify is really easy to sync with the others system. Access thetrendy.com.au and have a look what about I say, you can take this example to show for your client.
    Have a good one guys.

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