According to a study put out  a few years back, 46% of small businesses do not have a website.  While I’m sure this number has changed, there are still a number of businesses without a current website–or one at all. The following is a look at some of the reasons why a website is becoming more and more vital in the current economy.

Get Found: A good deal of searches for local businesses are now taking place from mobile phones.  These are people who are literally on their way to you–if they can find out if you meet their needs.  Having a good (and current!) site may be the difference between them choosing you or the business down the street.

Always There: If a potential customer has a question outside of your business hours, how will they get an answer? A website doesn’t shut off when business hours end, and so can be a way for people to get answers at 2am.

Credibility: In addition to marketing your business, having a website can build your credibility. It gives you a chance to perhaps address some questions in an FAQ or display your affiliations. In addition, blogging can be another great way to brand yourself as an expert and improve your Search Engine Optimization in one fell swoop.

Cost: Doing some research into advertising rates in my area, I found that a traditional newspaper ad, run for a week, costs around $500.  If a small business were to advertise continually there, it would run them about $26,000 annually.  A small business website generally costs significantly less than that. Also, traditional media might not have the desired visibility and is more likely to miss potential customers–they don’t pick up a paper that day and they don’t find you.

Competition: What happens when your competitor has a website and you don’t?  People, in general, are more likely to trust (and purchase) from a well-designed current site.  If that’s not your company, then you could be missing some revenue (and who doesn’t want more of that?)

These are just a few reasons why having a website is so vital.  If you are the part of the 46%, please consider contacting jp Design Theory today to bring your business into the digital age.