While it is easy for small businesses to get caught up in the running of the business offline and put off thinking about creating a website to establish an online presence, many are starting to realize how important it is to do so. In Amelia Peacock’s article, about the annual survey of small businesses conducted by Clutch, they saw the percentage of small businesses who have a website rise from 54% to 71% from 2016 to 2017. Websites are no longer simply a “recommended” aspect of modern business. 92% of small businesses predict that they will have a website by the end of 2018, which points to the fact that the majority of small businesses recognize the value of a website and are at least aware of the missed opportunity of not having one.
Here at EVE, we understand the inertia that small businesses face while transitioning to establish an online presence. It happens to be a noticeable trend in the Midwest: Only 58% of Midwestern small businesses have a website compared to the Northeast (72%), the South (73%), and the West (77%). “A lot of it is an education process and crossing the digital divide,” says Alan Dale, CEO, Los Angeles Web Design, a boutique Internet business development agency specializing in web design.
According to the Clutch survey, the two main factors holding them back are the idea that a website is irrelevant to the business, and the cost of creating and maintaining a website. However, in this digital age, a large number of customers rely on the web to find new businesses to patronize. In many ways, web searches have replaced word-of-mouth referrals that were once the bread and butter of small business.
The article also lists five major opportunities websites can provide small businesses:
1. Marketing opportunities increase from a “local” audience to a global audience
2. Digital sales conversions save time and labor
3. Elevated brand and greater ability to manage web aesthetic
4. More cost effective than brick and mortar
5. The ability to track marketing and business analytics
With this in mind, EVE can enable to you to access these opportunities by helping you create and maintain a website. A comprehensive infographic put together by website design and marketing firm 99MediaLab breaks down the must-features of a small business website. Being able to put all the important contact information and focused written content about your business on a widespread, accessible, global platform means that within the click of a button, customers can not only find and contact you immediately, but they may stumble upon your website when browsing. This previously untapped avenue can generate a high return on investment (ROI) in the long term.
Beginning with brand development, EVE finds a way to make your business’ personal and unique voice be heard. After thorough research and analysis to figure out the best possible User Experience for your customers, we then design and develop your online platforms of choice to best represent what your business is about. Navigation through various social media platforms is important – read more about this in a previous article. You too, can make the web the new bread-and-butter of your small business.
Tricia Chee is a content writer & strategist for EVE – User Experience Design Agency based in Chicago, Illinois and Detroit, Michigan. Born and raised in Singapore, she came to Chicago to study Fine Art and is now working in the city.