Do I Need the Internet?

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01 Nov Do I Need the Internet?

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Do I Need the Internet?

websitesA quick search online will reveal thousands of websites on why you also need a website. “Your business will be seen by millions,” they’ll tell you. “It’s the only way to market yourself effectively,” you’ll see. And while these websites will tell you over and over again how many new people you can attract, how you can reach new clientele, how everybody else already has one, etc., they fail to mention one important fact: they know nothing about your business and your needs.

Part of the insanity over websites is purely mercenary: companies that sell web space, design websites, and generally are involved with any and all aspects of “web” need you to buy more from them in order to survive. Like any other company, they’re looking for the best way to make a profit.

The other part, though, is the band wagon hysteria involved in making websites. It doesn’t occur to many business owners that they don’t need a website because their competitors or compatriots all have one. Paradoxically, some people believe that presence in a medium known for largely being inaccurate proves legitimacy, and they might be put off by the lack of a website. However, before jumping into a website and all that it entails, consider what you’re looking for with your business.

Websites are not designed as advertising tools. They may be used that way, but a website’s primary purpose is as a communication tool. It’s a way for you to communicate with your potential clientele, answer frequently asked questions, tell the story of your business, and generally share with the world what you think is important about who you are and what you do.

Some things to consider: is there anything you can communicate with a website that you couldn’t do without one? Are the people who you would be communicating unlikely to be accessed any other way and still likely to patronize your establishment? Are you selling something that you want to ship or get to interested parties in areas not local to yourself? What is it that people need to know about your business that you need to use the internet to tell them?

These are the kinds of questions you need to ask yourself. This is not to say that you definitely don’t need a website either, but rather that you should think about what purpose it would serve for your business. Are you looking to expand without physically doing so? A website might be the way to go. Do you want to take advantage of a booming tourist trade and make sure potential customers can look you up in advance of their trip? A website would help you. Are you looking to get the kids from the local high school to drop by your ice cream shop on the way home? You don’t necessarily need a website for that.

Don’t fall for the hype. The internet is a wonderful tool that can expose your business to a wide range of people, but they may not be the people you’re looking to attract and most of them likely aren’t. You can always get a website when the time is right, but don’t invest in one unless it’s right for your business.

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