I should be telling all small business owners they need a website. As web designers, you would assume we tell all potential clients this. The truth is, some businesses aren’t ready for a website.
There are a few reasons I may tell someone to pump the breaks on having a website. I want to understand businesses so I can help them solve their problems. Some businesses might not be able to take on any more sales than they are currently receiving. Word of mouth or a Facebook page is giving them all the volume of work they can handle without breaking. So they need to streamline their business processes or onboard new staff before trying to take on more.
When I say a business isn’t ready for a website I’m saying they’re not ready for the professional touch. That extra shine that distills complex concepts into appearing so simple. That’s not to say you shouldn’t register your domain name or create a one-page landing page.
Having a website is only helpful if it doesn’t make your business look worse. So often I see business owners take on creating a website themselves and try to do everything all at once. They create 40 pages, misconfigure features, and add generic stock photos. It ends up looking cheap and doing more harm than good. After weeks of lost productivity, they end up calling a professional because more damage has been done than it has helped.
I find this to be the wrong approach. The mentality seems to be, “I’ll create a website myself until I get enough money to hire a professional.” Instead, I recommend creating a small website, even one page that gives people enough to reel them in. Heck, use a template, do some research, and find inspiration. Write content that represents your brand and doesn’t sound empty. Get people excited to want to work with or buy from you. As your business grows, so can your website! The minimal approach done well will resonate more than a website with too much done poorly. Starting with less means you can measure what is or isn’t working by using analytics or gauging feedback from customers.
To sum it all up, yes your business needs a website, but the level of detail and commitment will depend on the state your business is in. I’m always open to chatting and giving feedback on businesses, so feel free to reach out if that interests you!