While no one is rushing out into the streets to declare the economy “fixed” just yet, there are some early signs that the worst is over. And with that realization, a lot of business owners are looking to make some of the investments they’ve been putting off until better days – hiring new employees, expanding to new locations, taking on new products, and so on.
But before you run out and jump at all the new opportunities that are coming your company’s way, don’t forget to take care of one of the most critical parts of your business… one that brings in new revenue, handles customer service problems, lets you market to the globe, and try out new products all at once, 24 hours a day.
I’m talking about your website.
A lot of owners, facing a tough business environment over the past couple of years, have elected to hold off on a new design or any major upgrades. That’s understandable. But now, with customers coming in through the front doors once again, many are concentrating on offline promotions and improvements. After all, if the site is doing a pretty decent job right now, why mess with it?
That’s a dangerous line of thinking. Because, if recent history is any guide, the buyers aren’t just coming back the way they were before; the American economy is evolving into something more competitive – and a lot more digital – than it ever was before. Your website is the one piece of your marketing mix that can keep you in the game.
Here are four reasons improving your website might be your best investment right now:
It sells. The bottom line is that websites are good for the bottom line. They help you reach more buyers, and sell more products or services, than any other marketing medium can.
It has a farther reach than your advertising pieces or sales staff… and at a fraction of the cost. Whether you want customers from out of state or overseas, a website is your best choice to find them.
New forms of online marketing are taking hold. Until recently, social media has just been a cool buzzword to throw around; now it might be a way to find new business. Making sure your site is equipped for social media marketing is a good first step.
It reduces costs. If your customers can look up and change their account information, order history, and shipping details, online, they don’t have to call you or your employees on the phone for routine tasks.
As the owner of a web design and online marketing company, I will admit that I am biased towards websites as a business investment. But that’s only because I have seen what they can do for a company’s growth. The online component of business success isn’t going away any time soon. If anything, it’s becoming more important as the economy recovers.
Keep that in mind, and keep up with your online marketing. It just might be the single smartest investment you can make right now.
(Republished from our article in the St. Augustine Women’s Journal)