I recently had a conversation about a website with a local business owner here in Tenbury Wells. When I pointed out that he hadn’t got a website his response was that he didn’t think he needed one because it wouldn’t bring in any additional business, most of which came from local referrals.
You know what, he was right on that! But he had missed the point. I think he was sticking his head in the sand!
For a business in his situation – small town, good reputation, local trade etc. – on the face of it, a website won’t bring in much, if any, additional trade. But what it will do is enhance new customers’ perception of that business.
What does it say to you these days when you come across a business that doesn’t have its own website? Words such; extremely small business, one-man-band, backward thinking, old fashioned, resistant to change all come to mind.
<em>How many big, successful companies don't have a website? </em>
The point is that locals using that business won’t see it a problem that it doesn’t have a website. But new people coming into the area are more likely to be younger people who are au-fait with technology and are more likely to choose the companies that do have websites over those that don’t. And over time those companies are going to pick up more and more business at the expense of the no-website companies.
So the message I want to get across to business owners is don’t just look at the short term as a reason for getting a website. Consider the longer term because the world is changing faster than you think, even in small backwater towns.