Despite the ever-increasing popularity of online shopping, there are still many businesses that work best if their trading takes place offline. Local shops, beauty salons and restaurants are all examples of organisations that require offline interactions and transactions to take place. It’s easy to think that because you don’t trade online, a website is an unnecessary expense but the decision to not have a website can end up being much more expensive.
Registering a domain name for your company prevents others from doing so and it makes sense for this domain name to point to a website rather than a holding page. Many people begin their purchasing process online by searching for the type of business that they require. If you don’t have a website, you open yourself up to a number of risks.
Firstly, if you don’t have a website but your competitor does, it’s much more likely that new customers will find their business before they find yours. However, letting your potential customers know that your business exists is just the first part of turning them into paying customers. Your website must contain the essential information customers need before they decide to make a purchase or use your services.
A website is a great place to make your contact details available to the public. It’s good have your email address, telephone number and address ready to make it easy for people to find your business and get in touch if they need to. Ideally though, your website should provide so much information that people don’t need to call you, minimising the time you spend on the phone and allowing you to spend more time growing your business.
It's also a good idea to let potential customers know what products and services you offer, even if you don’t intend to sell online. For example, if you are a beauty salon, you might have a list of the treatments you offer and how much they cost or if you’re a restaurant, have a copy of your menu available for download. Information such as this allows customers to see if your company is what they are looking for and because you’ve made the information readily available to them, they are much more likely to choose your business over another that doesn’t have this information easily accessible.
If you’ve realised your business needs a website, but you’re still not sure about trading online, why is this? Perhaps you’re worried about the cost of a website or you’re concerned you don’t have the technical know-how to have a website capable of handling transactions. The good news is building a website is not something you have to do by yourself and asking a third party to take care of it for you doesn’t have to be eye-wateringly expensive. There are many high-quality templated website providers available, some of which make it easy to sell your products online.
What if you’re a business that provides a service that must take place offline? Can ecommerce still work for you? The short answer is yes! For example, if you’re a hairdresser, ideally, you want to be spending time cutting hair, not answering the phone. A website can give you a means of spending more time with your clients. Allow your customers to use your site to book their appointments online and even pay in advance, minimising business risk. A website can be a great way to take bookings for the services you provide and if you ask for payment upfront, you can reduce the risk of customers failing to show up for appointments, costing you money.
By now, you should see the benefits of having a website for your new company. You may even be inspired to make your new website one that is ecommerce enabled. @UKplc Company Registrations offers a few different website packages, some of which included in selected company formations packages.