The Short Answer?  Nope.

 

These days, having a website to showcase your small business and its products and services seems like common sense. After all, almost every consumer does their research online before making a purchase, so why wouldn’t you want to make it easy for potential customers to find your company? But creating and maintaining an effective website isn’t cheap. In fact, some small businesses don’t even bother to have one at all – they decide it’s not worth the trouble or money. As you consider whether or not you need a website for your small business, here are some things to think about.

 

What does a website do for a business?
A website has a couple of advantages over a traditional brochure. It allows you to reach an audience that may be interested in your products or services, but may not have come across them in their local area. For example, if you’re selling tutoring services, having a website and listing tutoring classes on sites like Yelp allows people searching for tutors to find you. They could easily drive past your brick-and-mortar location and never know you were there otherwise! You also don’t have to worry about sharing limited space with other businesses who might be trying to sell competing products or services: they’ll only see what’s on your website when they search. Having a website is great, but isn’t it expensive?

How much does it cost to create a small business website?
There’s a lot of talk about ROI in digital marketing. Does a website generate more traffic? Does it earn more revenue? While there isn’t a simple yes or no answer to these questions, there are some steps you can take to make sure that your small business website is worthy of your investment. The first step is knowing whether or not there’s value in having a website at all. It might seem obvious: If you have a product or service to sell, then having an online presence makes sense. But even if you think you want one, don’t just go creating one on a whim—do your research and consider whether it would be worth investing time and money into creating and maintaining an online presence.

What should I do if I already have one?
If you’re wondering whether or not to get a new website, there are some questions you should ask yourself. What kind of information does your site have? How is it presented? Is it easy to find? How often do you update your website? Do your customers check for updates regularly? These are all crucial factors when deciding if you should create a new website. For most small businesses, getting a new website isn’t necessary just because it’s old.

Are their legal implications to not having a small business website?
Although a small business website is not legally required, it’s becoming so common that many consumers expect to see one. If you don’t have one and someone finds out, they may assume your company isn’t legitimate or doesn’t care about their experience with your brand. This could cause potential customers to move on to another provider who does have an online presence and invest in their company instead of yours.

Is it possible to run an online small business without a website?
The short answer is yes. It’s possible to run an online small business without a website, but it’s less common, more challenging and generally more expensive to do so than if you have one. If your small business has no products or services that require people to find you online, there’s little reason to spend money on a web presence. But if your company does sell something that requires people to find you in order to purchase it—or even just learn more about what you offer—you should definitely consider building a website as part of your marketing strategy.

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