This is a question I get asked a lot from small business owners and professionals. With so many ways to promote your business it's a fair question. The answer is, it depends who your targeted audience is.
First let me say that it can't hurt. A web site is just another way for you to get your message out there but if you have a website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, not to mention all the other possibilities then you will want to have a good marketing strategy. Each one of those advertising channels should be for one thing, getting you more business. I should also mention that the more channels you have the more organized you need to be. It's like juggling many balls at one time.
Before you take the online plunge
There are some things you will want to consider before taking that step to get an online presents.
- Maintenance - All your marketing channels need some form of on-going maintenance that will require your time or the webmaster's time. This comes in many forms. Here are a few...
- Software Updates - If you get a CMS website you will be updating the platform software and any components as they are updated. This is the most important thing you can do for your website. These updates are usually enhancements to the software "engine" that keeps the hackers at bey. This will also include the add-on's sometimes called components or widgets.
- Content - There is a saying in my business "Content is King". Your content tells your visitor who you are and what you do but stale content tells a story about you that is not flattering. If you are building a site that you want people to revisit then you need to keep the content fresh, especially sites that have a membership component to them. Also the editing of photos will take a minimum amount of skill. Lessons are available.
- Backup - I can't say enough about this. This is a especially true for CMS type sites.
- Define your audience - During the design phase you will be asked this question. Be prepared to answer it. Write it down before you meet with the designer. It might be harder than you think.
- Time - How much of it do you have to devote to this? The biggest time consuming thing you will so with regards to your site is maintaining the content. Adding new and archiving or deleting old.
A side-note: If you're planning on getting an e-commerce website then your maintenance and start-up are much much bigger. Having an e-commerce store has all the requirements of a brick and mortar store without some of the overhead.
So give this some thought before you take the big step. Having a new website is a lot like getting a new puppy. The big difference is if you ignore the site your business could die. Now might be a good time to sign up for free consultation.