Not a long while ago, I found a lead on a good client that could use my web-development skills for their business. They were in a catering business which was growing rapidly. I learned from a friend that they were planning for an expansion to be an inter-city business. I took it as a chance to earn a new client. I prepared & delivered them a nice presentation. They were just “wowed” and as usual, we agreed on an e-commerce website that would enable them deliver food products to door-steps along with similar mobile apps.
All was planned to be started in a week and to be ended within 90 days. But the leader of the business somehow figured no-need of a website or mobile app, as his products were already selling this high. For him, websites were quite resource-eaters.
They rather focused on their business to work implicitly on local basis. So, a fortnight after the day of presentation, they told me to drop the work I was doing over their reasons. No-one likes losing clients, neither do I. So, I went back to them and told why even the companies with zero need of any online-exposure, like Pepsi & Coca-cola, are required to have online presence. I suggested them to at least own their domain name and even a simple one-page website. But they didn’t accept the offer.
I had to lose them for an arrogant assertion, that offline businesses do not need websites or online presence.
Well, what is done is done. After a year and a half, their business expansion supposedly failed due to increasing competition in the market. Four or five months ago, when I met the leader of the firm, he told me how he regretted his decision of not having a website or mobile app. He offered me to redo the deal and work on their web & SEO projects. But it was too late.
In Delhi (& mostly any other city in the country), people are work-based and they prefer to not waste time hoping over the shops & malls. On a personal level of experience, I see people order products to home more often. Flipkart & Amazon like companies aren't just growing for nothing. These companies know how internet can affect any business. In above real-life example, the client had competition with not just the growing amount of local vendors but also from the home-delivery food-giants like Dominos, FoodPanda & Zomato. My client was even bigger than Foodpanda it all started. But they just ignored the trends and they failed.
Why, a website?
Websites are today's necessity. Whether you are a blogger or a freelancer, job seeker or business manager, a start-up or a company, everyone needs a website. You may be local & so could be your business but the websites are not local, they are global. They are now the utter symbol of professionalism.
Do you have a website?
If your answer is ‘yes’, then congratulations - you know the trends.
But if the answer is ‘no’, you should get one before it is too late.
Now, you must be asking why you should have a website?
There are hundreds of articles on the internet, convincing you to have a website, irrespective of who you are. They will emphasize on all the requirements one can think of.
If you don’t want to hop over the internet, here is a summary of why you must have a website?
- Websites build business values.
Whether you are sharing your business-card or applying for a loan, you dotcom website will make a huge difference.
- Websites engage more customers.
With proper SEO & e-commerce setup, you can engage with customers & sell them you products without convincing them orally each time.
- Sell at day, sell at the night.
E-commerce websites are like 24x7 shops. Irrespective of what time it is, these can take orders from your customers anytime they like.
- Better Marketing.
Did you recently added a new product to your shop? Why bother telling your customers when they visit? You can notify them anytime you want using web or app or SMS-notifications. Internet has set a new dimensions for marketing & customer reach approaches.
- Compete with giants.
By building a proper website, you are jumping directly to the business of the giant companies. No matter how bad you would do, you will feel valued.
- Get a job.
Enough about business companies. At personal level, Portfolio websites can help you showcase your work and resume so that you’d be able to get better job opportunities.
Earn money online. Not everyone sells stuffs offline that good. If you are tight on budget and resources, you can setup your online shop and sell any stuff you want, including heavy furniture to downloadable eBooks. Or, just like I did, you can start blogging & practicing Internet marketing to earn a lot.
What is better than showing off who you are? Create an about page and let the world know why you are important to the world? You can print your web-address on your business cards & posters to impress people even more.
- Do awesome stuffs!
As long as you remain creative, there are countless amazing stuffs you can do with a website. You can start your own community or social network, share photos & videos, showcase your art and almost anything you can think of.
How can I get a website?
Simplest way to get a website is to hire a web-developer or a web development agency. This will surely cost a huge amount of money. But if you like DoItYourself (DIY) -guides, you can build your own website at lesser costs. There are basically three steps to get started with a professional website:
Step-1: Buy your domain name.
You need to buy a domain name in order to set up a blog. A domain name is nothing but the address of your website, which your visitors will be using to access your website. Make sure the domain name you choose is unique and appropriate for your business. You cannot build a website without registering a domain name. There are many websites available that provide domain name registration services at affordable rates. Most hosting provider companies, like Bluehost India, offer free domain names with their hosting plans. You should check Bluehost India's great hosting deals if you do not want to undergo the trouble of setting DNS records.
Step-2: Get a web-hosting.
You need to buy web hosting services in order to make your website accessible to anyone. You can either buy domain name and web hosting as a complete package from a single website or you can consider two different websites for the services.
Step-3: Install required files or a content-management system to the web-host.
Now you can start developing your website with proper knowledge of HTML technologies. Alternatively, you can use your web hosting's web builder services to create a new website from scratch. As another option, you can just start with CMS/frameworks like WordPress, Joomla, and give your setup a boost.
Current commercial scenario is very harsh to those who procrastinate and ignore the fundamentals of business growth. Unfortunately, many companies do not value their online-presence, just like my client in above example. And those who do fail to get full benefit of it. Businesses are rising and failing over this simple mistake.
A well-made website is a crucial tool for your online presence. It boosts both the value and domain of your business and works as the mirror image of your work to the world. So, if your business doesn’t own a website, make sure it does. Else, who knows where the world will be next minute and where your business will be. If you need any help regarding setting up a website, make sure to read my articles on web design & web development.