Since Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web in 1989, the world has not remained the same again. This means that people can now communicate from one end of the world to the other at the click of a mouse and things got much better and easier with the advent of smartphones. Come to think of it, if someone told you in 1990, that by the year 2018 you would be able to call your sibling in America, and see each other in real-time, would you believe it?
The messages which take two months to get to the United States from Nigeria in the 1990s now take two seconds to send by email, people now meet online and marry afterward, and most importantly, people now transact businesses online. It is interesting to know that people now school online, attend interviews online, get a job online, and even work online. That’s not all, people now buy and sell as well as sign contracts online.
Though the internet is a vast realm with various businesses springing up on daily basis, the sky is wide enough to fly the bird of your own business only if you want to start. Irrespective of how much your business is generating, you’d be doing more harm than good to your brand if your business is not online. Here’s why.
Most people think getting a nice website is quite expensive but the opposite is actually the case. Though the initial setup fee and maintenance depend largely on your line of business, the features you want on your website, as well as the platform cum programming language on which it is developed.
Nevertheless, having a corporate website for your business is way cheaper than the operating cost of running a business entirely offline. It is cheaper to hire an ace web developer to set up the website than to pay for office space, pay utility bills, and staff salaries. The fund that would be expended on a website is usually less than the amount which would be spent on maintaining the business offline.
Potential Customer Base
Taking your business online will in no small measure increase your customer base. Let’s assume a fellow is traveling down to Nigeria from overseas and is looking to book a hotel before leaving his base abroad instead of searching for hotels after his arrival, and he goes to Google and searches for the best hotels in Abuja or Lagos. You can agree with me that only those hotels which have an online business listing or their own websites will pop up on the search engine. No matter how much you invest in the mainstream media for advertisements, your business will not come up online if you’re not online. How shameful would it be if your business is found wanting online in this computer age! The truth is, you will have more customers if you’re online than the traditional shop or office kind of business. The truth is, some top-notch clients do believe that having a website or a form of online presence means you know what you’re doing.
More residual revenue
It is a truism that you would make more money going online than when you are not, based on the simple fact that you will have a wider reach, and wider reach means more customers, and more customers mean more income for your organization. I know a videographer whose job (wedding video) was seen by a man in the UK, the potential customer was supposed to get married in Nigeria later that year and was looking for recommendations.
He got the phone number of the videographer and spoke with him via WhatsApp messenger and then told him, “I’d love to see more of your works, please send me your website so I can see them.” It was then it dawned on the videographer that he needs a website.
In the same vein, besides making money from your business offline and attracting more clients and customers, if your website is well-packaged and promoted, you could make money from adverts and sponsored listings on your website. And this is not limited to local markets alone, you will surely make more money partnering with foreign partners too, they’re readily waiting for you if you know how to find them.
A business that never closes
Going online also means that your business never goes to sleep. Though you close the business before evening, the internet never sleeps. People will still be able to visit your website. A potential client or customer that couldn’t visit your office at 10:00 PM or on Sunday morning will have a good chance of knowing what you’re into by merely visiting your webpage on their smartphones, anywhere around the world, 24/7, 365 days a year. With an online presence, your business will never sleep or slumber.
Better Customer Support
You would agree with me that it is cheaper, faster, and more convenient for your client to visit your website and chat with your customer care agent in real time than to leave their own office to visit yours. Experientially, I’d rather visit my bank’s website and talk to their agent on live chat than to visit the banking hall, well, because I’m busy and have other things to do. The reason is very simple, besides being able to chat with the agent online while doing other things on my PC, several of the complaints are usually escalated to the head office where the agents on live chat are located. If you would love to be served in this way, then it’s time you start serving your clients in the same manner by getting a website.
The Internet Was Made for Business
Gone are the days when the internet was a place where people unwind. The wise now use what is readily available to get what is needed. This mindset is what makes Mark Elliot Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO, one of the youngest billionaires of his generation. Many businesses add international to their name and they’re not even known outside their own state, while there are businesses with no known physical offices but are known across the shore of Nigeria and beyond, That’s the power of the internet. With an online presence, you can target international markets and your business can be found anywhere on the face of this planet at the click of a button.
If you’re comfortable being a local champion, it’s ok not to have a website for your business, but if the dream is to be a household name even outside the shores of Nigeria, you should get a website. As 2019 approaches, change your business approach, get a website and rub shoulders with the big wigs!