This study of small businesses (1 to 20 people) in Australia, I recommend you look through. What it states is today about 41% of small businesses in Australia have a website which is a significant increase on a few years ago.
Of those that do have a website
- 65% say a website would make their business look more credible and professional
People looking to buy today, expect you to have your own websites. Not having one raises questions in customers' eye.
I would say that the vast majority of businesses that I go to both large and small, I have for one reason or another researched it on the net first. I doubt that I am unusual here. If I cannot find it, I move onto to another business.
According to the 2018 Telstra Small Business Intelligence Report, 62% of customers will stop considering a small business if they can’t find information about it online.
- 56% know that having a website means that their business can be found on Google
Today almost everyone uses the net to get information on even local businesses that they know. For example, I used it just yesterday to get opening hours of a pizza parlour, I like.
Many use it for directions. Consider this over half the people in Australia use a trip computer in the car to go to work every day. This is a spot, I am sure they know intimately well how to get there yet they use google.
- 59% say a website can provide a good way of receiving customer enquiries
Cheaper than a telephone call and easier for many to use. The Telstra Small business report states 28% of Australians do this.
Once you have the email address, you have another way to reach your potential customer.
- 58% say it opens up new business opportunities.
A website is like a billboard that introduces people to your products and services. I know that even shops, I know well, I find on their website points I did not know.
For example, the pizza parlour I looked up above, I saw that it runs birthday parties for kids. I am a parent and am looking for a venue for my daughters 9th birthday and I am thinking maybe have it in this pizza parlour? This is a supervised party which gives the kids a quick class on making pizzas, then lets the kids make their own pizza, they bake the kids pizza, they make a contest of it and then the kids eat their own pizzas.
- 61% believe that it has contributed as much as 25% growth to their business.
Add up the above and 25% sounds reasonable but actually I think its too low, in our market space those with websites are doing about 4% (which is the industry benchmark) of their trade online. For many that would be much higher than 25% of their growth.
How much does it cost, how much to budget?
I would say if you are thinking of going online.
FREE: If you are looking to test the waters, I would say go on Facebook and set up your company there. It costs you nothing. It will not get you on google but it is something. I think every one of my clients now should have this.
Some cheap website offers are available but in my experience, they look cheap and they often come with limitations and advertising. You have say a pizza parlour, do you want ads for Dominos pizzas to appear on your site to your customers while they are putting in orders?
Basic website: For something reasonable to start your company off, if you know what you want and are well organised I would say $2,000 to $3,000 could get you something reasonable. A good idea here is to look at what others have, find something you like and ask for something like that. What you do not want to do, is request change after change because that is where the charges really take off.
Online shop: To get you a full online shop about $5,000 would be a reasonable starting point. Again much depends on how well organised you are.