There are many reasons why it's good to have a website but here's another. The old doorstep Yellow Pages are no longer the main way customers seek local information.
A July 2008 study by TMP Directional Marketing showed that internet search engines, such as Google and Yahoo, had become the top way that consumers looked for local information and one can only assume that this trend has continued since. Whatever the case, the message for all businesses is simple: the tide has turned and hard evidence now demonstrates that without a website you will lose out to competitors. This isn't pushy marketing by Thisonly; it's simple, common sense.
A practical Thisonly example
Here's a practical example of this phenomena. Imagine that you live in Cornwall, you need an architect and you try a Google search using the term 'Cornwall architect'. Try it: www.google.co.uk. Of over 400,000 results, one of the first unpaid for listings will be for the architect Joan Kinnane where, under a direct link to her website, you can read that 'Joan Kinnane is an architect working in the West Country with over twenty years experience of a wide range of buildings.'
Clearly, this gives Joan the leading edge, quite literally, over all of her many competitors in Cornwall. With Yellow Pages, the same person would have had to thumb through several pages and eventually make a phone call to someone they knew little about. Visitors to Joan Kinnane's site, however, can browse her portfolio at their leisure, see before and after photographs of her work and then decide if they feel comfortable about giving her a call. What would you rather do?
You can visit Thisonly's testimonials page to see what this has meant for her. But she's not the only one; many clients enjoy similar search engine prominence and all the business benefits that this brings.
Go round the world!
Imagine being open to the world for twenty-four hours of every day, three-hundred and sixty-five days a year. Your office might be closed but your business won't be......
Place a brochure in everyone's sitting room and office
Your website is effectively an online brochure in everyone's sitting room and office; all you need to do is point them to it (thisonly can help with this). A website enables you to reach millions of people without lifting a finger. You don't need to remain a small, local enterprise anymore, although you can if you want to. A website gives you the potential, quite literally, to reach millions of people across the world.
Provide twenty-four hour customer service
A website that answers questions when you can't improves customer service. You might not be able to get hold of Thisonly at half past midnight but you can come here and read all of this!
Mmmmh ..... they look professional!
For a small business, such as a one-man/woman band, a professional-looking website conveys a particular message and inspires confidence. Think of the times when you've tried to find a company's website only to discover that they don't have one - remember how that made you feel?
Who needs a shop on the High Street?
Why take on the lease of a shop and pay all those hefty overheads? There's rent, electricity, building and contents insurance, health and safety assessments, business rates etc etc - the list goes on. In fact, it's much, much cheaper to sell online - and there are far more people passing by....