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I Don't Need A Website

I Don't Need A Website

The small business owner who proudly claims he doesn't need a website, because he doesn't sell anything online and his "word of mouth" customer pipeline works just fine, is misinformed at best or ignorant, at worst.

Why doesn't he just tell you to come back in a year for the court-ordered liquidation auction? Hindsight will be 20-20 then.

The truth is, everyone needs a website. It doesn't matter if you sell anything online or not, your prospects want to learn more about you before investing the time to drive over, or making a call to your place asking for more information.

We live in a cynical world that craves more useful information. Online research is king. Informed customers are queen and you better at least be in the court--and not as the jester.

The biggest "I don't need a website" offenders are doctors, attorneys and smaller shops or service businesses. Individually and collectively they are wrong. We are a fluid buying group with little loyalty anymore. Someone presents a better idea and we jump.

Someone woos us and reminds us of why we were so brilliant as to choose them, we stay put. Do the math, What does it mean to you to stop customer churn?

Physicians point to a crowded waiting room and tell you referrals and word of mouth work just fine. That may not be a premise you want to take to the bank in today's world of very well informed patients with health insurance plans in a state of flux. Here today, gone tomorrow. Dust off the "accepting new patients" sign.

Lawyers have a built in indifference to any advertising save the bronze "name of the firm" placard hanging near their front door. Maybe personal injury and workers comp barristers killed marketing for all practitioners of the law.

The problems are:

(A) those that shop for legal advice want to know more about the attorney and the practice

(B) Lots of people still laugh (a lot) at the old joke that says, "What do you call a lawyer found at the bottom of the ocean? A good start."

Businesspeople, those that should be most open to at least studying new forms of advertising, usually have illogical excuses for not having a website. Statements like "it just doesn't work for my business", "I don't even own a computer", "my customers don't use the Internet", are a piercing death knell for new business development or customer retention.

The truth is websites and the marketing and email campaigns that go with them are here to stay. The statistics are irrefutable: Most consumers, your consumers, are heading to the net to make buying decisions. If they find you there with a well crafted site, they are at least interested, and at best, buying. If not, your competitor gets the nod.

Stake your place on the Internet. Get a website. Learn how to market with it, how to increase word of mouth and referral customers and you'll see new substantial new cash flow while cutting costs and becoming a customer favorite. It's the way business is done now. Get on board or get run over.


About the Author

Brian Grinonneau is the general manager of McMann & Tate Advertising a midwest agency that insists its clients tell their story like it has never been told before.


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