Common Objections Business Owners Make Against Having a Website

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I work with small businesses and solopreneurs every day, and when it comes to not having a website, I’ve heard it all. It’s easy to come up with an excuse for why a business should not have a website. Sadly, they’re all incredibly misguided! As I wrote in a previous post here, any and every business should have a website. It’s pretty much a requirement in today’s digital world. You want your business to succeed, right? Then don’t miss the boat!

I’ve listed the five most common objections below, and my responses.

Objection #1: “My business is too small, and I don’t have the budget for a website.”

This is the most common objection I hear from small business owners. I get it. When you’re starting a brand new business funds are typically limited. You have to prioritize where you budget your dollars. But listen to this…

Your website is your NUMBER ONE marketing asset.

Every business has to market itself. Otherwise, how will anyone know you exist? Pretty important for a new start-up business! Get a website. It doesn’t have to be fancy and expensive but it needs to exist. It needs to be able to be found by search engines such as Google. If you need a reminder about why, read these stats here. Don’t let a price tag deter you from creating a website.

Objection #2: “I already have enough business. I don’t need a website.”

How awesome for you! That’s a great achievement. However, even if you have more business than you can handle at the moment, you need a website. And here’s why:

I recently read an article on website ownership that argued against this. Here’s an excerpt:

“Recently I went to a popular restaurant in a tiny Virginia town to try and sell the owners a website. The restaurant was located right on the waterfront overlooking Chincoteague Bay. I went just before lunchtime in the dead of winter on a weekday. I figured business would be slow and I could chat briefly with the owner.

The owner was gracious and allowed me to run through the basic benefits giving me her full attention — even taking a few notes. I figured I had a good chance of closing this deal. I finally said, ‘Do you think a website is something you’d be interested in hearing more about?’

This was her reply: ‘We opened this place as a bait and tackle shop. Then people wanted coffee so we provided that. Then some asked for sandwiches, so we provided that. Later they wanted a few tables where they could sit and chat while they ate their sandwiches, so we got tables and chairs and began doing lunches. That led to dinners. Then we didn’t have enough room so we added the screened in porch for the summer. People loved the porch so much that we winterized for the colder months. Now that it’s January, we thought we might be able to close one day a week and get some time off. But we can’t. We’re too busy. We’ve never advertised and we’re tired. If a website is going to bring more people in here — no thanks!'”

I don’t agree with the response in the article at all or the business owner. A website is about so much more than just bringing you new customers.  According to the National Restaurant Association, 83 percent of Americans look up dining locations, directions and hours of operation on their smartphones or tablets. Did you ever think that your customers—now and future—may like to see specials and menu items while they’re on the go? What if they’re in a hurry and want to order quickly and leave? What if they want to know your hours and can’t make a phone call? You can add a reservation widget, which again can save your hosts time and make operations more efficient. You can build an online community with recipes, blogs, and places to get local produce.  You can become not only a local favorite, you can gain popularity nationwide and turn your brand into a product all its own.

A good website will answer basic questions right away—which could free up time if you’re spending a lot of it answering questions on the phone. Time management is one of the biggest challenges facing small business owners according to this article from Entrepreneur magazine.  Not to  mention, while you may have enough customers now, you never know what the next decade will bring. It’s best to get your foot in the door with digital now in the event that it’s necessary in the future.

Objection #3: “I have a guy that said he could make me a website for free.”

I totally get the appeal of having a “friend” design your website for nothing or next to nothing, especially when you’re a start-up business. The ONLY time I will say go for it is if the “friend” has a career and considerable background in web design. Perfect example is when I volunteered to design a website for a friend’s burgeoning non-profit for little cost as a gift towards their mission. That can, and does, occasionally happen, but it’s not the norm. Having a friend or family member with little to no web design experience create your website is like trusting a musician to build the foundation for a skyscraper.

A lot goes into having an optimized website - SEO, file compression, responsive design, schema markup, navigational flow, etc. - and if it isn’t built on the right foundation, it will likely crumble.

Objection #4: “Our customers aren’t big computer users.”

Saying your customers aren’t computer users is, frankly, a steaming pile of s***. It is an extremely rare instance that a business’s customer base aren’t computer users. Computer users encompasses more than just people using desktop computers. It also includes people browsing websites, social media, and apps on mobile devices. Not only do 89% of US adults use the internet, but 95% of them own a smartphone, and in 2018, 42% of all U.S. online traffic came from smartphones and tablets.

Still think your customers aren’t computer users?

Objection #5: “I don’t need a website because my industry doesn’t need one/I’m not an e-commerce or an online business.”

This is a huge misconception a lot of people have about websites. Just because you don’t participate in e-commerce does not mean you don’t need a website. Consumers - even B2B buyers - still need to find you, learn about you, and trust you because they buy from you. Many businesses don’t have e-commerce, but they still have seen considerable revenue growth from having a website.

KEEP IN MIND...

The price of having a website is much lower than the price of getting left behind.

A recent Capital One study found that only 56% of small businesses say they have a company website.

That should tell you two things:

  1. 56% of businesses are doing better than yours.

  2. You still have a chance to beat 44 percent of them if you get a website now.

Anyone, including experts, who tells you your business doesn’t need a website is just plain wrong. This is a bold statement, I know, but I’ll tell you what - I like a challenge. If you’ve recently read an article saying you don’t need a website, send it to me. I’ll read it with an open mind, but nine chances out of 10, it’s wrong and I’ll tell you why. It can cost just pennies to get started with a web presence if you go the DIY route, or spend a little more and hire a web designer. If you need help, give me a shout—I’d be happy to talk to you about your needs.

 
 

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Kat Collins is a Squarespace Website Designer focused on helping you share your brand’s story via your website to take your business to the next level. On the blog, you’ll find a variety of topics that help you succeed in online business, such as website design, branding, social media strategies, blogging, email marketing, Squarespace design tips, and more.