Once there was a time when all you needed was a business card to hand out and you were in business. Most people who have a business have a card to go with it and give it out freely, especially if it’s any kind of service business. The card has the basic information that the prospect needed: business name, address, phone number, maybe an email address and sometimes the services or products available, and some branding like a logo and tagline. Interested parties would simply call, email or stop by and the business grew. Now there is an expectation that, before anyone commits to that call, email or walk-in, they will have access to your business on the world-wide web. It’s become a given that businesses can be researched first from anyone’s computer, or even more likely, their smart phone or tablet. And if your business is not represented by it’s own website then people simply Google it.
That’s when it gets interesting. Everyone is likely to be searchable thanks to the diligence of companies like Google but not everyone will be that happy with what shows up about them. A business owner I know felt he was busy enough that he didn’t need a website for his company. But he was having a problem with people calling to ask him for a service that his company doesn’t do. I said I’d look into it for him and I found out that his business listing on the web didn’t mention what he does. Hence people were assuming that he offered what they wanted. If he had a website that told people exactly what services his company offered it would have cut down on nuisance phone calls that were not resulting in new business. Getting a website is the best way since business cards to control what you want people to know about your business. And these days it virtually is a business card!