One of the most important points to determine when deciding that you need to have a website for your small business is the cost. Budgeting for a website is critical for any small business looking to expand and in order to have a profitable ROI. However, asking how much a website costs is similar to asking how much a car costs. There are so many variables before the question can be answered. When buying a car, most people have a model and budget in mind or they may be deciding between two or three models. When buying a website for your company promotion and e-commerce, the process is similar although you may be starting from a less informed perspective. The real question should be "what do I need in a website and how much will it cost?"
Do I Need a Website?
Well, yes, if you own a business, you need a website. A website is similar to a modern business card and rack card or brochure combined and it can be much more. Here are some of the basic components that every website needs.
- Company name
- Company contact information--address, phone, email
- Company description
- Images of what the company does
- Geographical area you serve (if brick and mortar)
- List of products and services
This information can be provided on one or two pages and is an online business card that your customers can find. Having a website proves legitimacy for many customers and this type of website costs very little. You may be able to set it up yourself.
Creating a Website that Works for You
One of the advantages of having a website is that it will keep working for you when you are asleep. This 24/7 promotional space can build your business, drive traffic to your brick-and-mortar location and increase your revenues directly if you have an e-commerce site. For most businesses, a minimal business card site described above is not enough. The next level is a fully thought out promotional site with relevant content and landing pages. This type of site should include everything mentioned above and:
- Single content page for each category of products or services
- Single content page for each single product or service (may be combined with e-commerce pages)
- Content pages
- Landing page/s
- Review/Customer comment page (some people add this to their product content pages)
- Links to any social media pages
- Logo and header
- Professional graphics and design including relevant images
- E-commerce section for selling online
Like buying a mid-range car, this type of website will cost more than the minimal one above. However, this mid-range site offers many more features and benefits than a bargain-basement-priced site does. This website is generally part of an active marketing plan that includes SEO and content marketing, ads and landing pages to drive traffic to build a customer email list and/or create leads for direct contact from the sales department. Websites can include a detailed and extensive e-commerce section for direct sales of products or services.
How to Know What I Need in My Website
Most website companies offer a framework for a website that you can continue to build on. The ideal setup for a new small business website will provide as much as you can fit into your budget right now, with options to add more sections on when you can afford it. If you want to use your site for marketing campaigns, you will need a blog and content pages to direct traffic to. A dynamic contact system that will inform you of new leads is important if you use your site to find new leads to call. Reputable web designers will be able to advise you as to how each element of your new site will benefit you and what the cost is to include it. Whether you want a Ford or a Cadillac, you can find the cost that fits your budget and needs.