Dear Aunty B,
My husband and I own a florist shop and until now we’ve resisted investing money in setting up a company website, instead we rely on the Yellow Pages and word-of-mouth recommendations. We know there will be advantages to creating an online presence, but finding some spare cash to pay someone to do the work is a stretch at the moment. Is it worth it?
Any investment in IT and marketing your business comes at a cost, but in this case, I can assure you that it will be worth it.
Nine times out of 10, potential customers will search for information about your shop online before they call you. For this reason alone it’s worth making sure that your correct phone number and address is readily available online. Going the next step and creating a website that lists the products you sell and the services you offer will only increase the likelihood of these people actually walking into your store.
If you are worried about cost, why not ask your family and friends if they or someone they know could help out for ‘mates rates’? There may even be some willing IT students at your local university who are keen to get some experience under their belt. That being said, good IT support is invaluable so you might find that spending a little extra with a larger firm will help you in the long run.
With most of our economy now online in some form or another, it’s also worth considering what would happen if you did not enter the digital realm. As digital consultant Dionne Lew says, there are some compelling reasons to secure your business name and close variations of them on social media platforms, even if you’re not yet ready to embrace the online world.