You may have heard of the famous quote by media academic Marshall McLuhan, the one about ‘the medium being the message’.
To be honest I’ve never really grasped what Prof McLuhan was getting at. If you do, feel free to enlighten us below!
But to put a new slant on his visionary claim, I think it’s now safe to say that your website is now your business.
Let me explain why.
Two billion potential visitors and counting
Due to the proliferation of the World Wide Web and the recent turbo boost that smartphones have given it, all kinds of information is now literally at the fingertips of what now amounts to (into the) billions of people worldwide.
Including information about your little old business.
So for the first time in history, what now amounts to a large proportion of the world’s population have immediate access to information about your business.
And, if your online presence is correctly established, will allow those people to commence and even consummate a business relationship with you.
Of course, these people have to be in the market for your product/service before they will do this and you would have to be able to deliver it to them at the price they wanted it, etc, but the fact remains. If there was a reason to do business with you, every connected person in the world can now do so – provided your website allowed them to.
From billboard in cyberspace to online business
The point I’m making is that given this scenario, there are many more people – and potential customers – who can access your website than can physically get to your business premises or even dial your phone number (affordably).
Given that many more people can access your business online than any other way, it stands to reason that your website is going to be far more important to them than your physical business premises.
Taking this idea further, provided what you offer is essentially provided without your physical involvement, your physical premises are pretty much irrelevant to the transaction.
In other words, your physical premises may well have become superseded.
Because it simply is no longer entirely necessary to facilitate the relationship between you and your customer in person – your correctly-enabled website could do that for you.
The ramifications of this development on business provide you with some idea of why so many industries are now undergoing profound change.
And why you are as likely to be communicating with a business representative on the other side of the globe as easily as someone on the other side of the street.
So when I propose that your website is your business, what I mean is that to most of the world’s population it really is just that.
Your website is a global, 24/7 representation of your physical business and provides an entry point – and in many cases closing point – to dealing with it.
Don’t forget the locals
This scenario operates at the local level too. For anyone dealing with you for the first time, a website now provides fundamental assurance that you are a serious business.
In fact, it’s fair to say that it’s now become a ‘moment of truth’ for every business. If you don’t have a website, or it is of poor quality, a growing number of prospects simply won’t take the transaction any further, instead taking it to a competitor who does have their online act together.
Is your web presence living up to this important responsibility? And are you investing in it accordingly?
In addition to being a leading eBusiness educator to the smaller business sector, Craig Reardon is the founder and director of independent web services firm The E Team, which was established to address the special website and web marketing needs of SMEs in Melbourne and beyond. www.theeteam.com.au.