Consider the tremendous potential benefits of having a website. Still, a new report from Visual Objects says a significant number of businesses don’t have one.
And when businesses decide to build a site, they avoid spending big. Two-thirds or 66% of businesses spend less than $10,000 to design, build, and launch a website.
The report, titled “How Small Businesses Use Websites in 2019” looks to inform businesses about the importance of investing time and resources in creating a website. Visual Objects also said it wants to show businesses how to confront the challenges and costs associated with creating a site.
If you have a business with a digital presence, your website is just as or more important than your physical store. And as consumer demand for digital transactions grow, having a digital presence will no longer be an option, especially for young consumers.
Kelsey McKeon, who wrote the report for Visual Objects, said “Younger generations, such as millennials and Generation Z, are an emerging share of consumers who are more accustomed to digital experiences than generations before them.”
In today’s digital world having a website is an indicator of the legitimacy of your business. For a growing number of people, you are not a real business unless you have a website.
One of the most surprising takeaways from the survey is around 40% of small businesses don’t have a website. And of this 40 %, the majority or 28% said a website is irrelevant for their business.
Looking forward businesses are changing their stand. Twenty two percent said they plan to launch a site either in 2019, 2020 or later. But there remains a determined 18% who said they are unlikely to launch a website in the future.
Small Business Website Cost
Twenty three percent of small businesses cited cost as the biggest reason for not having a company website. This is despite the fact there are now more affordable or DIY options in the marketplace for creating a website.
When it comes to the budget, 66% of businesses spend less than $10K for designing, building, and launching their websites. On the high-end of the budget scale, 19% of businesses spend more than $25K on their company website.
If budget is a problem, the good news is businesses have more options than ever to create a website. In the report, Joe Ardeeser, managing member at Jordan Crown, said “[If] a company is unwilling to spend more than $1,000, there are plenty of systems out there like Squarespace and Wix. Those kinds of systems are built for people who aren’t very technical.”
Another option is using freelancers. Ardeeser said if you have a budget between $1,000 to $3,500, freelancers are the way to go. This will allow you to use experts without the high cost of specialized agencies.
Maintaining a Site
Half the battle of creating a website is running and maintain it. Small businesses use their employees, freelancers, and agencies for these tasks.
Beyond the technical aspect of running the website, marketing and promotion are a big consideration for long-term success.
In the survey, 30% of businesses said they use their site to increase sales and revenue. Another 22% said it was to establish brand awareness and authority, with 17% stating it was to build relationships with customers.
Taking advantage of the opportunities is still a challenge for small business owners. Low traffic and strong competition is a challenge for 19% of the respondents. Another 13% said lack of time or knowledge as their biggest challenge in maintaining a website.
The Visual Objects survey was carried across the U.S. with the participation of 529 small business owners and managers. The businesses represented in the survey have between 1 to 500 employees, with the majority or 54% having between 1-10 employees.