I have always been in dilemma, between an offline traditional business or by having a website through online business. Which one is effective and profitable, and which one is easier to start. I always try to look at the positive side of each question is leading into. The question above is a subjective one where people will have many answer for it. The answer might come is “it depends”. Until what extend? To many people, they’re still asking the same question, “Why do I need a website?
Alright, first we need to know what is a website. According to Wikipedia:
A website, also written as web site, or simply site, is a set of related web pages typically served from a single web domain.
What does it mean? For newbies they might be asking again, how can I get a website? Typically I always try answer in simplest way. There are many ways to get a website. Either it be free or paid ones. And each of them will have their own positive values and drawbacks. A website is like a virtual home where it is always available and public for people to visit. Anyone who has internet connection will be able to view our website and this comes with different possibilities of impact.
A website will have many offerings. Same as well with our home, it comes with its own characteristics. Either it be informative or membership type of website, likewise, our home doors will be accessible only to those member of the family. We can laid out a long list of similarity and characteristics of a website comparing to a home.
Ok. Let us be simple and realistic. Forget all above statements for temporary. Let us just list few reasons of why do we need a website.
Exposure (Gets you found)
The only way you can be found 24hours/ 365days and more is by having a website. We like to call this term “Just Google it”. Depending on how popular and how many visitors, you will be found. The keywords for people to find you online can be your business name, your website offerings, your personal name and many others. For an opportunist, this is an advantage.
If the website have loyal followers or subscribers, indirectly as a website owner, you can influence them either for your personal or business needs. Traditional way of approaching people offline, is less effective and limited. By the way, “Do you know millions of people? Why not go global?”. This can be done by having a website, reaching out further. For others, some might be searching for jobs by exposing themselves through website.
Another thing is that people always have limitations. You cannot be entertaining other people at all times and cannot do multiple work simultaneously. Automated websites can do this, without them having the need to sleep. Unless the web server down. Just be sure to have a good website and they could be pricey.
Sharing (is Caring)
Sharing is caring? This is not necessarily true statement. We care because we need something back. Giving free stuffs might get returning visitors. And each visitor is an opportunity. A website can be an informative ones, online selling/ business portal, forums to get member interactions and feedback, paid site through subscriptions and many more. The offerings can be eBooks, plugins, software, images, videos, source codes and even an idea in the form of information in texts.
Usually this is the main reason of why many people having websites. Managing a website is tedious for those who hates to interact with machines. Those who like it, they might be well paid for the struggles. This is the reality we need to accept.
Just imagine having a shop selling DVDs to the local people in a small town. No matter how good your DVD movies are, how big your shop is, it is limited to that size and zone only. Having a virtual DVD shop online, a replica of your physical shop but it comes better in the form of website with better customer management, better payment system and 24 hours opens, and the best one, you can save a lot in comparing to physical shop. Even more you can reach out millions of customers at the other side of the world, increasing the profit margins. This covers the marketing and promotion part. Look at where the possibility is endless.
For a personally run website, if they’re profiting enough, it may well be the time to think about stopping the 9 to 5 working hours routine. Be your own boss and get the freedom you’ve always dreamed of.
Do you really need a website?
Ok we back again to this question. It depends. If you have a successful offline business, and you see there is more bad than good effects of having a website, why not stay as it is? Keep doing what you’re doing. Go study and check again later if you really need a website.