We’ve heard them all. All the excuses that small and medium enterprises tell themselves, so they don’t spend the time and energy on a website. The problem is that doing business online is now the default, especially in our post-pandemic world. So, here are some of the more common reasons people say they don’t need a website… followed by the argument that they do.

I don’t need one.

Yes, you do. The customer journey, for the most part, no matter the industry, starts online with a Google/Bing/DuckDuckGo search. Or a Facebook search. If you don’t have a website, no one will ever find your business.

I have other business priorities

This is a somewhat fair argument. You’re busy running your business; you don’t want to stop and do all the work needed to get online. Your business may be growing at a steady rate, so you don’t think you need to invest the time right now – it’s always going to be something you can do later. No, you need to do it now. As the pandemic has shown, no one knows what is coming down the road that could affect your business growth. Be proactive. Build a website.

I’m already on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter/Etc.

These don’t count as being ‘online.’ Having a page on Facebook or Twitter is playing around in someone else’s garden. You don’t have control of your image, your message, or your reach. With your own website, you control all of those things. The people that run Facebook don’t care about YOUR business; they care about THEIR business. So, don’t rely on their goodwill to keep your business ‘online.’

It costs too much

No, it really doesn’t. Using simple tools like our siteBuilder, you can have a usable informational website online in an afternoon. If you don’t want to do it at all – we can build it for you for a small fee. It all really depends on what you want your website to do. If you just want to get your business visible online, it doesn’t take much work. If you want to start selling online, you can use our shopBuilder tool to quickly and easily start selling online.

A website is for getting new customers; I don’t have capacity for more customers

You’re busy. You work every day. You’re getting new business through word of mouth simply by doing a good job. You can’t imagine fitting in more work. Why do you need a website when you don’t have the capacity for more work anyway? Well, even word-of-mouth customers are going to want to look you up online. Find out what you do. Get your contact information. Look at reviews on sites like Trustpilot. By having a website, you have more control over the narrative of your business online. And you don’t know where your business is going – maybe you’ll get enough business to expand and hire people.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it

Your business runs fine without a website; why change anything? Because your customers and potential clients EXPECT you to be online. You can’t ignore it forever.

It’s hard to do myself

It doesn’t have to be hard to set up your own website. Blacknight specialises in offering tools like siteBuilder and shopBuilder to quickly and easily create your own website or online store.

It’s hard to update it myself

If you use off the shelf tools like ours, you never have to worry about software updates; it’s taken care of for you. If you need to make changes to the CONTENT of your website – it’s just as easy to make changes. If you can edit a Word document, you can edit the content on your new website. You can easily add new images, blog posts, news about your company. And you don’t need to have your ‘web person’ do it for you.

I’m not selling online; why bother?

Having a presence online isn’t just about selling online – it’s about providing information about your business that you control. Otherwise, people will be talking about you online, and you will have no control over what they say. You need to be leading the conversation to be a part of it.

It won’t help my business

Any Euro you spend on marketing or time you spend on marketing will have a long-term dividend in your business. Having a presence online will very much help your business; not having a presence online will have the opposite effect – it will harm your business in the long term.

All I need is a Gmail address

No. You need your own domain name attached to your own website. Your email address needs to have your business name in it – otherwise, you’re advertising Gmail, not your own business. It’s much more professional to have ‘ian@wexfordglass.com’ than it is to have ‘ianwexfordglassguy@gmail.com.’ We make it super easy to buy a domain and set up simple email with it.

My old site works fine

You may already be online. If you did a website ten or more years ago – and not updated it since – that’s almost as bad as having no website at all. It needs to be updated; the web has changed. It needs to look like websites do now – it needs to be mobile-friendly, it needs to have an SSL, it needs to be bug-free. Some websites that have been up for a while will have a broken Google Map or links to dead social networks. Load your old website on your mobile; I bet it’s not mobile-friendly and isn’t easy to read/navigate on mobile. Time to give it a refresh.

This internet thing is a fad

Yeah, no. The web, mobile phones, broadband – none of these things – no matter how much people complain about them – are going away anytime soon. Ignore online marketing at your peril.

My retail store is doing great; I don’t need online

As the pandemic has shown, if you have any type of retail store – you need to be selling online. Irish consumers have proven that they want to give local SMEs the business by shopping online. If your shop is online, they won’t have to buy from someone else.

What’s your excuse for not having a website? Let us know in the comments, and we’ll tell you why that’s wrong.

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