Deciding to launch your own business is a bold move as there are so many elements to master. You have to suddenly become a marketer, an accountant, a strategist and stretch yourself in several different directions to be successful.

At the top of the growing list of things to learn is how you’re going to get your brand visible and make sales. You’re probably debating whether you should invest in a website to promote your business and this has likely opened up a whole new host of questions, such as which platform to use.

Whether you’re a freelancer, start-up or SME, here are just five reasons why having a website is a valuable tool to gain customers.

1. Present a professional image

Say, for example, you’re going through a divorce and you’re looking for a lawyer. You get two personal recommendations from friends so you decide to look them up online. Only one has a website. And on the website you’re able to see a picture of the guy you’ll be dealing with, read more about where he studied, awards he’d won and see testimonials from other clients. Which of the two phone numbers are you more likely to call? The one with the website or the one without a website? In most cases, you’d choose the one with a website because it’s created a higher level of transparency and trust.

No matter what product or service you sell, companies without a website look outdated and unprofessional.

2. 24/ 7 accessibility

A website is accessible to both your current and potential customers 24/7, allowing them to buy your products or inquire about your services at any time of the day. As the evenings are the optimum time for sales activity, having a website where people can find out more about your company means you are more likely to convert them.

Having active social media channels will also help keep your company at the forefront of people’s minds.

3. Lead generation

Although conversions are the ultimate goal for any business, having a place to capture potential leads is also important. You never know when these passers-by will become customers. By having a website, you can offer freebies and other valuable resources in exchange for email opt-ins. This will give you opportunities to contact these people at a later date and potentially convert them from leads to sales.

However, be mindful when creating opt-ins within your website or capturing any information about visitors to your site as you must make sure they are compliant with the new regulations coming into force 25th May 2018. You can read all about GDPR here.

4. Improves customer service

A website is the online ‘shop window’ to your business and it is far easier to update than printed material. While social media channels are great for providing regular snippets of information to potential customers, a website gives a holistic overview of your company, ethos and products.

You can add value to your customers by uploading informative blog posts or newsletters to answer common questions.  This will help them forge a greater connection with your company, leaving them feeling positive about the service you’ve provided and creating brand ambassadors.

5. It saves you time

Providing information to your customers takes time. Whether it’s over the phone, face-to-face, in a brochure, in emails or over social media, there is so much information to convey. A website provides the most up to date and comprehensive information about your products and services in one clear, concise place for potential customers to see.

Initially, it might seem like a large financial investment to have an online presence, but once it’s been created it’s there indefinitely, saving you valuable time. And if you’ve got time on your hands, it’s extremely easy to set up a WordPress website to display your products and services.

WordPress is a popular CMS – with over 30% of the web now being powered by the platform. It’s secure, scalable and affordable, making it a great choice for start-ups, freelancers and small businesses.

In fact, it’s so popular that we’ve built our business around helping people maximise their WordPress website. If you’re concerned about keeping your site up to date, secure and visible to search engines, we can provide valuable support. Setting up a business is a brave step, but you don’t have to do all of it alone. Take a look at our monthly plans to see a full list of the services we can offer to ensure you get the most out of the new website you’ve launched.