If you asked a random sample of people which single technological development has had the greatest impact in the past few decades, the answer you would probably hear most is 'the Internet'. It has completely revolutionised almost every aspect of modern life, from dating, to shopping, to research, and obviously, the world of business.
However, there are those who have somehow not been swept up in the tidal wave that is the Internet. One group who has somehow slipped past is very small businesses, which GoDaddy defined as any businesses with fewer than 6 workers.
In fact, 59% of the 4,000 surveyed by GoDaddy don't have a website, often citing the expenses and time that building a website would require as their reason for not taking control of their online presence.
What many of these business owners may not have fully realised yet is that these days, starting up a website doesn't need to be stressful, complicated, or expensive. With the wide range of readily available tools at low cost, you can do it all yourself without denting your budget.
What kind of business is most likely to be missing out?
GoDaddy studied businesses spread across the globe, in Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, Mexico, Turkey, the UK and the USA.
Of the 59% who have not created a website, 41% are run by women. A trend was also found in their customer base; 64% had 100 or fewer customers, making the business small in terms of both workers and clients. Understandably, a significant amount were also relatively new companies, with 39% not having reached the three year mark.
Why have they chosen not to create a website?
For a lot of people, giving your business a website is an obvious and crucial step, and something they would never dream of neglecting. So what explanation do these small business owners give for their decision?
A lot of them feel that having some sort of Internet presence through their use of social media is sufficient for their business - 35% felt their business was just too small to need a full website.
Would they change their minds in the future?
If business size and the expenses of starting up a website were common problems, does this mean many business owners would consider starting a website in the future, when these obstacles were perhaps reduced?
For a majority of those surveyed, the answer is yes. 55% reported an intention to create a website within two years of the study. 20% had even started taking steps in that direction, having registered their desired domain name.
Why should they want a website?
Setting up a successful website could have a huge impact on the growth of these small businesses, extending their reach far, far beyond a very localised customer base.
For a lot of these business owners, the prospect of setting up a website brings with it the ability to sell their goods online - 48% had plans to use their website for sales within the first year of it going live.
The same number, 48%, hope that the creation of a website will lead to their business growing by at least 25% within 3-5 years. A majority also stated a belief that they would experience growth, whether locally, nationally, or globally, as a direct result of setting up a website.
Those who said they had no plans to create a website in the near future had much lower expectations regarding business success. Only 19%, compared with the above 48%, said they though their business would grow 25-50% within the next 3-5 years.
And the benefits of having a business website seem very clear: out of the respondents who did have an existing website, a clear majority of 59% reported growth once the website was up. And a massive 83% reported feeling they had a significant competitive advantage over businesses without a website.
So if you want to be the best, building a website seems the way to go. It can work wonders for your business, and it really doesn't have to set you back a lot or eat up a lot of your valuable time. You can choose whether or not to enlist professional help, but a little research and perhaps a few words of advice from a friend can be more than enough to allow you to make great use of a hosting platform and its templates to make your own website simply and easily.