Or “Why you need your own website”
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics at the end of the 2011 financial year only 33% of micro businesses (0 – 4 employees) had a website presence of their own. The other 67% were either not online at all, or they relied on directory sites for their online presence.
BUT, over that same period of time (2010 – 2011) 24.4% of those online Australian micro businesses received some portion of the $189 billion (that’s right b.ill.ion) which was spent online with Australian businesses over all.
That’s a lot of buying of something other than cute cat photos I’m assuming. Either that or I’m in the wrong business and should really be looking at the earning potential of my cats!
So why aren’t you out there?
Having set up lots of businesses (some successful, some not so much) I know there’s a lot to think about when starting up – choosing business names, accounting and legal requirements, working out where you’re going to work from (the living room, the bedroom, the cafe down the road – or is that just me?).
And for some, not all, business owners, getting online can seem like the last thing on their mind. Especially getting their own website.
After all, doesn’t Facebook offer an online presence that’s just as good? And Pinterest makes everything look so pretty, why should you worry about designing your own website? And all the cool kids are on Google+ so shouldn’t you just just hang out there rather than creating content for your website?
Good questions, wrong answers
These are good questions but unfortunately the answer that many people come up with is Yes, when instead they should be saying – that’s a good idea after I’ve set up my own website, thank you.
I like to think of it as owning your home versus renting it. Renting is great – it is cheaper and easier than getting a home loan and doing all that tedious paperwork and someone else takes care of all your maintenance (usually).
But, you’re also subject to the whims and desires of your landlord – they might decide to
- increase the rent;
- not maintain the property properly;
- change the conditions under which you rented the property (bye bye permission to have pets) or
- sell the property to people who want you to leave so they can move ‘more desirable’ tenants in.
With your own house though, you might have to take care of some pesky maintenance problems (who knew gutters had to be cleaned so often??) yourself but you get to decide what, when and how much for everything that affects that property.
The same applies to having your own website versus having a presence elsewhere on the web, be that social media networks; the Yellow Pages; or any 3rd party directory site.
Stay in control, stay awesome
By all means have presences on the social media networks but always make sure to direct the audience there back to your home base where you can give them great quality content that they won’t mind sharing back into their networks.
Create a strong, welcoming, and high value home base and it won’t matter what happens to those rented properties – you and your business will see through any storm no worries.