Is your website an expense or an investment - picture of expense report, calculator and pen

In today’s blog post I want to share my opinion on whether your website is a cost or an investment to your business.

As I speak to a lot of small business owners, I hear a lot of people commenting on the cost of running a business including having a website.  I hear comments such as “I’m only just starting out so I can’t afford a website” or “I’ve got a Facebook page so I don’t need a website” or “my website is costing too much and not bringing me any customers”

So these are my thoughts…

When you have a “business”, you will have expenses, that is guaranteed. When you have a “hobby” you probably won’t.

Some business expenses you can’t avoid such as paying your tax bill (or I wouldn’t recommend avoiding it anyway!).

Other business expenses include things to make your business legal or to run more smoothly for you and your customers such as

  • Your website
  • Your online booking system
  • Your card payment machine
  • Your payment processing fees ie Stripe/Paypal
  • Your insurance
  • Your professional fees
  • CPD Courses
  • Your vehicle
  • Your premises
  • Quality products
  • etc etc etc

Now you could choose not to use these tools or not to pay for these tools and look for free alternatives. I have tried myself to use free alternatives and a lot of the time, in my experience you get what you pay for.

If you cannot afford to pay for these expenses I would suggest that maybe you are not running a business but dabbling in a hobby. If you are running a business then you need to ensure you are covering your expenses by the means of selling your services or products.

  • In order to sell your services or products, you need to have customers
  • In order to have customers, they need to know you are in business
  • In order for them to know your business exists you need to tell them – via online methods and offline methods. You need to show up and share what you do.

No Customers = No Sales = No Business

 

Your Website Is An Investment

  • Your website tells people you are in business.
  • It allows people to find you and your business 24/7, 365 days a year. They can look up your website and find the answer to their burning question at 3am without ringing your mobile and disturbing your sleep – providing you have the right information on your site!
  • Your website tells them what you do, who you do it for and why they should choose you. (Or it should!).
  • Your website shows off your skills, expertise, services and products and helps people know if you have the solution to their problems.

If you do not have a website and they google their problem – your website will not show up – and so they will find another business and quite probably buy from them.

A domain costs around £15 per year. I offer hosting from £10 per month. So for £135 a year or £12 a month you can have a website. Yes you will need to create it or get someone to create it for you if you don’t have the time, knowledge or inclination.  And yes you will need to “work” your website to get the benefits from it as my blog How To Get Clients From Your Website shares but that costs time and not necessarily money.

If you were to employ a salesperson for 365 days a year, 24hrs a day, I’m pretty sure you would not get them to work for you for £12 a month!

You don’t NEED a website to run a business, just like you don’t have to take card payments. And you don’t HAVE to have a website to run your business, but it does make people finding you online easier. It does make sharing your message easier. It does make people buying from you easier. But – that does not come for free.

If you have a website and it is not bringing you new customers, find out why its not bringing you business, and then go and fix your website until it does, don’t get rid of it altogether.  Your website is a living breathing part of your business and should and must grow and change as you and your business does.  Otherwise it becomes stagnant, out of date and won’t bring you a return on your investment.

But please remember your website is a tool, just like your social media accounts.  If you don’t post on your social media accounts, then no they quite probably won’t bring your clients.  Your website is not magic, its a tool you need to use consistently in your Online Marketing toolbox.

So my question to you today is are you running a business or do you have a hobby?

If you decide you have a hobby then good for you, enjoy it, have fun. And no you probably don’t need “tools” such as a website to bring you more customers so you can stop stressing about these expenses.

However if you are running a business then please start treating it like it is a business and go out there and shine your light to all the people who need your products and services, just work out your business expenses and make sure you are covering those and them some

And breathe!

Thank you for listening, love and hugs xx