According to research done by clutch.co, 46% of small businesses are not yet utilizing the advantages of having a website. This is a confounding number to the average person as we are, now more than ever, tethered to technology and digital access to just about every bit of information we seek. The internet and its capabilities have all but replaced the phone book, the dictionary, road maps, the list goes on.
Still not convinced your restaurant needs a website? Chew on this food for thought for a minute. When you the inclination to try a new eatery, purchase a new product, plan a vacation stay or need to decide between a number of businesses that provide a particular service, what is the first thing you look to in order to make those decisions?
It has become so second nature that we no longer think about it before we fire up the nearest web browser, via computer, or even more convenient, our smartphones to compare and one business to another to see which edges out the other in terms of quality of service, pricing, and simply being able to visualize what we are purchasing and the type of atmosphere we’ll be entering into before we ever set foot in the physical door.
Doesn’t that sound like a convenience you’d want to provide to your customers?
Most Potential Customers Expect a Business to Have a Website
You can consider yourself a local business, but in this day’s digital age, you can be easily accessible by anyone at any time from anywhere. This means there are potential customers everywhere your website reaches.
Given the fact that the era of buying sight unseen is all but non-existent, it is prudent your business makes its products readily available for those on the fringe of visiting your establishment to make the final decision on whether or not they will set foot in the door.
Potential customers want to gather as much information as possible when it comes to spending their hard earned money. They also want you (your business) to convince them. If you can do that before they ever physically arrive at your restaurant, you’ve guaranteed a purchase.
Approximately 70-80% of people research businesses online before purchasing or visiting. With that being said, having a website for your restaurant is not required, it is expected!
A Means to Gather Information is Always an Arm’s Length Away, Why not Provide it to the Masses
With access to the world wide web a pants pocket or purse reach away, you can imagine how much time millions of people spend searching for the best product, the how-to instructions, recipes, and yes, this is where you come in; restaurants. A whopping 81% of Americans own a smartphone.
Of those smartphone users, there are approximately 35.2 hours spent surfing the web per month! Imagine how many different searches each of these information seekers have performed daily. You don’t have to do the math.
Internet users spend about 2 hours total per day to consume media. You would be missing out on a very big opportunity to pull in potential customers by deciding not to be a part of those search results.
Let’s face it, no one goes into business to not make the most profitable business they possibly can. No business owner goes through all of the hassles setting up a business they don’t believe in. Your restaurant’s website not only gives anyone searching your business all the information they need to in regard to pricing, hours, location, contact information, and a visual representation of your dishes as well as the atmosphere you will be provided once they enter your establishment.
You also send a message that you believe in your product and the service you provide. This will, in turn, instill confidence in your on the fringe customers to spend their dollars with your business.
But I Already Promote My Restaurant on Social Media, Doesn’t That Count?
The answer to that question is yes. However, the chances that your restaurant’s Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram account is going to show up in a user’s Google search when they type in a small restaurant in your town, USA.
It won’t show up in the results or suggested search items when searching for places to get crab legs. What does this mean for your, business? Well, it simply means that you are missing out on one more marketing avenue. It is great that your restaurant has a social media presence, however, most access to these pages are going to be made by your current and repeat patrons.
Word of mouth is a great grassroots approach to generating business, but reaching those who may not be aware of the existence of your establishment is also an important avenue to drive revenue.
At any given time of the day, there are users searching google right now. They are looking for first date ideas. They are looking for alternatives to the big chain restaurants. Potential customers are looking for places to eat or drink in your area while on vacation.
Again, this is a big missed opportunity for those businesses not taking advantage of exploring this marketing strategy. If you think about it, what reason would you have for not putting yourself out there for the world to see and potentially visit?
Do not become a part of the statistic of failing businesses simply due to neglecting to utilize every opportunity available for you to tap into.
I’ll Toss Some Numbers Your way to Make this More real for You
Small businesses, believe it or not, make up for quite a big chunk of America’s economy. Martha Contreras-Sweet, Small Business Administration Administrator posed this question, “ who creates two out of three net new American jobs, produces almost half of our nation’s goods and services (nonfarm private GDP), and can be found, coast to coast, in every small town, big city
The answer is 30.2 million small businesses (SBA, 2018). These small businesses, in America, account for 99% of all businesses and 54% of all US Sales (SBA, 2017). Referencing the previous statistic that yet 46% of small businesses do not have a website, there are a ton of businesses not being found in the searches being conducted every second of every day. Don’t let yours continue to be one of them.
With that percentage of businesses without websites being as high as it is, you can bet that there are many other businesses, not only in your industry but offering the same cuisine, similar atmosphere, at competitive pricing, in the same location who also has not taken advantage of having a website.
That puts you on equal footing. What are you going to do to set your business apart? There may also be another restaurant who already has a website. Do you want to continue to conduct business with a clear disadvantage of not having that website when you can, alternatively, use your site to display your edge over the competition?
I Know Why You Don’t Have a Website. Let me Ease a Bit of Your Apprehension
One of the reasons you don’t yet have a website is the cost associated with having your own website. You’re not alone. According to a survey done by clutch.co, 26% of small business cite this as a reason not to have a website.
Well, I have good news! 28% of small businesses surveyed spend less the $500 on a website. In the grand scheme of things, at that cost, the benefit far exceeds the risk of this expenditure failing. Here’s a helpful link to get started www.reboltwebservices.com for lightning fast websites at unbeatable prices.
A second reason you may have for not having a website is your perception that having a website is not relevant to your industry. 27% of small businesses share your sentiment. I can tell you that if this is becoming less and less true in every industry, regardless of what the product or service is.
In your industry, however, there is so much that you can potentially tap into. There is online ordering for pick up or delivery. There is an opportunity to advertise events, such as a showing of a big sporting event along with any specials you may be running congruently with
You can display your full menu for those with special dietary needs should you be able to cater to those needs. There is so much that you can do with a website to answer all customer questions without having to have a conversation.
Another reason you don’t have a website is something that we’ve touched on earlier in this blog. About 21% of small businesses state their social media presence is all the online presence they need, but I want to reiterate that a social media presence, while good, is not enough to drive in new customers.
You will get a bunch of customers who already have been to your establishment and saw you “Like us on Facebook” posters. They may tell another person about their experience, but will what that particular patron divulge what you want as you want it?
More often than not, that answer is a resounding no. With your own website, you control the message, the advertising, you can even feature reviews from you social media pages into your website to showcase customer satisfaction to those who just so happen to see you in a google search and are viewing and hearing about you for the very first time.
A pretty convincing argument as to why if you haven’t created your business’ website, you should, huh?