In short…YES. Your website allows you to have complete control over your brand, your product, and your message as the public sees it. And, in case you weren’t sure, that’s just the way you want it (believe me!). Actually, that’s what branding is all about—being able to mold how your business looks to other people.
Not only that, but simply having a website goes a long way for your consumer. There is something off-putting about a business that has a Facebook page or a Craigslist ad, but no website. Think about it—have you ever done your research about a specific service and weighed the legitimacy of a certain business because they don’t have a website?
This problem is rampant in the remodeling and “handyman” industry. So many great businesses out there have the solution, the skills, and the customer loyalty to have an enormous impact on their market.
But why don’t they? Because they don’t think they need a website, and they don’t see the importance of building a focused following within their community. Listen, I’m all about staying local and “off the grid”, but I think there is a bigger reason for maximizing your business than simply “making it big”.
An underlying theme in my blogging and social media posts (and my entire brand) is the idea that if more of us built businesses around our passions and natural skills, the economy and marketplace would be significantly different than they are now. I described this in my post So You’re Thinking About Starting a Small Business. Imagine the amount of local storefronts that would exist simply from people having the courage to make things for other people. Imagine buying a computer, a dishwasher, or even toilet paper from a local business, crafting their own products within your community.
So, how does that relate to you needing a website? Well, you may be able pay the bills with a simple Craigslist ad or a Facebook page, but you’re not going to maximize the potential of your business without a space on the internet that is completely yours, that is, an online experience solely focused on your brand and your solution. Sure, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. can help you reach people and can play a crucial role in your identity. They might even make a real change for your business, but social media is only going to give you real success if you have a website.
Sean McCabe is the one who said it best. He has an entire podcast episode about needing a website as a platform that is completely your own.
Basically, you can never control what someone else’s platform will enforce on your page, profile, etc. If you’re selling products through a third party, you have limited control over the price, and unfulfilled returns on your efforts. If you’re trying to create more awareness of your business on a social media platform, you have no idea how your content might be distributed (or not distributed…have you looked at the way the Facebook and Instagram algorithms work lately?).
The more control you have of your online presence, the better you will be setting up your business for success, and the better you will be contributing to your community’s, and your generation’s, economic wellbeing.