Have you noticed the rapid launching of new businesses in your city recently? Great! and that’s happening in every big city across Africa, totalling hundreds of thousands of new businesses across the continent but only less than a third dare to have a website.
Websites are regarded as the cyber home for any business and the cyber world is borderless for any individual with an internet-enabled device, the potential of customer attraction is overwhelming.
Some African businesses have attained multi-national success, thanks to the role played by their websites but what does having a website mean for a local African business?
We’ve put together some specific reasons why an African business should have a website. If you’re an entrepreneur who is still undecided about getting a website for your business, then read on!
Website as a receptionist
If your business is a startup and you need to scale and expand slowly as you wear many hats through the process then you may consider having a website to assist you with the reception roles such as welcoming potential customers, answering frequently asked questions and taking appointment bookings on the cyber world.
Websites belonging to businesses with abundant resources have chatbots that automatically chat and respond to website visitors. You didn’t think that an actual person would sit behind a computer and chat up every single website visitor, did you?
Website as a publicist
Most African businesses need all the publicity they can get and an up-to-date website designed to match the business branding and consisting all the accurate info from logo, contacts, location, services offered and other information you want displayed to on your website- That is a great publicist.
The best practice is to learn business public relations through various courses available online or hire a professional to create industry-standard PR materials for you to post on your site.
Website as a shop
This is my favourite reason. I remember when I started using amazon back in 2013, I bought a Canon T3i DSLR and I waited for three solid weeks for the product to ship and deliver to my P.O. Box address which was all worth it after saving about $350. Moral of the story: We’re very passionate about eCommerce so listen close.
A business may have customers coming to the store but it is difficult ignoring the fact that there are hundreds of thousands of potential customers that are willing to purchase a product or pay for a service without having to meet in person.
Ignore the notion that eCommerce is only profitable during pandemics because COVID-19 has only proved how effective online shopping can be but I can’t ignore the advantage that businesses can make sales even during non-business hours.
Best practices, not all website developers are eCommerce experts, you can learn about eCommerce through online business courses or hire a professional eCommerce consultant before incorporating the feature on your website and you may also consider hiring an eCommerce platform manager to help with the day to day online business management.
If you don’t want to deal with the hustles of product delivery, you may consider outsourcing delivery services to a courier that knows its way around every street and road in your locality.
Website for credibility
Your website is the face of your business and you have to make sure it is looking pretty all the time because, in this internet driven age, potential customers will inspect your website for trustworthiness and they better not catch you slipping with a poorly designed website but hey, at least they found you.
My point is, a website offers a unique opportunity for a freelancer or a startup to level the playing field by assuming a corporate look with a slick website and keeping your client reviews and testimonials on display for every visitor to see.
An appealing website with all the information in the right place will get you new customers calling your phone and making inquiries regardless of your actual financial situation or position in the industry.
Website for affordable advertising
I agree that traditional advertising has got us hooked on household brands such as Blueband but if you’re looking for affordable advertising solutions then a website may offer you the best value for your money through social media marketing, search engine marketing and search engine optimization to make your brand more visible on the cyber world.
A standard $10 per day budget can take your brand to places you could never imagine. You may also advertise to people in locations around your business area if you need them to be aware of your neighbourhood business.
Website for independence
With your website, you have control over the design and the content type and format that you want your visitors to see, I mean let’s face it, if you’re an entrepreneur it’s because you don’t enjoy following other people’s rules so why follow rules of social media platform developers while you set up a platform for your business.
Independence also goes further than not depending on email service providers such as Gmail, you can have your branded emails with your website domain name to make you look more professional, see mine firstname.lastname@example.org
Website for eternity
Social media does not replace a website
Investing on social media and having a huge follower count for your business is cool and also acts as a sign of legitimacy for some people but if you have been a social media user you have witnessed how social media platforms come and go from MySpace, Hi5, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Snapchat and Tiktok. What may be hot this year, may not be hot next year but with your website, you can easily harvest emails from subscriptions and keep your readers on the loop all anytime.
And oh, I almost forgot to mention that you can create your website to resemble any social media platform or even embed all of your favourite social media on one master platform that is your website which becomes a gateway to all the platforms. Possibilities are endless when you control your destiny.