According to the small business association over 36% of small businesses do not have a website, considering most purchases are now done online, this poses a threat to SMBs who don't have a digital shopfront.

We can all agree that start-ups and small businesses are usually quite sensitive when it comes to splashing their cash, and rightly so, as anyone would want to be getting a bang for their buck so to speak. Due to this “stinginess”, new entrepreneurs can sometimes miss out on opportunities that would have benefited their businesses. One key component that could be missed out is having a website.

Website building is difficult. You can throw a lot of time and money over your business’ website, but still not reach your expected targets. Having a website is like having a piece of art...almost. The key is to have the right blend of elements on the screen, and believe me when I say that deciding what to show to your customers is the most time-consuming part of the website journey. You could potentially end up in a perpetual state of refactoring!

So what is the solution? 

Google My Business

Google My Business was launched in June 2016 and had the aim of giving business owners more control over their internet presence. What Google offered is like the love-child of a website and a landing page. The layout is quite similar to that of a portfolio, showcasing only the important and relevant details that would be used to pull in more customers. 

You may be wondering what makes it so special. Firstly it’s free, and secondly, which I believe is the most important thing is it’s efficient. Building a “website” has never been so easy, especially if it’s Google holding your hand and taking you through the steps. There’s not much effort that you need to put in, just some trivial details regarding your business. You fill out that form, click that button and boom, voila, you now have published yourself.

Google gives a high level of autonomy with their My Business service, giving you all the tools needed to grow your business online and expand your reach. There are a few steps you need to take in order to get your business all signed up, click here to get yourself started!

Microsoft Digital Marketing Center

With Microsoft's new digital marketing center you can now access their website creation platform at zero cost to your wallet! Microsoft have removed the barriers of cost and lack of time to provide a solution that caters to the needs of small businesses who are losing customers due to not having a digital shopfront to direct potential customers to. Drawing components from your social media or existing advertising campaigns they will generate images, headlines, descriptions, reviews, social links and other components to bulk out your business image. Read more about how you can get signed up to this option here.

Create Your Own Website

If you're feeling brave and confident in your creative and semi-technical skills then maybe making your own website on a cost effective platform might be the best choice for you. Website creation platforms like Wix, GoDaddy and SquareSpace are some of the best creation and hosting platforms for small businesses to get started on, don't worry if you can't code, they have a brilliant drag and drop feature that takes you through page-by-page. These platforms also help you with tracking set-up, connecting your social profiles, SEO and even with some advertising features, not sure which platform you should go for? Visit our blog post on the 5 best website creation platforms for start-ups.

So there you have it... three great solutions on how to appear online without a website (including making your own website). Making a website for your business not only opens opportunities for more and new customers, but also makes you a more trustworthy brand and helps you in your journey to digital marketing success, don't fall behind your competitors.

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