According to new research issued by internet domain registrar, GoDaddy a large percentage of the country’s small businesses still don’t have a company website, which is a major concern in today’s digital age. We take a look at the survey’s findings and then offer our own advice on how to get started when building your own business website.

A majority of UK micro-businesses are without a website

GoDaddy carried out a survey of more than 500 UK small businesses and found that a shocking 60% of them still don’t have a business website and are therefore missing out on valuable brand build your business websitevisibility. With the ecommerce, mcommerce and online trade markets growing at such a rapid pace, this lack of digital savvy is a serious worry, particularly as SMEs have such a substantial impact on the country’s economy and aren’t taking advantage of their full potential.

According to the survey, those businesses that do have a website possesses a much higher level of confidence than those that don’t, which further proves the importance of creating and maintaining a great site. More than half of those that don’t fear that, without a website, their business will struggle to experience any growth over the next 3-5 years in comparison to the 60% of website owners that believe they have the potential to grow by up to 50% during the same time period.

Why not?

Studies have shown that 56% of businesses witnessed growth in the two years after they launched their websites and 75% of those who do have a site believe that they have a competitive advantage over those that don’t. So why are there so many micro-enterprises still going without? GoDaddy found that 35% feel that their businesses are too small to justify a website, while 19% are held back the perceived financial commitments of doing so. A further 19% also cite time restrictions as being the main cause of prevention stopping them launching a business site.

Stefano Maruzzi, vice president of EMEA at GoDaddy, said: “There are over 5 million small businesses in the UK, with a further 500,000 new businesses set to be added this year alone.

“While we take it for granted in this digital age that everyone is online, the reality is many of the smallest businesses are still to make the leap.”

However, of the 500 small business questioned, 33% of them did express intentions to create a website within the next two years in order to take advantage of the digital opportunities they are currently missing out on. Maruzzi is confident about the number of small companies planning to do so over the coming years and accredits this to a recent realisation regarding the importance of online presence which larger businesses learnt a long time ago.

He added: “This will change how they grow, how they communicate and perhaps even what they sell. That could have a big impact on small business growth and transformation in the UK, as well as economic growth as a whole.”

Our advice to get you started

Bearing all of this in mind, we’ve pulled together our top three tips to consider before creating your business website. If GoDaddy’s research should teach those small businesses without a website anything it’s that they need to act fast but it’s also important that you do all of the necessary planning and dedicate a sufficient amount of time to considering the vital legalities first.

Find the right domain for you – Nearly 70% of those from the GoDaddy survey intending to create a website over the next two years are still yet to decide on a domain name but this is the first crucial step. Your domain name is the URL (or the web address) that you will call your website and you need to decide this before you can make your next move. First things first, check out what is and isn’t available to avoid running into any legal trouble further down the line.

Do your market research – As with every aspect of business, it’s important to keep your friends close but your competitors closer so it’s vital that you do some extensive market research before putting pen to paper. Check out your competitor’s websites to see what is and isn’t working well for them and explore their social media profiles to see which links they’re sharing and what their customers are engaging with most effectively.

Enlist the help of a professional – When you’ve done some research for yourself and had a think about what you would like your domain to be, it’s time to think about design and the look of your website. Unless you’re a dab hand at web development, we always recommend recruiting the skills of an expert to ensure that your website is professional, functional, on-brand and can run smoothly on a variety of devices.  This will come at a financial cost but is an investment that is sure to provide sufficient ROI.

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