Rapidly advancing technology has forced many small businesses to increase their online visibility. Today, the internet is the main tool for finding anything. The 2020 pandemic made it imperative to study the benefits and advantages of a business website. To answer why a business website is needed, here is my take on that research.
Advancing technology forced small businesses during the 2020 pandemic to increase their online visibility just to remain open. The pandemic made it imperative to research the need for a business website. I researched this topic for a college paper, and this is what I found.
The 2020 pandemic shook businesses big and small to the core, but small businesses suffered the most, especially if they didn’t have an online platform to reach their customers. In the webinar titled “A Coronavirus Briefing with MIT” on March 16, 2020, the host, Randall Wright, started his speech by acknowledging that the COVID-19 pandemic was “first and foremost a human tragedy” (MIT, 2020) and undoubtedly impacted people’s lives in every way. But it was particularly difficult for those who worked for small businesses or owned one themselves. And so, the need to create a business website and to get answers became an absolute priority.
The demand to stay home brought about many unprecedented needs. Local small businesses had an unexpected opportunity to understand their community better and find ways to help meet their demands while complying with regulations. At the same time, small businesses were trying to survive, if not making a profit, at least to stay in business. Many local businesses quickly learned to reach out to their customers via social media. They realized this practice would be key to adapting and evolving. The need to continue to have revenue was an effort to keep their employees and supply their customers’ demands safely. This was a delicate balance between strategy, innovation, marketing, and a new online presence with a website.
Yelp’s Economic Average report in September 2020 stated of all the small businesses that closed temporarily, the following industries closed permanently: 58% of beauty and spas, 57% fitness, 46% bars and nightlife, 42% retail, and 39% restaurants. (Yelp, 2020)
Those permanent closures were non-essential businesses. The local small businesses that succeeded saw they now had the same needs as large, global enterprises. The key was diverting marketing strategies to online platforms. And the way forward included a website as the first step into this new technological era.
When small businesses were closing, a report from PRNewswire provided by The Manifest found that adults spent an increasing amount of time on digital devices, going “over 16 hours a day” since the start of the pandemic. The report states that 38% of small businesses “increased ad spending in 2020,” and only 22% decreased their spending. Of the many sources interviewed for the report, Eric Clay, CEO of a digital marketing firm, said businesses need to be aware of the right social channel for their business to advertise. (The Manifest, 2021)
A local example of the spirit of entrepreneurship and resourcefulness is a local leather shop in Falls Church, Virginia. This is obviously a non-essential business, but the shop owner started to create YouTube videos that were genuinely eye-opening to the business. The videos were interesting and gave his customers a better understanding of the high quality of the shop’s work. Similar examples have happened around the world. The small jewelry store, also a non-essential business, started posting videos on how they work creating jewelry.
While these two examples were non-essential businesses (such as food), they opted to create new avenues to connect with their customers. The videos of how they work showed customers they were open to new ways to connect and allowed them to ride the wave past the pandemic.
Three years after the pandemic, we learned that too many small businesses still lack an online presence. A business website is the fastest way to build online visibility, and Biz Ventura Marketing can help you with that. Follow your new business website with social media activity to connect with old and new customers. If you have a mobile phone, you already know how much you depend on the internet to search for other businesses. Large metropolitan areas like Alexandria and Arlington in Virginia have sophisticated residents who go online to find their needs and available businesses in their neighborhoods. These sophisticated local residents are your target audience. Without a website, you are missing out on their business. So, research the benefits of a business website and why you need one. Contact us for more details on how we can help you.
MIT. (2020, Mar 17). A Coronavirus Briefing – The Impact of COVID-19 on Business and Supply Chain. Center for Transportation & Logistics Webinar Briefing. Cambridge, Massachusetts: YouTube.
The Manifest. (2021, Feb 22). 38% of Small Businesses Increased Ad Spend in 2020, Despite Effects of COVID-19 Pandemic. PRNewswire.
Yelp. (2020, Sep). Local Economic Impact Report September 2020. Yelp Economic Average.
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