Let’s face it, a business without a website is a bit like a horse without legs these days. Of course, there’s a good reason for that. Six reasons, actually. Whether you’re new to entrepreneurship or are a seasoned veteran, you need to know the 6 reasons why a business website is a higher priority than a sign.
Note: This is not an article on why you SHOULDN’T have a business sign if you’re a brick and mortar location. Signs are still incredible options for local businesses and should never be neglected.
A website is your most effective and least expensive marketing real estate in the digital age. This statement is based on a broad range of data and reasons, but my personal favorites are the following six reasons.
A sign is an excellent local branding opportunity, but a functional and compelling website can reach several times more people than a sign can on any given day. Quickly reach your local customers, people in neighboring towns and even tourists before they ever set their eyes on your brick and mortar shop.
Your business website offers a 24/7 digital beacon for your potential customers while a stationary sign is restricted to passerby during the daytime.
Depending on your needs, a fantastic website can often be thousands of dollars less than a sign.
In my time at a professional sign-making company, I watched businesses spend between $100 and $10,000 on signs. The most expensive of which were always the flat-faced, lighted signs that sit out by the road. They’re huge, electric and expensive. Plus, they need to be serviced and refaced regularly to maintain their effectiveness.
Not so with a website. If you or someone you know is even a little technical, a website can be created for less than $200. Or, if you end up hiring a professional you can expect to spend between $500 and $5,000. However, $5,000 is a bit overkill for a basic business website.
While your business sign is restricted to a single purpose, a website can offer a wide range of functionality. Easily provide opportunities for your potential customers to learn about your brand, your products or services and get to know you. Your website can be easily setup and designed to provide driving directions, pricing information, reviews or testimonials, etc.
There really is no end to the amount of cool things you can do with a website.
Like greater functionality, a website offers greater customization options to suit your brand.
Although modern sign shops are capable of some pretty incredible things, you’re still relatively limited. Your website allows you to completely tailor the user experience to exactly what your audience wants and needs. Sometimes they want basic contact info, and other times they want to keep tabs on what your brand is doing on a daily basis. Offer all of that and more with a customized business website.
No Zoning Regulations
Physical signs are regulated by city and township laws that allow for consistency across the businesses in the area. Essentially they make sure that no business has a better opportunity than any other because they happen to have more money. Signs are regulated by size, distance to roadways and buildings, lighting and colors.
Not websites! You can basically do anything you want or need when it comes to websites. Of course, there are privacy policies and spam laws in place, but regarding design and functionality, you’re free to create.
Websites are 100% trackable and reactive to the current business trends and conditions. Whereas signs are stationary.
Easy implement analytics and run reports to find out what is and isn’t working, what your customers want and how they want it. Plan and react accordingly and you’ll have a successful business on your hands.
While I would never suggest that you forego a stationary business sign, making your website a higher priority from day one will result in a better overall customer experience and more foot traffic for your brick and mortar store.