By Lily Kaligian 

Slightly less than half of all U.S.-based small businesses don’t have a website. Slightly more than half of Canadian small businesses don’t have a website. To anyone who has ever done business online, those numbers might seem shockingly high. If your business isn’t on the Internet, you might as well be living in prehistoric times. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by making a website for your small business, and you’re long overdue to get started.

Not convinced? Here are a few reasons that will tip the scale and move you to get started on your website today.

People Need to Be Able to Find You

If you don’t have a small business website, how are people finding you? If your business solely based on word of mouth, or people who spot you as they’re driving by, you could be alienating hundreds of potential customers by hiding yourself.

The first place people go when they need to find something is the Internet. They’ll search for what they’re looking for, and Google will show them where to find it within a reasonable driving radius. You could be right down the block from someone who would shop with you every day, but if they don’t realize that you’re there, they’ll never stop by.

You Should Be Recognized as an Authority

Having a website will give you the appearance of legitimacy. People will be able to read about you and understand what you do. By listing your business online, people who have shopped with you before will be able to submit reviews. If you wind up with a ton of great reviews, people will feel more encouraged to give you a shot.

If you establish enough authority on the Internet, you might even be able to expand your business. If you’re doing great in one area and you have the internet presence to prove it, you’ll likely succeed in a neighboring area.

You’ll Make More Money Online

Anything that can be ordered online will make you money. Even if your business is a pizza shop, busy people love the convenience of online ordering. People like to schedule their orders while they’re at work at time it so that their food will be delivered a few minutes after they arrive home. In a convenience-based world, the Internet means everything.

If you sell products, particularly if they’re handmade, unique, or hard to find, an ecommerce website might be the best thing that could possibly happen to you. Think about how much money you’re making selling to people in your community, and think about how much more you could be making if that community encompassed your entire country – or even the whole world.

It’s Easy to Get Started

If you want to create a website, you don’t necessarily need to hire someone to do it. If you don’t have the time or you’re really intimidated by the process, you can find a professional who would be willing to turn your website concept into a reality.

It’s a lot easier now than it was before to build a website. Tools like WordPress, Squarespace, Wix, Weebly, and Shopify make it easy for people to build websites with templates that can be modified in a few clicks. You don’t have to be a coding expert to wind up with a professional looking website.

You’re waiting on the world, and the world is waiting for you. Your website is the crucial link to bring everything together. Even if it isn’t much, it will establish you as an entity and a competitor in your business niche.

Photo credit: Website development wireframe from NicoElNino/Shutterstock