Can a business survive without a website in 2019?

As 2019 begins, so will a lot of new businesses! As ever, a key consideration for every company will be their web presence. And if you’re just starting out in business you will want to be thinking about the kind of website you want to represent your project. The majority of business owners will set up online, this will only increase even further as 2019 progresses, but there will always be some who choose to not have a website. For yourself, it’s all about the pros and cons being weighed up, and ultimately asking yourself, if in 2019 is there is anything to gain or too much to lose not having a website?

Maybe 20 years ago, you could have argued that having a website is the single most effective way to bring people to your company, and provide them with all the important information they need. But in the last few years especially, social media has been rising, fast. Facebook, twitter and instagram have seen a year on year increase in companies embracing the ability to not only provide a form of contact to the public, and a way of sharing important updates, but to create genuine engagement with their followers, engagements that could turn to custom. Social media has become the most used aspect of the online world for companies and that is not set to change anytime soon.

Like anything, to maximise its potential, how effectively you use your website is key, and that's the same with social media. It is important to remember what your company can gain through social media, such as promotion, the mentioned engagement and networking with other businesses. To keep the momentum going, and keep everything updated and relevant for your media viewers, you need to be on it regularly, otherwise your presence will likely fade. You should therefore try to create a routine for yourself. Have a certain time, for example once in the afternoon and once in the evening, to post each day. Make sure they are quality posts that are not just being shared for the sake of it, but keep it regular. Of course, react to anything relevant in real time too. The likes of facebook and twitter have a tool to schedule posts to be uploaded at a certain time, meaning you can plan ahead and ensure you have a constant flow of content.

Many business owners have successfully replaced having a website with their social media pages, such as the use of a facebook page, which provides consumers with a company's information, contact and a stream of shared content. Pages is a very basic platform so you will not be able to create anything that will look visually as pretty or graphically impressive as a full-blown website. So if you would like something a little bit more premium, looks-wise, that's something to consider, but for the average user it'll do the job well.

Always remain professional and within your brand's image and values. Hopefully, it goes without saying, but don't post anything distasteful! Remember, how you act through social media contributes to how consumers will view you as a brand. Be responsive to users who are asking questions or leaving comments, both positive or otherwise. If they are noticing that you not replying to anyone, they will likely give up this form of contact and that's engagement lost just like that. Thank users for good reviews left on your social media, but also reply to the bad ones too. It is your chance to try and put things right. Again, be professional with your responses, friendly and informative.

Please also keep your contact details, email, phone and address updated at all times; don't lose out on custom because these are incorrect. Also, make sure what you do as a business is clear, and show why it will benefit your audience. Provide a well written 'about' page, with a good mission statement and perhaps a company values overview. Make sure the prices of your product or service are clear for all to see, as well as your opening times if they are limited daily. Oh, and if you have a bricks and mortar site, provide the address!

So, let's be honest, using social media for your business is highly recommended and the single biggest format to help boost your companies profile. But it does need to be managed well in order to have the best results. It’s such a fast-paced format it won't even take long to post your latest update, but quality should always be checked before sharing. Don't forget, you don't need to go it alone, you can draft in a full social media team if necessary, its worth it for the potential gains, likewise if social media is not your strong game, having someone else who’s a natural at it might be the best way to go. You can find a wide range of social media services on fivesquid - handy that! 

In summary, you can survive in 2019 without a website. Take the social media route and you can still receive the benefits of the online world, with fast and informative results, just follow the tips above and use social media to its full potential. May your business take you to great places in 2019!

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