In 2016 the media are reporting about expeditions to Mars and driverless cars, but at the same time we are also reporting that in a global survey commissioned by GoDaddy that 59 percent of small businesses don’t have a website.

With our mobile phones in our pockets and almost all of us having internet access, it’s the first point of call when we want to know anything and more so when we want to find a business.

59 percent of small businesses don’t have a website

In this age of technology it’s a bit of a surprise such a large number of small businesses aren’t online. But as small business owner himself, Craig Morison the owner of Tradie Marketing Agency understands why the majority of businesses don’t, particularly trades and services businesses.

“It’s difficult enough as a small business owner to do the work your business offers, whether that be plumbing or mowing lawns or cutting hair. To then have to do what you have to do like accounts, invoicing, ordering etc, no one has time to be trying to grow your business or definitely not time to learn a new skill and build a website” said Craig Morison.

A stark difference has developed between customer’s adoption of the internet to find trades and services compared to trades and services who are wanting or are using the internet to find customers.

The rise in popularity of websites like True Local and Home Improvement Pages highlights the way in which customers are searching for businesses. They are bridging the gap between meeting the needs of the who want to search for businesses and businesses who want some online presence. The shrinking in size and disappearance of the White and Yellow pages has also been an indication customers don’t want to find businesses in this way.

Chris from Onsite Glass & Shower Screens says “I’m getting on average 30 phone call enquiries per month since launching our website in 2014. I have other sources of getting business such as repeat and referral but without the new business that the website brings, I wouldn’t know where I’d be without it.”

The top 3 tips for small businesses

1. Invest in a good website

Businesses now need a website for prospective customers to do their research. If you don’t have a website that clearly states what your company is about, products, services, a gallery, case studies and testimonials, guess what? Customers will head straight for your competitor that has a website.

It’s all about perception and the way you present yourself and a website is the perfect platform for small business to present possible bigger than they are.

2. Reviews can make your business

Most people ask their friends for recommendations, failing that they trust other customers reviews online. Businesses should contact those they have done  a great job for and encourage them to leave a review on Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+.

3. Continually make new content

The more content you have the better, but make it good content. Articles, tips, photo’s of jobs you have done, case studies are all great to firstly showcase your business to customers, but secondly for SEO purposes so your website shows up when people search for a local business.