Most people today, whether self-employed or working for a company, will definitely have an email address, a cell phone and possibly a business card (or resume). But most of them would frown upon the idea of having their own website or blog of their own. There are lots of reason for not having one, like, not being web savvy, scared of people knowing about them, or something else. However, contrary to what most people think having a personal website or blog has several advantages and benefits even if you have no desire to start an online business.
A website is one of the easiest and ways of telling the world about your hobbies, talents, thoughts or business ideas without spends loads of money. Anyone who has knowledge to share can benefit from a website and in today declining economy you need every advantage you can to showcase yourself and your talents.
Websites can be used to promote your work experience for an upcoming job interview, showcase artistic creations, it can highlight a product or service you offer and it can also get you acquainted with individuals who have similar interests and hobbies.
Being online also makes you global and allows you to advertise worldwide. By having a website you allow potential customers and employers to find you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you are in a competitive business and your competitors have a website and you don’t, then you are already behind a few steps in the game.
Websites can also re-establish friendships with long lost buddies. Even if you only have a simple profile on Facebook, it’s better than nothing. I can’t tell you how many times I have found long lost friends on social networks.
Of course there are rules for proper conduct online if you are trying to promote yourself or your business if you want to be taken seriously. That means no inappropriate information or photos, confidential company information, posting a promoting anything unlawful or linking to questionable websites (see Social Media Marketing). What you post must be rated PG and available to everyone. Unless your intentions are to start an adult content related website and if thats the case, just ignore these rules and moved on!
Below is a list of my top ten reasons what you need to make a website.
1. Amazing Income Potential
If you are still working at a 9 to 5 job the odds are you wont be increasing your salary more than around 3% (more if you are one of the lucky few) this year. While at the same time, housing costs are rising, insurance premiums are increasing and gas is back on the rise. You need money and you need it now! So the single greatest feeling from creating your own site or online business is the ability to lessen the dependency on your bi-weekly paycheck and still feel secure that all your bills will be paid. Less time will be spent commuting, stressing over deadlines, staying on your bosses good side and figured out how to stretch your money is until the next direct deposit kicks in and more time will be spent expanding your business and brainstorming about how to make your business more profitable. When you operate your own business your earning potential is limitless. Just don’t go into it thinking your going to be some overnight mega-millionaire.
2. You are The Boss
How many times have you gone to work hoping your boss called off? Well building your own business you no longer have to sit through pointless meetings, ask for a raise, get approval for extended vacation time, put up with office politics, fake your way through another annual review. As your own boss, you set the schedule, make the business plan and reap all the rewards. Plus, being in charge of your website is the best way to keep your site current, because there won’t be a need outsource work and hope they get it done in time.
3. Its Super Easy
Technology is becoming extremely easy today, that after a few clicks (and some money) you can make a website in minutes. I use Hostgator to host Brand. Build. Sell. and in the control panel, you can click one button and they will install WordPress, Joomla or several other systems directly onto your server. No configuring, MySQL or using ftp services to upload your files.
4. Its Super Cheap (well for the most part)
With running any small business cash is king and everything costs money. Many times things cost 3 to 4 times more than you thought they would and in this economy no one wants to take out a second mortgage just to keep a business afloat. You can register a domain name and purchase hosting service for under $20 then grab free WordPress, Joomla and HTML & CSS themes from the free templates section and have your very own website up in minutes. You can install your site, keep it updated and add frequent updates without a problem.
Because its so cheap and easy to do a website yourself, its also cheap and easy to change your mind. So you can start with a do-it-yourself (DIY) website and see how it works. Maybe you need a site now but can’t afford a custom site. You can always do the site yourself for now and upgrade when you can afford it.
5. Tax Advantages
The federal tax code was written to favor businesses over individuals. As a business owner, I am able to deduct car expenses, computer related costs, advertising, software, cell phones, etc. since they are all used for my business. Those deductions actually reduce the amount of taxes I have to pay at the end of the year and many I have to pay little to none, based on my profit margin of that year. I was already incurring those expenses, but couldn’t deduct them before. But I highly recommend hiring a certified public accountant to determine which business expenses are valid and legal (see Paying Taxes).
6. You Don’t Need Your Own Product To Run A Successful Online Business
This may be the biggest advantage to starting your own online business venture (next to #1 Unlimited Income Potential) and perhaps the scariest. Many people are reluctant to start a business online because of this reason they have nothing to sell. For those people I would suggest affiliate marketing. The concept is simple promote and sell businesses products online and you get a commission off each purchase, sometimes even for a lifetime! Affiliate marketing has helped millions of people realize their own earning potential. Its convenient because you don’t have to deal with hassles of unsatisfied customers, shipping and delivery, returns, processing inventory and processing credit cards.
By promoting their products, they save money on advertising, which makes them more than happy to pay you your commission.
7. Open 24 Hours A Day Around the World
This means you don’t have to stay by your computer Christmas day or on your birthday. You can create a residual income and make money while you sleep. No more worries of losing sales because of weekends, holiday seasons or different time zones. Your customers all over the world will have access to make purchases whenever they want to. They no longer have to call back during normal business hours.
8. Unlimited Advertisement
If you ever advertised in a local newspaper or Pennysaver ad, you know the costs. You are being charged per line, per inch, and per color. I can’t tell you how many times I have run an ad for a service and received little to no calls for MONTHS! It was a complete waste of time and money. Now I am not saying this is true for all businesses, but it definitely was a waste of time for me. On the Web, there is no limit to how many extras you can add. You can add pictures, articles, newsletters, rates, product images and so much more (see Web Design Tricks)! With just one web site, you can have almost unlimited advertisement for the same low monthly cost (under $25 a month!) In addition advertising on other websites can be as little as $10 a month and reach millions of customers a day!
9. You Can Create Your Own Online Presence
Just because you don’t have the money the big dogs do, doesn’t mean you can’t have a grade website. When you create your own website, you decide how you want it to look and what products you want to sell. You can have a simple site with just a few pages or build an extensive site with thousands of pages comparable to multimillion dollar website, the choice is yours. You have total control over it and this alone will set you apart from the millions of websites on the Internet. It will be your personal brand that your customers will come to recognize and trust.
10. Pursuing Your Passion and Living Your Dreams
The key to a successful business is to find something you are passionate about and figure out a way to make money off it. What do you daydream about? What can you see yourself doing in 5 years? Do your friends come to you for the latest information on techie gadgets? Maybe you should launch a gadget review website.
Figuring out what you are truly passionate about and finding a way to profit from it may take time, but its well worth it. Once you have discovered a way to do it, though, you’ll be happier in your professional life.
Creating and maintaining a successful e-business requires hard work and dedication. I wouldn’t suggest quitting your job to start a business right away. Instead, spend some of your free time identifying what you are passionate about. Then, determine how to create a business around your passion. Start slow and build up your business. Chances are you’ll encounter numerous obstacles and failures, just be sure to have real expectations. If you are ultimately successful, though, all your efforts will be well worth it.