This week, I needed to get in contact with a landscape contractor who I'd spoken with in the past. I didn't have his phone number or name in my mobile phone, and I couldn't remember the name of his company. I did a few google searches in an attempt to try to find him, and could not find him.
Fortunately for him, I was able to find his advertising postcard later that day, so I was able to contact him in the end. Apparently he does not have a website for his company, which surprised me. So many of the smallest businesses all have websites now, which it makes me wonder why he doesn't have one. I'll have to ask him about it...
I also have a friend who owns a small business and we've talked about websites for her company many times in the past. This week she contacted me about doing a website for her, so that project will be in my very near future.
I'm sure the slow economy has caused the death of many small businesses over the past several years. I wonder how many of them had never bothered to create a website, thinking it was an expense they couldn't afford. Perhaps some of the ones that survived were the ones that had websites and/or other technology tools that they were using effectively (email marketing, client databases, mail merges, accounting software, etc.).
Creating a website doesn't have to be expensive, and you don't need to be an expert. Don't assume that you can't afford to hire someone to do it for you. It is always worth it to ask around and get some quotes from providers that others have recommended to you.
If the price for a custom site is out of reach, then there are services available now that you can use to do it yourself. Beware - sometimes a really bad website is worse than having no website at all. Ugly sites with loads of text and colors that clash will not help your business to attract customers. Try to focus on the most critical, minimum information and use a simple but attractive design. Even if you just have a home page with your contact information and some basic details of the services you offer, that's a useful tool. Give people the ability to find you in those google searches, and good things will come your way.