The other time I wrote that if your customers don’t find you on the internet, and if you aren’t providing any service for them on your web site, then you don’t need a web site.
I changed my mind.
I changed my mind after watching a video where a truck driver recruiter recommends to truck drivers to avoid working for companies that have an outdated web site. He considers this to be a sign of probable impending bankruptcy. He also considers it necessary for a trucking company to have an easy-to-apply procedure on their web site for prospective truck drivers.
The most obvious takeaway is that web sites aren’t only for your customers. They are also for your suppliers. Good businesses have good suppliers, and good suppliers are often picky about their customers.
But the most important takeaway is that a web site is a tool. Asking whether you need a web site is like asking whether you need a pen. If you don’t need to write anything, you don’t need a pen. If you just get a pen because supposedly everyone must have one, then when the time comes to write something the pen may be clogged or broken or buried beneath other clutter. If you build a web site only because you think you must, when a prospective customer or supplier finds it, it will be rotten.
So the question isn’t whether you need a web site. The question is whether you have a good communication strategy. If you do have a good communication strategy, it’s likely that your web site plays an active role in it. If something is actively being used, it doesn’t rot. If you are handwriting daily and your pen breaks, you’ll replace it immediately.
If you find yourself asking “do I need a web site?”, you should change the question and ask: How should I improve my marketing and operations strategy to ensure my business continues to thrive in a volatile environment? The web site will be a part of the answer.