When you already have an existing business, a website is more than just an online calling card. It can be a valuable extension of your offline business.

The first thing a potential customer will do when looking for a local business is a quick internet search. This is usually to see who is in the area and what types of products or services are offered. This is your chance to stand out in your industry. There are many ways your website can augment your offline business.

You can use contact forms and email sign ups to gather potential sales leads and add to your client database. An example that I was recently able to work with was a local mechanic. He was fairly successful with walk in traffic, but they had their slow days. I helped them develop a option that they could send out emails or text messages on the slow days advertising free diagnostics or discounted oil changes for that day. I think they have since added other promos to the list. The owner has since hired another mechanic and cleared out and opened the garage bay they weren’t previously using. Business is good.

Your website can be an extension of your existing business. You can set up a store front to sell and ship from your physical business, you can provide information related to your industry, online menus, and so much more. I know a bakery that added some basic recipes and how to videos to a website and instead sales based on people sharing the content on social media, such as Facebook and YouTube. And just think, while your business may close from time to time, a web site is always open.

Another great reason to have a professional looking web site is to build credibility. Word of mouth advertising is great, but having a professional looking website will go a long way to increasing your credibility with the customers that dont know you as well.

Now let’s get top the money part, a website will increase your exposure to potential customers, resulting in increased sales. It will reach a larger audience and thereby increase potential sales. You can set up a way for people to pay online, saving you and the customer both time and money.

Lastly, to make all of this work is proper SEO (Search Engine Optimization). You can make sure your website is at the top of the list by being sure you site is optimized for search engines. This is a pretty broad topic that I will elaborate on in the future, so don’t forget to sign up for email updates!