Do I need a website? I recently witnessed what I thought was an unusual incident. A colleague was searching online for a business to do some work for them. Let’s say it was an electrician. The conversation went something like this:

Colleague: “Do you know of any good electricians we could get to come and fix the lights in our reception area?”

Me: “Well I haven’t needed the services of an electrician for a long time but I think the last time I did I used a guy by the name of Joe. I think he traded under the name of Joe’s Electrical Service.”

Colleague: “Do you have a phone number for him?”

Me: “No, but I am sure he would be in the book.”

This person then immediately began to Google “Joe’s Electrical Service”.

Colleague: “I can’t seem to find him on the internet.”

Me: “Maybe he doesn’t have a website, but I am sure he would be in the phone book!”

The colleague seemed reticent to even try the phone book and because she was sitting in front of her computer was intent on finding someone through an internet search. Even though I was advocating the use of a printed telephone directory even a quick search of an online telephone directory may have returned the electrician I had recommended.

Quite a long time ago I wrote an article (Analysing your web presence) about whether a website was absolutely necessary for all businesses. In that article I suggested that maybe some business types couldn’t justify the expense of a website based on the return they could expect. Based on the scenario above I think that’s maybe not the case any longer and allowing for the increased use of mobile devices and online services for consumer research that the time has well and truly arrived for every business to have a website even if it is in its most basic form.

So what happened with the electrician? Well, eventually my colleague found another one through their internet searching because apparently Joe’s Electrical Service doesn’t exist.