WAIT, I didn't ask should I have a website! If you have a business you better have a website, websites are the business cards of the modern electronic age.
The first real question should be "Do I have time to build a website?" Because it does take time. And don't believe otherwise. Add to that the fact that most of what you read about websites on the web is BS wrote by people who spend a lot more time writing about building business websites than actually building them and getting some long term stats and results.
I have been working on the web since 1995, doing B2B Websites since 2000. And one thing I noticed is that small business owners seldom have the time and/or desire to be tweaking their websites all the time. They usually always lose interest because they soon figure out that their time is better spent selling to and working with their customers.
The best option is to let someone else be your mechanic so you can drive the race car, focusing on your customers and sales (winning the race).
And be sure to understand this! Professional Web Design and Marketing firms, at any price, are worth their weight in gold. No matter what level you start at they all work with hosting, domain names, name servers, Website design, navigation, copyrighting, scripts, forms, statistics, marketing and server issues every day, day in and day out. So they as a profession do things the way that will benefit your business and save you time and money. Something it can take you months or years to learn.
First there is Website995.com (your branding only), they will do everything for you. If you website has only your products and only your name all over it, it looks much more valuable and instills confidence in the users mind that you are professional, sincere and reliable. Focused on fulfilling their needs.
Then there are places on the web you can build a website free or for very low monthly fees. There again it is going to take some time, do you have the time? The most popular now is wix.com (their branding included), they have very pretty templates that you can login to and build your own. Remember this, do you want your website to do tricks or do business? Do you want your website to advertise your products or someone else’s. We all know once the user loses focus of what they are there for the chances of converting them to a buyer is lowered.
Website users/customers want the information they are looking for and need, that’s all! They seldom sit and look at anything to do with the design of the website. The fancy designers are selling to the businesses not to the customers. That is not at all to discount site appeal, but buyers mean business and seldom evaluate site appeal.
The seemingly ideal way of course is to spend about $3,000.00+ and have it done right the first time, hoping that the designer you choose will actually care about you and your business. The bad part about that way is many times the road the website leads you is far from the direction you start in. Meaning that you may have to spend considerably more money as things change, dictated by the market results. We all hope that what we are selling is what the public wants, many times though what we start with is off the mark, so better to start from a point where website developmental agility is included as part of your plans.
Start Small, it is not difficult to get the search engines to notice you. That way you can decide what you want to add and maintain as you go along. Plus the road to adding anything you want is easy and can be at any speed you want, including very fast.