Solo guy not seeing need for website anymore


#1

Hello there,
Merry Christmas to everyone! I have been tracking where I get my business from the last 5 years or so. Any new business always comes from referrals of current customers. I just don’t see the need to have a website anymore. On average I add 4 or 5 new customers each year.

Has anyone else done away with their website?
@Chris I would like the feedback from you as well. Thanks to everyone for the feedback.

Chad


#2

We don’t see much traffic on our website either. Typically it’s referrals, previous customers, Angie’s List, Nextdoor or Google searches. I’ll keep it up though, my partner worked really hard on it.


#3

Thanks for the feedback.


#4

Do you think that these new customers look at your website before hiring you? If not, then I say lose the fluff.

Something else to consider: do you think that any of your current customers look you up online if they’ve misplaced your contact info? That’s one reason I think everyone should keep some kind of online presence. No one has a rolodex anymore. But I suppose that could be accomplished with a free google business page.


#5

Hey Alex. I don’t think they are looking at my website before hiring me. They are being referred by my existing customers. They are taking their word on hiring me. My customers have my contact info saved in their phones. A lot of my customers know each other, so they could always call their friend for my info if they lost it.

I agree with you about losing the fluff. I will do away with my website. No reason to keep it.
I had a customer ask me the other day…“Why do you have a website? All your business comes from referrals.” That is what got me thinking. I always ask people “How did you hear about me?” In the last 5 years, not one person has said they saw my website.

Thanks for the feedback!


#6

I guess it depends on what is on your website.

For me just in the past 2 months I was able to book additional work that my customers may not have been aware I provided, on 4 jobs this month 3 were referral but all after they were referred went to my site and booked most if not all the services I offered, so a $250 becomes a $650-$700 making me more per day at one location than previously where I would run around doing 2 $250 jobs.

Many people these days are aware that if they want more information they can just google it, if you are not present in a visual way you may miss out on addons where you could be maximizing the income per job.


#7

This is something I haven’t thought about because so many new clients I’ve had came from my site. That was 8 to 10 years ago tho when I was on top dominating. I had to hire someone to man the phones, no joke.

I’m glad you brought this thread up tho because its got me thinking about it a great deal. I’m keeping my site there’s no doubt there, but really, its not bringing in what it used to.

@Steve076 you make some very good points/reminders.

However, every single large scale commercial job I’ve ever got came thru my site; with the exception of one referral.


#8

If I was in your particular situation chad I would ditch the site . How much you paying for it per year ? If it’s not a lot , just keep it .

Just remember your domain name will be up for grabs if you don’t pay for it .


#9

Our “Customer Retention” and “Referrals” numbers is scary high, compared to my “New Cust” numbers…

I dont like it one bit, to be honest.


#10

Thanks for the support. I already cancelled the domain renewal. It ends in Feb. I am canceling the web hosting immediately.

I just can’t see spending money on something that has not worked in years.


#11

That is great! I have been fortunate to have a high retention rate as well


#12

My two cents…

Things change. To lay in comfort that everything is going well and nothing could ever turn on it’s head, is agitating Murphy’s Law.

IMO, a website is something everyone who is serious about business, ought to have. It gives you a chance to hang your “shingle” out to the world (“Here I am!”) and to tell everyone what you would want them to know about your business.
Depending on the size of your market, ranking again will be time consuming, and I would not want someone else to ever own my domain(s) to kick my business in the giblets.

My website still brings in leads, but it’s not my biggest driver of new business. Even if my website drove no business, I wouldn’t get rid of it. It’s only a few hundred a year in expense. IMO, your “listing” on the internet is more important than your ad was in the yellow pages.


#13

In 2012 I started a WC biz, and did my own website. I felt spending $23 per month was steep but found out other websites were much more. I decided to move states and I sold my biz in 2016 without the website was not part of the deal; so I fully deleted it. Fast forwarding, I opened another WC biz in 2017 and I kinda regret deleting it. I am now searching for snap shots of the pages I once had so I can duplicate it; just with a different name of course. Customers did seem to choose me because of the way they felt about my website and the info it brought them. So to summarize, since it wasn’t very expensive, I should’ve kept it for at least a couple years just in case. To late now!


#14

Man I could not imagine getting rid of my website. I would say our biggest tool for growth is our website. I think we added 300 new customers this year alone from our website. With that said I don’t even really like my website to be honest. It doesn’t feel the way i want it to when I’m on it. But people tell me all the time they liked my site and thats part of why they picked me. In my head i always kinda say " really?" But hey if it works why bother changing it. I never planned on ever growing like we have, always had the plan to just work solo and be my own boss. But now I barely work 2 days a week and still make a great living and have an easy life style where I can spend every day with my wife. The only days I work now are when we clean and treat cedar roofs. The point being that it was all due to my website. Just because you don’t need it now, maybe you will appreciate what it can do in the future.


#15

I think your mind was already made up. You posted the thread - asking for feedback and then cancelled the website 10 hours later. Before reading some of the good feedback about why keeping is a good idea.


#16

I get very little traffic on my website as well, but I think it is a part of the puzzle to legitimizing your business. Also, I need things that I can claim on my taxes, website cost is one of those things. :slight_smile:


#17

I honestly think it’s probably the worst thing you can do, especially with so many signs of recession on the horizon. Customers you have now may not want or have the money to spend on your services, or have referrals that can spend money on your services. At that point you have zero visibility to any new clients and you could be scrambling to put a site back up, spending money on ad words, etc.

Also, website fees are so miniscule, why mess with it? Hosting is usually no more than a couple hundred a year and domain registration for most names is like $15 per year if not less.


#18

There’s been some great, well balanced feedback on this thread, which is good for future readers to see. What I think a lot of posters don’t realize though, is that Chad has kind of a 1 in a million business.

If I recall correctly, he lost practically no income, and continued to grow during the last recession.

He already works just part time, and has expressed on various occasions that he has no interest in expanding the business.

His web domain has his last name in it. I don’t know how valuable it would really be to anyone else. He might reach out to some extended family to see if they’re interested in taking it over, idk.

And personally, I have never understood the rationale of keeping an expense just for the write-off. At best, you’re looking at saving 40% of that expense. So you’re still spending 60% of that cost for absolutely no reason.

I think Chad probably did have his mind mostly made up before posting. He got one or two replies that agreed with him, and I think that was enough confirmation that he was not completely off his rocker.

@windowsrx, keep simplifying brother. You’ve built something quite enviable, once people are able to wrap their heads around it. The fact that your business continues to self-sustain irrespective of web presence, is quite impressive.


#19

Thanks Alex. You have a good memory. I did not think about the posters not knowing how my business is set up. That has a lot to do with my no website decision. Sorry to everyone about that. I have been very fortunate over the years. I did get nervous during the last recession. It all worked out. I realized quickly that there is always someone looking to get their windows cleaned. I have always worked 20 to 25 hours a week. I like working by myself and plan on staying that way. My business is set up in a way where I can travel a lot, and spend a lot of time with friends and family. I am very good with my money. I have always lived way within my means.

My mind was about 80% made up before posting. I just wanted to see if anyone else just worked off referrals.

I plan on keeping things simple. It is just easier that way. I have zero stress. This has worked well for me.

Hope everyone has a great New Year!

Thanks again Alex. Take care brother.


#20

Yeah. To clarify…
I dont like the fact that my retention and return/referral numbers are as high as they are, percentage of total-wise.