All businesses can benefit from a website, but the purpose of the website will vary. This comes down to what you want your website to do and the type of business you are in.
Websites generally fall into one or more primary categories:
Websites as a credibility tool:
Having a website gives your business more credibility. Generally when someone hears about a business or product, the first thing they will do is look for a website.
If they find your website then they know you are real and will feel more confident about purchasing from you. These days your customers will simply expect you to have a website, so if they don't find one they could be changing their mind very quickly.
Websites as an information tool:
There are many websites out there that are set up to provide information and don't necessarily lead to more sales. These websites are used as an extra service for your existing clients and/or the general public. Businesses such as dentists and accountants often fall into this category.
Information websites improve the quality of your service and clients can access the information 24 hours a day.
Website as a sales tool:
Sales websites show what you can buy and how you can buy it. This can be a website for your products, or even consulting services. Sometimes these websites will take things a step further and sell products online with an eCommerce website.
Every website is used as a credibility tool, however many websites are also an information tool, a sales tool, or both. Often websites will evolve as your business grows and take on new objectives.
Every business needs a website at least for credibilty. Even if your business is thriving, it is very important to your customers that you are a reputable business on the web.