More than half of small businesses still don't have a website. (Photo: Flickr)

More than half of small businesses still don’t have a website. (Photo: Flickr)

It’s 2014, and guess what: More than half of all small businesses still don’t have a website, according to a survey conducted by Google and the Ipsos research firm. That’s 55 percent, folks. The Associated Press reports on this phenomenon recently.

The reporter quoted a few of these small business owners and revealed colossal entrepreneurial trepidation. Take this guy, a self-employed writer who does content for other people’s websites. He still doesn’t have a site of his own because: “I haven’t come up with a plan with what I want to do.”

Chances are, if you’re reading this you already have a website. If not, your car wash marketing efforts are suffering. We’ve compiled a list of the top five website myths and why they’re false:

Myth #1: I don’t have the technical skill for it

This represents a fundamental misunderstanding about the internet. Almost no one builds their website by themselves. There are plenty of web developers who do this for a living and can make your site exactly to your specifications. That’s how Wolford Communications built its website. But there are even cheaper options than that. You can use WordPress (this blog runs on WordPress) or Squarespace (Miami Writing’s site runs on Squarespace). As Squarespace puts it, their website builder uses “simple drag-and-drop tools.” And even if you still hire someone to build it, you can update and maintain it incredibly easily. It’s just a matter of playing around with it for an hour or two.

Myth #2: It’s too expensive

False again. You could build a WordPress site yourself for absolutely free, or hire someone else to do it for perhaps as little as $400. Granted, a custom website can run into the thousands. Which brings us to myth three.

Myth #3: It needs to be beautiful and perfect

While it’s nice if you have a website that looks like a work of art, it doesn’t have to be that. The basic idea is to lend yourself the credibility that comes with being online. For many consumers, if you don’t have a website, you don’t exist. Some goes with Facebook and Google Maps.

Myth #4: I don’t have the time to keep up with it

We’ve already said that building a website can be done cheaply and quickly with help — or even on your own. But it’s true that you can’t just build the website and expect people to come. It takes work to create the web content, update a blog, and promote the whole digital product on search engines and social media. If you have an in-house marketing staff, that’s one thing. But if you’re a smaller operation, you may want to consider carving out an hour every morning to work on it or outsourcing your writing and marketing to a professional.

Myth #5: If I build a website, I’ll be overloaded with new business

Uh, and that’s a bad thing? Seems counterintuitive to go into business hoping to stay small, but it’s the way a lot of people feel. They like having control of the business, don’t want the hassle of expansion and potentially having to delegate management duties. Why this isn’t the right mindset is for another day and another blog.