Econet Zimbabwe has been investing heavily on internet infrastructure for the past 8 years and that has led to a huge increase in the number of people using the Internet in Zimbabwe. In 2009, the internet penetration rate in Zimbabwe was only 5%, by 2013 it grown to 40%, and now it’s at 50%. This is a huge change. This means over 6 million Zimbabweans access the internet every month. Has your business adapted to this huge change? Do you have an online presence for your business? What are you doing about it?
One of the most successful Zimbabwean Entreprenuer, Strive Masiyiwa, recently said on his Facebook page “Every African entrepreneur (including social entrepreneurs) must have a website. I absolutely insist on this. If you cannot afford one for your business, sell your shoes! (Africa has the lowest number of businesses with websites in the world. We must change that!)”
He also said “I have urged you to have a website, even if you’re running a tuck-shop, or a stand in the market. Be proud of what you do (unless it’s criminal, which case you should stop). Let the world see your business, even as it develops.”
You will be losing a lot of customers if you do not have a website. When consumers want to buy something, they usually start by searching for the products online. If you do not have a website, the potential customers will buy from your competitors who have a website. You have to adapt to the digital age by having a website for your small business. We discussed about benefits of having a website in a previous article. Other benefits include: your business will gain trust and credibility, accessibility, cost effective way of promoting your business, wider audience.
Your business has to adapt in this internet era. The first step you need to take is having a Website + Facebook and WhatsApp accounts for your business. It’s now a must in this day and age. At its peak in 2009-2010, Blackberry had a market share of 50%. Now , the market share is less than 1%. What happened? They failed to innovate and to adapt to the changing times. Their customers were taken by Samsung and Apple.
One of the objections of many people is “A website is expensive”. As WebZim, we are trying to bring down the cost of having websites so that many small businesses can afford to go online. Below is a break down of the costs of having a website.
- Web Design. This is the development and designing of a website. The price depend on the size and complexity of a website. Our prices start from $50/once off for a 3 paged website. See our prices here: WebZim Web design costs.
- Web Hosting. For your website to be accessible, it has to be stored somewhere (“on a server”) so that anyone from anywhere in the world can be able to access it. So web hosting is like paying monthly rent to store your website so that people can access it. Our web hosting packages start at $2/month. The suitable web hosting package for your business will depend on the size of your website. Web hosting also gives you the ability to make personalized emails eg firstname.lastname@example.org. See our prices here: WebZim Web hosting costs
- Domain name. This is the address of your website, the name which people type in the web browser so that they can access your website e.g. www.mycompanyname.co.zw . Our domain names cost $5/year (for .co.zw). If you get web designing from us, you will get a free domain for the first year.
Those are the only 3 things you need to get your website online. So assuming you want a 3 paged website , the total cost will be
Year 1: Web Designing ($50) + Web Hosting ($2/month = $24/year) + Domain Name ($Free for the first year). Total first year = $74
From Year 2 onwards: Web Hosting ($2/month = $24/year) + Domain Name ($5/year). Total = $29/year
That’s very cheap, much less than the money you spend on airtime and drinks!
Email Hosting: We also have a package for those people who feel that they do not need a website for their business, but they would want a personalized company email. You can’t continue carrying out business using Gmail. Some people are put off the moment you give them a Gmail address. It’s more professional to use a personalized company email address eg email@example.com. Our email hosting package start from $20/year (10 email accounts). This is the only fee you have to pay. The package includes a free .co.zw domain name. You can access your emails 24/7 via a computer or your mobile phone.
Contact us now to get a website for your business. Call/Whatsapp +263778798072 ; Website: http://www.webzim.co.zw. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit WebZim, Office 103, First Floor, Gowero House, Cnr Mbuya Nehanda and Nelson Mandela, Harare.
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