Maybe you’ve just started a brand-new business or maybe you’ve been running one for years. Either way, if you don’t have a website, you’re making a huge mistake. In this day and age, your website is like a digital business card. Years ago, people who were looking for a specific service or product would have searched the phone book. Today, people pick up their smartphones and laptops and search the internet. If you’re missing from the net, you’re missing out on a huge customer base. Here are 5 reasons why you need a website—and why you need a professional to build one for you.

1) You’re Busy
Running a business is a full-time commitment. Often, it takes a lot of your time. All of your time, even. Building a website takes time too—and a large amount of time to do it right. Hiring a professional to design your website frees you up focus on the important things: your product and your customers.

2) Make your Website Standout
If your business is like most, you have a lot of competition. A website that looks like it was designed by an amateur will make your business look like it’s being run by an amateur. It’s worth hiring a professional designer to make your website really shine.

3) You Need the Right Tone
If you have a technology company, your website had better be sleek and beautiful. If your business caters to kids, bright colors and cartoonish imagery is appropriate. You have to think about your audience and know how to communicate to them. Website designers are masters at this.

4) Consistency Matters
Have you ever clicked through a website and noticed that as you move from one page to the next, the tone feels entirely different? You want your website to be consistent from the home page on through the entire site. The colors, font, imagery, and entire feel have to match your branding. A professional website designer understands that and can make it happen.

5. A Professional Knows the Tricks of the Trade
There are many do-it-yourself website templates that encourage people to build their own sites without the help of a professional. Although many of these have great functionality, an average user won’t understand how to get the most out of them. Someone who builds websites for a living will know the secrets behind SEO (search engine optimization, or helping people find your site when they search for specific topics though sites such as Google), how to add animations, and how to thoroughly connect your website to social media.

Sure—you’ll have to pay to hire someone who is really talented and experienced at website design. You may wonder how you can afford to do this. The real question, though, is how you can afford not to do it?