Small Business Websites – What’s in it for me?
A couple of months ago, as 2014 arrived on our doorsteps, everyone was looking at those all important New Year’s resolutions. They all start the same – In 2014, I will lose 5 kg – In 2014, I will spend more time with my family – In 2014, I will take the family on an overseas holidays. As always, some are much easier to keep than others (depending on how hard or lofty the goal is).
Business owners would have undoubtedly put together some resolutions of their own. One of those goals may have been to boost the profits/productivity of the business by a certain percentage. Another might be to get the business online in 2014. At this point, the owner/operator may get hit with the all familiar question – does my small business need a website?
A couple of years ago, I would have said the answer would be NO for a number of businesses however with the continued growth of the online world and increasing number of “web-savvy” consumers, my thoughts on this topic have changed dramatically.
Before I go any further, I know that you are sitting there reading this and saying to yourself “Of course this bloke is going to tell me to get a website – that’s what he does!” Read on and you will see that it makes more sense than ever to get your business online.
Forget yourself as the business owner and think of yourself as a consumer. How do you find a business for the first time? Do you:
a) Drive around the streets of your town looking at signs and hoping that you find what you are looking for?
b) Pull out the biggest book in your house (normally the Yellow Pages) and leaf through to the area that you need and hope that you choose a trustworthy and reliable business?
c) Search online for your required business, check out their website with accompanying list of services and products along with testimonials from satisfied customers.
If you are a web-savvy member of today’s world, I’m guessing that your answer will be (c).
Of course, the Yellow Pages and Local Directories all have their online homes now and this will generally feature at the top of most search results. One downside to relying on them for advertising is that, without a website, all potential customers will see is your name, address and contact information. They don’t include any detail on your business background, services or past work and this is where your business website comes into its own.
Case study: Barbie’s Hair-Salon
After building a solid client base, Barbie’s Hair and Nails has expanded its services in order to build and grow their business. Using traditional methods (i.e. Yellow Pages), Barbie’s will potentially need to wait a full year to add the new services to their advertisements. Until then, the only way to find out about the new offerings is by visiting the store, traditional media advertising or via “word of mouth”. With a website, Barbie’s can send out the message straight away, with no wait time. They could even annouce the changes through an e-newsletter that website visitors have previously subscribed to.
Case Study #2: Robbo’s Lawn Mowing
Robbo has built a solid business throughout his local region offering quality lawn mowing. New clients currently see his bright coloured mowing trailers with their distinctive advertising and can call the phone number shown on them. However, by only utilising this form of advertising, Robbo is missing out on expanding the business to any nearby areas, as anyone outside the region will not see these trailers. With a website, people can find Robbo’s Lawn Mowing from anywhere (in the world!) and see what is on offer and read testimonials from his satisfied clients.
Please note that I am not advocating the complete desertion of old marketing tools like the Yellow Pages, some consumers still rely on them heavily and they do rank very well in Google Search results. Your own website can actually be added to your phone directory profile – adding extra punch to your marketing power. This ensures that even if you are found on their directories, potential clients can be directed in your website for more information on your services, your current satisfied clients and any new services you have on offer.
Can your business boost its productivity and growth through the addition of a website to your marketing arsenal?