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Five Steps to reboot your Business Mojo

Loss of business mojo happens to all of us from time to time. As business owners, it can sometimes be hard to maintain enthusiasm and drive all the time towards our work.

Five Steps to reboot your Business MojoSometimes it feels like we have lost our motivation and are just going through the motions in order to get things done. We feel no real urge to seek out and try new things (like marketing tactics). If this sounds familiar to you, then maybe your Business Mojo might just need a reboot!

If you are looking for some help so get things going again, here five quick tips that I personally have found useful to get inspired and back on track.

1. Get out and Exercise!

This might seem a bit of a strange tip in a business and marketing blog, however I find my focus for the day is sharper after some form of morning exercise. A simple 30 minute walk or jog can do the trick and the best thing is you can kill two birds with one stone by exercising to some…

2. Podcasts!

There are literally thousands to choose from. The best way to find the podcasts bested suited to you is to have a look on iTunes (for the Apple fans) and BeyondPod (for the Android users among us). Podcast One is another source for all kinds of podcasts from all types of genres.

A great podcast can expose you to a world outside the business that you generally work in and, just by listening to some success stories and the experiences of others, you might just find that missing spark you are looking for.

3. Reading

Once again, for those seeking external motivation from the best in the business, there is an abundance of great books that can get you inspired. Several great books that I can whole-heartedly recommend include:

  • Pour your heart into it – The Starbucks Story by Howard Schultz
  • Like a Virgin by Richard Branson
  • The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber
  • Crush It by Gary Vaynerchuk

I must confess that I have read a couple of these more than once just to try and squeeze every possible gem out of them! They are all written by people who have created their own huge success stories and it help me to think – “there’s nothing to stop me being one too!”

4. Talk to other like-minded business people.

Seeking and talking biz with like-minded business owners can be a very powerful experience. But first you need to seek out an appropriate network. You could join your local Chamber of Commerce, start your own networking group or just talk to friends who work in similar industries (or maybe completely different). If you feel a little isolated and don’t know where to start, get online and join a forum.

5. Sit back and reflect

Sometimes we get caught up in the day-to-day of our businesses and we lose sight of what we have achieved and how far we have come. Take some time out and think about when you started your business. What were your goals? Why did you start?

Look at your past achievements and the work you have done. I love to go back and look at sites that I created 10 years ago and see just how bad they are! Of course, they didn’t look too bad back then but the progress since has made all of them look positively antiquated.

Guaranteed, if you look at the progress and successes of your business from where you have come from, you will start to see a clearer way forward and gain some of the motivation you think you have lost. You haven’t lost it – it’s still there, just hidden from view.

Why Online Stores are the Best Thing since Sliced Bread

In small towns across North Queensland (and elsewhere I’m sure), there is evidence of an economic downturn on every main street.

Online StoresMany small shop fronts are sitting empty with no real outlook to opening again anytime soon. The factors behind this situation are many and varied but one of the most common blames is put directly onto the rise of online shopping.

If your business sells products of any shape or form, whether they are toasters, cars or even houses, there is absolutely no reason why you should miss out on a cut of the market by not having your very own ecommerce store. It doesn’t matter if you are a huge conglomerate with hundreds of stores nationwide or the local dress shop marketing your own fashions, everyone can have a slice of the pie if they are clever and utilise the power of the web.

There is a huge recompense to having an online store that most business owners don’t recognise, and these advantages can’t be achieved through a regular bricks and mortar store.

An online store has no landlord!

Not a single cent is paid in rent for your online store. The only costs you will incur, other than the original design of your site, is the monthly/yearly charge for your web server, the domain name and charges from outside agencies such as PayPal and/or your bank.

When you compare this to the cost of leasing a shop, you can guess who comes out in front. Talking to local business owners in my home town has shown me that the cost of a lease is one of the biggest factors forcing businesses to close. There’s not enough custom through the front door to warrant the outlay. No such problem with an online shop.

Levels the playing field with the Big Guys

When you operate an online store, you can pretend to be as big or small as you want. Many small online operators like to push the “smaller” operation approach as this can help to give you that personal touch missing from one of the larger stores. However, stores like Harvey Norman are trying to cash in on this notion by utilising a chat system that pops up at the bottom of the shop screen. Once again, the small business owner can compete with this through the use of a very simple plug in like ClickDesk or LiveChat.

Open for Business 24/7

An online store means that you can make a sale – 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Even when you are asleep, your site can be making for you. Imagine logging on at work each morning (during the business week, of course) and seeing a whole backlog of purchases that were made and paid for even while the physical offices of your business were shut! The advantages of this should be whole apparent – you can’t do this with a bricks and mortar store. Once again, you can compete with the big guys – on their level.

Customer Interaction

An Ecommerce store can also be integrated with a healthy Social Media campaign allowing the store to “converse” with customers and potential customers in a friendly environment. Any problems or questions about products and services can be solved with no awkward or sometimes aggravated face to face contact. Tips and tricks can be passed on almost immediately to patrons with no wait time (depending on the level of customer service available) – business owners can answer issues from the luxury of their armchairs at home if they want.

An ideal example of this customer interaction can be seen in full use by Blackmilk Clothing on both their Facebook pages and website. Happy customers can be seen happily conversing with the Blackmilk team and showing off their latest purchases on the pages of the site. In return, the Blackmilk team gets instant feedback and direction, straight from the people wearing their gear.

Final Note

An online store can add an extra line of revenue to a business and it doesn’t even have to be the end of the physical shop front. Caravans Plus in Queanbeyan operate both with an offer in their ecommerce checkout that allows customers to order online and pickup in person, a perfect setup for the grey nomad travelling through that part of the world. No freight!

If you are interested in creating an online store, get in touch with Tropical Coast Web Design and have a chat about what is possible for your business. We can create ecommerce stores for all types of businesses, large and small.

 

“Be x Do = Have” – A Simple Algorithm for Website Success

The classic life algorithm “BE x DO = HAVE” has probably appeared in countless blog posts before. But who has sat down and worked out their Website strategy using this simple mathematical problem as a basis?

BE x DO = HAVEI have known of Brad Sugars, the founder of ActionCOACH, since he was a Senior leader at my high school in Brisbane and have watched his business coaching “empire” grow with interest. Whilst not a great fan of his business tactics and holding no affiliation to his brand, I have found nuggets of very useful information and advice in his YouTube videos. On his own site, Brad used to have a link to a free video seminar from his “Business is Booming” tour. In the three-hour long video, Brad took the audience through the various reasons why businesses should keep striving through the global financial crisis which was in full swing at the time. I spent a couple of nights watching the video and taking notes so that I could apply them to my own work at Tropical Coast Web Design.

One of the points that Brad raised in the video is the paradigm “BE x DO = HAVE”. Using an example from the video, a simple use of the math could be “BE Awesome x DO Awesome = HAVE Awesome”. Pretty straight forward until you realise that most people live this particular algorithm backwards, thinking that they must HAVE something before they can BE something.

I got to thinking to thinking – if this can be so easily applied to one’s life, can it be applied to the success of your Website? It may not be as simple as Brad Sugar’s application but read on…

If you are a business supplying a product or a service, the result of creating your Website must be to “HAVE more business”. That’s the final desired result. How do we get there?

The first part of the algorithm is not about the Website – it’s about your business. To effectively use a Website to generate business, you must have a product or service that would benefit from online sales. The local doctor probably doesn’t need a Website to sell his services. On the other hand, your local florist could make a lot more sales simply by getting online. You need to research your market and find out what your clients and potential clients want.

BE a worthy online business.

Once you have done the research on your clients, now comes the hard part. Do you have site that will satisfy their requirements? Sit down with your web designer and plan out a strategy – Who is your target market? How do they shop? What do they look for first in a site? What is their preferred method for purchasing? Will the aesthetics of the site appeal to them? How do we get them to keep coming back? This is where a good relationship with your web designer is very important. They need to understand where you are coming from and what you hope to achieve with your site.

DO create a site that works for you.

However, working with your web designer is only half the task. Once the reigns of your site have been handed over to you, there is still a lot of work to do. Start by reading back through our blog archive. There are literally dozens of tips that will help you to develop and continue to grow a site that works for you rather than sitting stagnant on the world wide web. If the site is not working for you, it’s not worth having – so turn it around!

Finally, keeping those two elements (BE and DO) in mind throughout the whole process, you can arrive at the desired result.

BE a worthy online business x DO create a site that works for you = HAVE more business.

This may be a little different to the way that Brad Sugars describes it, but the principle is the same. It is a very simple algorithm however it makes common sense for any small business owner who wants a site that generates leads and sales.

Top Five Reasons to Avoid Wix (and similar) for your business website

Reading the title of this blog post would be enough to make even the most casual reader look up and say “Well, of course you are going to say that! You build websites for a living!”

Dont use website buildersTrue, but if you look beyond my aspirations to become your web developer of choice, there are a lot of perfectly valid reasons why you should avoid free website builders for your business or organisation. In this post, I will list a few of the most important however with a little more research, you can discover dozens more.

#5

We actually give a damn about you and your business. Might sound a little clichéd however our business is based on the success of your site. If we fail to build a site that works for you, we are not doing our job properly and you won’t hesitate to go somewhere else and you most definitely will not refer us to your networks.

A local web development cares enough about doing the job right that they will consult with you at every stage of the game plan – design, development, content, social media and SEO. On top of all this, you will have the local support you need at the end of the day if things aren’t going to plan.

The only people that wix.com, GoDaddy, Vistaprint and other online site builders care about are their owners/shareholders.

#4

Most of these website builders sell (and pride) themselves on the short time frame that it takes to create a site and get it online. Build a site in 20 minutes! Be online in less time that it takes to bake a cake. Doesn’t your business deserve a little more attention, time and effort so that you can create a worthwhile and effective online presence? A website is your business’ public face, a portal where your potential customers can come and visit 24/7 and see what you are all about. A good website that is spot-on designed for your individual brand is no doubt going to take longer than just 20 minutes!

Invest the time and you will most definitely reap the rewards.

#3

Wix.com brands each of its website with its own logo and link at the very bottom of every page – “THIS SITE WAS CREATED WITH WIX.COM CREATE YOUR OWN FOR FREE”. Each Tropical Coast Web Design site has our name at the bottom however we aren’t doing it for our own gain – though we are very proud of our work.

The linking between sites is very important for SEO purposes and we link to each and every one of the sites we create on our portfolio page. Having links working in both directions is great for the SEO of the sites involved. But we definitely are not doing a hard sell by having our link on your page.

#2

In cyberspace, no-one can hear you scream. That includes the boffins from Wix, Facebook or any of the online site builders. You get absolutely no personal support. If you have questions, and are very lucky, you may receive an email response but you can pretty much guarantee no phone calls.

By contracting your own designer, you have access to personal support for your website. Tried an update and crashed the site? Your designer will have you back online within the day (if you have a good one!). Need to expand your website with a minimal of hassle? Use your developer.

Don’t like the service you are getting? If you are locked into a contract with an online site builder, you can’t just jump ship. With a developer, your site can move with you.

#1

Domain names ordered through an online site builder can cause absolute nightmares should you wish to move away and build a site. A recent client contacted us to build a website that would allow her expand her business. Her previous site, built online, was inadequate for her current requirements. When we contacted her online site builder to arrange transfer of the domain name, it was discovered that her domain name was tied in some sort of contractual hell. In the end, it was simpler to register a whole new domain name (the other name will eventually expire and drop away). Not an ideal solution but a good reminder to be sure that your domain name is registered to you, not your web developer.

When it is all said and done, you should just remember the old saying – “Don’t build your home on rented land.” If you build on any of the online services, your site is essentially being constructed on borrowed land. If these services crash tomorrow and disappear forever, your site is gone too – quite often without the chance of a backup.

This applies to the new templates that you can use with your Facebook Business page. Sure it looks like your business website but don’t forget, Facebook lays claims to anything on its network and that includes your pages as well!

The alternative from online site builders should be very clear from this discussion – go and hire a trustworthy developer to design a website for you to meet your custom needs. This includes branding, imagery, content and SEO requirements. Along with all the facts presented before, contracting a professional web developer to build your site ensures that you are personally consulted along every step of the design and you own the work when it is completed.

Cure your writer’s block with our simple website content template

Writing content for your website can be a harrowing task. While you would love to tell your site visitors everything about your business and what you can do for them, you need to strike a balance between the right amount of information and the danger of information overload.

Writing Website ContentOn top of this, where do you start with writing content. To help my customers through this difficult stage, I have created a simple template for creating content that is concise and easy to read.

Follow the steps below using the supplied template for each page on your website:

Step 1. Before you begin writing your content, answer these questions:

  • What is the purpose of this page? Why is it important?
  • Who is your target audience for this page?
  • What are the three main points that you want to convey on this page?
  • What keywords will your potential site visitors use with Google to find this page?

Step 2: Page Title:

Create a title that is clear, concise and catchy. It also should include some or all of the keywords identified above.

Step 3: First Paragraph:

In the first two sentences, clearly describe what you want the site visitor to gain from visiting this page – this is the one thing you want them to “take away” with them.

In the remaining sentences of the paragraph, summarize the points (identified above) that you will describe on the remainder to the page. You should also include a Call to Action (CTA) in this text to capture those visitors with short attention spans and who may not be bothered to read on.

Step 4: Second, Third and Fourth Paragraphs

  • Summarize each of the main points in turn, using keywords or phrases if possible.
  • Use bullet points to highlight features or additional sub-benefits.
  • Include links within the content to either your own pages or external websites (Google loves inbound and outbound links).
  • If possible, include further information if the content allows.

Step 5: Call to Action

Finish the page with a bold, obvious “Call to Action” that clearly explains what you want the site visitor to do next.

Step 6: Checklist

After your content is written, read through it against this checklist:

  • How long are each of the paragraphs? (maximum four sentences)
  • Are they concise and relevant to your target audience?
  • Is the style of content conversational, addressing the site visitor as “you”?
  • Is the content interesting and engaging? (hint: get someone else to read it)
  • Is there a clear Call to Action?
     

Once your content is written, find someone to proofread through it for you. Sometimes we can get a little too attached to our work and we are unable to see its minor flaws. A reliable proof-reader will spot those details that need correction or more information about them. They will also be able to tell whether the content is too wordy or just right.

Click here for our free Content Template.

Still not able to put your writer’s cap on? Tropical Coast Web Design has nearly 20 years’ experience in creating websites including page content. We can take simple dot points and turn them into legible, clear information for your site visitors.

Get in touch today for more information.

 

The Secrets to Inbox Nirvana

Email can be both a blessing and a curse on modern business.

The evolution of electronic mail (yes – that’s where email comes from) has made instant communication and document sharing possible without involving Australia Post. However, email is also responsible for “eating up” valuable time each day as Inboxes are filled to the brim each time we look.

To stay on top of this, I became an Inbox Ninja. Before you ask, let me explain that this doesn’t involve any kind of Martial Arts. It simply means that I have a methodology in place to ensure that I can reduce my Inbox to zero – every single day.

Impossible you say? Well, you too can become an Inbox Ninja by following a few simple rules.

#1 Unsubscribe from Email Lists

Never use your business email to sign up for online newsletters and downloads. Instead, create a Gmail account and use that for any non-essential email sign-ups.

In addition, look at all the junk emails that you receive and unsubscribe from any that you don’t need. Most of the time we don’t read them anyway, so you won’t miss them in the future.

With the emails that you can’t unsubscribe from, use your email program to create a rule that will send them directly to the trash.

#2 Sort / Delete EVERY DAY

To avoid answering emails throughout the day, which can be a huge distraction, set aside time at the beginning and end of each day to do the following:

Sort – Create an email archive folder with relevant subfolders and, after adding required tasks into your schedule*, move emails into those folders – only if they need to be kept.

* I use the project manager app called Flow to keep everything organised (see #5 below).

Delete – Any superfluous emails that don’t need to be answered, tasked or archived should be deleted immediately to clear the Inbox.

#3 Answer emails straight away

Take care of emails that can be answered directly (or with a two-minute task) straight away. Once this done, archive or delete those emails.

#4 Go Old Fashioned

Don’t forget that email is not the only choice of communication. Can you walk over to your colleague to discuss those price changes? Or can you call the distributors to sort out the dispatch issues?

If you can sort things with a quick conversation, don’t send an email – do it in person.

#5 Remove your tasks from your Inbox

As a web developer, I receive most of my work-related tasks via email from my clients. To stay organised in my work, I use Post-It notes to write down each task, archive the email (see #2) and then stick the Post-It to the edge of my computer monitor. Once a day, I add these notes into my project manager, Flow. With this simple procedure, I ensure that my Inbox get emptied and my tasks are always booked.

Obviously, day one of becoming an Inbox Ninja is not going to be fun, especially if you have a large backlog of unanswered or unsorted emails. Bite the bullet, clear yourself some time in your schedule and get to work on that Inbox. In a few short days, just by following the five simple rules above, you will be reaping the benefits with more time to spend on other important tasks within your business.

Do you want to be an Inbox Ninja with a professional email account for your small business? Get in touch with us at Tropical Coast Web Design for a free quote today.

How can my regional small business benefit from a website?

In the small coastal town of Ingham, where Tropical Coast Web Design is based, most of the small businesses have been happily operating in the same way with the same customers for many years.

Regional Small Business

However, it is evident that the town’s small businesses are struggling in 2019. There are numerous empty shops on the main street and business confidence appears to be down with little “outside” business coming to town.

Introducing my business to the community in 2018, I began attending the local Chamber of Commerce meetings and talking to local business owners. A common theme that I found was that some businesses saw online competitors as a major threat – which is fair enough – they were losing business online. However, several that I spoke to needed clarification on how their own website could help them level the playing field and play “toe to toe” with the big guys.

Here’s a few ways that a small business in a regional town can benefit from an online presence:

Greater Visibility

Most customers under 50 are internet-savvy and that number is growing daily. We now have a whole generation of prospective customers who don’t know anything but life with the internet. I can guarantee it – your customers are looking for you online. And if they don’t find you, they will find your competitors.

In short – get online. Your customers demand it.

24/7 Service to Customers

With the advent of the internet (and faster connections), customers expect businesses to be available all day, every day to help us with our questions and enquiries. Luckily, with a clever website with though-out content, this doesn’t mean that you have physically monitor the site 24 hours a day. If required , your customers should be able to access how-to guides, FAQs and product information via your site. They should also be able to send you enquiries that can be answered during business hours.

Makes Sales while you sleep

This one is a no-brainer. Setting up your business with an online-store (or even just an online order form) means that you can take sales any time of the day – even when all your staff are at home and fast asleep. Even service-based businesses without online stores can take bookings and payments 24/7 through their websites (PayPal has made this very easy to access).

Get in front of your customers otherwise your competitors will be.

In a small town, people prefer to “go with a local”, even if this means a slight increase in price. If a home-grown store can supply orders via their website, most locals would choose this path over an online order with one of the “big guys”. However, if that store is not online and customers can’t find their prices to compare with the larger chains, they will most likely miss out.

For some small businesses who recognise that they need a website to remain competitive, a perceived roadblock is often the price. Bigger city firms can charge an arm and a leg to create you a site, but often that amount of money is just not available. Luckily, your marketing budget doesn’t need to be sacrificed to create an effective site that brings you sales.

Shop around (look for a free quote link on any designer’s website) and find someone who is producing work that you like – look at their online portfolio – at an affordable price.

Tropical Coast Web Design prides itself on creating effective sites at affordable prices. We are a small professional team which allows us to keep our costs down, which we pass onto you.

Get in touch today – we’d love to help get your regional small business online.

 

A goal without a plan is just a wish

New Years ResolutionsThe turn of a new year in upon us and, like a lot of people, I’ve written a number of new Years resolutions for myself in 2019. In years gone by, I’ve managed to achieve some goals and fail on others. Looking back at my successes and failures, there is a clear reason I have achieved the successful goals.

“A goal without a plan is just a wish”

Simply saying that you are going to do a particular thing is not always enough. Not only do you have to put in the effort to achieve something, you should also put in the groundwork – right at the start – to ensure that you achieve the end goal.

Here’s my five tips to help make those 2019 resolutions a reality:

1.       Make your Resolutions SMART goals.

In brief, here’s the general outline to make your goals SMART ones:

Strategic – Write your goals clearly and concisely.

Measureable – Be sure that you can track your progress.

Achievable – Set goals that are achievable – not “pie in the sky”.

Relevant – Create goals that are relevant to your overall “life” plan.

Timely – All goals must have a timeline attached.

2.       Break your larger goals into smaller achievable “chunks”.

It’s hard to stay on track to achieve goals that are large or take a long time to attain. Break the large goals into smaller pieces – this way, you can celebrate the little successes along the way and keep your motivation up.

3.       Set aside time each day to work on or review your goals.

This is the big killer of New Years resolutions – we forget about them or we don’t put enough effort into making them a reality. Make time in your schedule to look over your goals and plans to ensure that you stay on track and “attack” a small part of a goal every day.

4.       Make changes to your lifestyle a habit, not just a one-off change.

People who set weight loss goals as their New Years resolutions often tend to fail (myself included) because they don’t change their habits. They exercise or diet temporarily and, once the goal is achieved, go back to their old ways and all the progress is lost.

I know this only too well – In 2017, through hard work and dieting, I achieved my goal weight. But, in 2018, with several changes in my life during the year, I slipped back into my old ways and gained back all the weight I had lost. I had made temporary changes to my lifestyles to achieve my goal and not changed my habits.

5.       Give yourself rewards along the path.

At times, achieving a large goal can seem a long way off. Rewarding yourself along the road is key to staying the path and making it to the end. Treat yourself to some R & R along the way. This could be a weekend away with a loved one or a movie night with the kids. Life is too short – enjoy it and have some fun while kicking those goals.

I’m writing this post just two short days before the New Year so my personal challenge right now is to look at each resolution I’m making and, using the above, lay out a road map to make sure that I can get there for each. I’ll be blogging throughout the new year – part of one of my resolutions – so I’ll be holding myself accountable for some of my goals online.

I wish you all success and happiness in 2019 – it’s going to be a great year!

Happy New Year from Tropical Coast Web Design!

Four Steps to a Successful Email Marketing Strategy

Four Steps to a Successful Email Marketing StrategyWhile Social Media for small business continues to be a rave topic in marketing forums around the world, statistics indicate that, although annoying to some, email marketing is still one of the most powerful tools that a business can use to engage with its customers. Your Inbox is irrevocable proof of this – how many items of marketing did you receive this morning?

Although some will never be opened, the humble email can still be an effective way of reaching out to your customers. But, as with anything, there is a right way and a wrong way. Here’s our four top tips to help you create an effective (and legal*) email marketing strategy for your business:

Grow your database 

Before you start any email marketing campaign, you need legitimate* emails in your database to use. Gathering these addresses is quite easy if you have an established website. You can use the popular method of the pop-up window or simply have a newsletter subscription somewhere on your home page. MailChimp has plugins that work directly through the WordPress framework and integrate with their newsletter systems, saving the hassle of collecting email addresses and adding them manually to your campaigns.

Whatever method you use, remember to always declare why you are gathering the addresses and what can be expected in return (see value point below).

Remember the Mobile Users

Due to the unstoppable growth of smart phones, more emails than ever before are being viewed on a mobile device. In fact, up to 75% of email opens* could be via mobile depending on your industry. To cater for this audience, ensure that your emails are mobile optimised – easy to read on a small screen, low on data usage and concise in their information.

http://www.emailmonday.com/mobile-email-usage-statistics

Four Steps to a Successful Email Marketing StrategyBe aware of the SPAM Act 2003

To keep your email marketing within the lines of the law, you must ensure that any emails you send comply with three main points  – Consent, Identity and Unsubscribe.

Consent – The receiver of your emails must be made fully aware at the time they subscribe exactly what they will be receiving in return. Consent can also be in the form of an existing relationship with the receiver i.e. they are already a customer.

Identity – Marketing emails must identify who is sending the emails and their contact information.

Unsubscribe – Each email must include an Unsubscribe option so that consent can be retracted at any time.

Learn more: http://www.acma.gov.au/Industry/Marketers/Anti-Spam

Offer Value

The  secret behind any email campaign that wants to grow and be effective to offer subscribers VALUE in what they receive. Value can come in multitude of forms. You can reply with a free eBook, a newsletter filled with tricks and tips or keep them up to date with the latest industry news. If you are advertising products or services, butter up the receiving party with a discount voucher for their next purchase.

Everyone loves getting something for free and your subscribers are more likely to stick around.

Remember, what may work for one business may not necessarily work for yours. As with any marketing, try out all your ideas but be sure to MEASURE the response. Don’t spend hours of your precious small business time barking up the wrong tree only to find out that you aren’t getting a decent return from your efforts. Make a note of what works and what doesn’t, fine-tuning along the way. This approach will lead to an effective email strategy that will grow your business without eating away at your marketing budget or your valuable time.

 

Five Simple Tips to help manage your Small Business Website

It was once optional for a small business to have a website. Nowadays, having an 24/7 online presence is mandatory to remain competitive in a global marketplace.

But keeping a website current and up-to-date is often hard for a small business. Your employees often have little “spare” time for tasks such as site updates and, as a result, websites can easily be forgotten – left on the “do it tomorrow” pile. Without this required attention, a stagnant site will soon start to repel potential business customers, rather than attract.

Luckily, with a little planning during the development stage (and a regular dedication of time), these problems can be easily avoided and your website can become a strong marketing hub for your small business that doesn’t drain your resources.

Five Simple Tips to help manage your Small Business WebsiteIntegrate a Content Management System (CMS) from Day One

A user-friendly Content Management System allows site owners and managers the ability to update and create new content directly on their websites. By integrating a CMS as the framework for a new website, you are instantly putting yourself into the driver’s seat to control what goes on your site and how “fresh” it stays.

Learning a CMS is not hard either. The basics of WordPress CMS can be learnt in a matter of minutes, as the editing functions are styled like that of a Word Processor. As I often say to new clients – “If you can create a document in Word, then you can update your own website!”

Use a Content Calendar (and stick to it)

A content calendar (also known as an editorial calendar) helps to plan out new content for your website or social media feed and details when it will be created. This weekly, monthly or yearly calendar should be an integral part of your business’ overall marketing strategy.

By planning content in advance, you (or whoever manages your website) can commit to producing site-worthy information that is suitable for your target audience. By putting a due date on it and ensuring that date is adhered to, working on your site becomes part of your everyday business schedule.

Automate Site Updates and Customer Interaction

If it is possible to time aside for working on your site’s content, take advantage of tools such as the content scheduling that is built into WordPress. Create five blog posts or page updates at one time then use the schedule to program the dates that you want the content to be released onto your website.

Here’s the secret: this blog post you are reading was one of five that I wrote over a recent weekend. I have set the schedule in WordPress to release one every two weeks. Blog Posts for next 10 weeks – done!

Schedule a Post

Allow an Employee to take ownership of website management

Although small businesses don’t have employees to “spare”, it would be ideal to assign the maintenance and upkeep of the website to one person – a web-savvy employ who could take care of both website and social media posts.

Giving ownership of the site to an employee (with guidance of course) ensures that the site will be monitored and “fed” new content to keep your online customers, and Google, happy.

Five Simple Tips to help manage your Small Business WebsiteGet your Web Developer to care of updates for you

If all else fails and managing your website is just not possible in-house, look to a professional. Many web development companies offer a monthly plan which includes website content updates. Caution though, if you are taking this option, compare the plan price against the everyday (hourly) rate of the company to ensure that you are getting a decent offer.

You will still to need to provide content via email but a professional will get it online, make it look pretty and ensure that it gets the right sort of attention.

As discussed in a previous blog post, an out-of-date website that is uncared for will cost you business. Prospects visiting the site will get a poor first impression and Google won’t care for your site either. With the tips above, your site remains “fresh” and acting as a positive reflection of the small business that it portrays.

Tropical Coast Web Design