Does my small business REALLY need a website?

Does my small business REALLY need a website?

The other day a friend of mine who owns a small painting business asked me if I thought he REALLY needed a website. He said he was able to stay “fairly busy” and most of his clients were contractors or residential owners who found him through the yellow pages. I’m always a little shocked when I hear people say they are not sure if their business needs a website, but, surprisingly, it has come up several times before. There are many reasons people mistakenly believe they don’t need a website. Let’s consider a few: Myth #1: My customers can find me in the yellow pages. People are now turning to the Internet MORE OFTEN than picking up their local phone book to find the info they need about a local business. Last year (2011) the Local Search Association released their data showing that the Web is the new leader over print in local business searches. In addition, with the ever-increasing popularity of mobile devices (smart phones & tablets) consumers are able to find what they are looking for anywhere with only a few touches, rather than lugging around that 18 lb. yellow book! Myth #2: I already have enough business. Yes, this actually does happen! A successful salon owner I know, who’s been in the same spot for 15 years, says she doesn’t need to advertise! Though, often at the beginning of her work week, all the white space in her appointment book makes her feel a little un-easy, by the end of the week it’s completed filled up and she’s exhausted and ready for her day off. Now,... read more
Five (5) Ways YOU Can Increase Your Business for FREE Using the Web.

Five (5) Ways YOU Can Increase Your Business for FREE Using the Web.

Businesses are spending more on Internet Marketing now than ever before. Last year (2011), Google earned approximately $36.4 BILLION on advertising! If you are a business owner/manager like me, who is counting every penny, the challenge of keeping up with the big dogs when it comes to Internet Marketing can feel a little daunting. There are, however, several, very effective and FREE things you can do, yourself, to improve your business’s visibility – resulting in more pennies to count. Let look at a few of them… 1. Utilize your website. Obviously, the first and foremost goal of every business’s website is to share information about the company with your customers or potential customers. Things like your phone number, location, hours, and products are all extremely important. Be sure that you are accurate and complete with the content you provide. Consider what information people ask for when they call your business. Are they asking for directions, prices, specials, instructions? Whatever it is, you may be able to save some of your (or your receptionist’s) valuable time by being sure these answers can be found on your website. For example, over the years I have had the privilege of developing websites for a few of our local doctor’s offices. On a patient’s first visit there are always mounds of forms they need to fill out prior to being seen. Having those forms available on the doctor’s website for the patient to download and fill out ahead of time saved everyone an enormous amount of time. How can you utilize your website to free up other resources? 2. Get Local. Submit your... read more