I think of my website as an additional set of hands that helps to serve my customers, grow my business, and be there 24/7. Always being “on-line” and “open” for business is the ultimate in customer service. When no one is present, the website even takes messages for us, so we can get back in touch once we’ve returned. Our website provides answers to questions people have about small business marketing, printing, paper, pricing, templates, and a host of other information. The website collects and processes orders, distributes coupons and offers, collects leads, and acts as a storefront. It is far less costly than traditional brick and mortar stores, and on-line marketing mediums are a fraction of the cost compared to the alternatives.
I love the Internet. I find it so fascinating and really believe that a good website significantly levels the playing field between big business and small business. A good website goes a long way in establishing credibility for any business where consumers can’t differentiate between large corporate business and small to mid-sized business.
If you want your website handling tasks like what I’ve listed above, you need to set-it-up and train it just like you would any other brand new employee. Use these tips and ideas to help create a website that’s always working FOR YOU, even when you’re not. Making it a priority will serve you well. There’s nothing with a higher return on investment than making sure your website is always working.
How to approach it:
You need a website. The easiest way to manage and keep it up-to-date is with a Word Press website.
It’s imperative to have your own domain name. A free WordPress (or any other type of free site, Facebook, Blogger, etc) site is unprofessional and shows a lack of commitment.
There’s much to be said about domain names and lots of strategizing to getting the “perfect” domain. It’s definitely not as as simple as merely using your company’s name. I’ve included everything you need to know about how to choose the right domain in this free download. Click here to download “How To Chose The Right Domain” It’s simple when you know where to look and what you’re looking for, and choosing the right domain name is crucial to the success of the site.
Define your goals for the company website. What do you want the website to do FOR you, so you no longer have to do “it.” There was a time when human interaction was the preferred method of handling most things. People are now comfortable with, and prefer to handle certain matters on-line. It’s a tremendous benefit for consumers to be able to handle business when it’s convenient for them.
Once you figure out what you want the website to do, you’ll need to determine what website/internet tools are necessary to complete the tasks you wish to be completed.
An example would be: If you want your website to help you build a database of prospects, you’ll need a way to collect contact information. It’s one of the most important things your website could be doing for you is collecting leads and building a database of prospects. A good database is at the core of any business that succeeds and grows over time. This would be done using web forms and automation techniques.
This is a just a small fraction of what it takes to start and build a small business website. I know, I’ve done it multiple times. I’ve had my failures and successes with many lessons along the way. Boy have there been a lot of failures!
Having been an entreprenuer for the last 25 years, I’ve picked-up some wisdom along the way and I wanted to share the lessons I learned in more depth than was possible on this blog, so I wrote a book about it.”The Secrets I Share With My Friends” is filled with all of my small business secrets to success. I’ve put the most valuable information I share with my friends in one place with answers to the questions I’m most frequently asked. I hope if you choose to purchase the book, it will answer all your questions about small business. You can find the details about the book here!