Why Small Business Owners Shouldn’t Design Their Own Websites

You’re a small business owner who has invested years–decades–into your business.  You’ve ridden out the changes and stayed successful.  You know your business model, your industry, and your customers.

Now you need a new website design.  A picture develops in your mind of how you’ll convey all you’ve been through, all you know.  Your business is your pride and joy…so your website will be emblematic of your knowledge, your professionalism, your journey, your vision.


Here is the problem: your small business website is not really about you.  It’s not for you.

You are not the target audience for your website.  Your prospective clients are.

Think of Your Target Audience

No matter what the industry, product, or service, there is one consistent truth about a small business website:  the primary target audience are people being introduced to your business.  You’re making a first impression.

And at this point, they don’t care much about you.  They don’t care about why you started your business or the challenges you overcame to get where you are.  They don’t care that you believe you are the best.

The question on their mind is:  What’s in it for me?  They have a problem they need solved, and they want to see if you can solve it.  Online searchers are motivated totally by self-interest.

Successful SMB websites target these needs.  They embrace the self-interest of the visitor and accommodate it in every way possible.  They make an irresistible offer that grabs the visitors attention and makes them feel they’ve really found the best option out there.

Designing for Conversion

A website built around user experience converts far better than a business-centric site.  A website that speaks directly to the needs of the target audience converts better than a business site that talks about itself.

Which brings us back to the involvement of you, the business owner, in the website design process.

At first you probably think your input and vision are the most important for the project.  You know far more about your business than anyone–this is your baby.

Which entirely the problem.  The perspective you need to communicate to is that of someone who is totally new to your business.  You want to put yourself into the shoes of someone who is looking at your business for the first time.

As a business owner who has invested decades of your life into your business, you are the least objective person there is about your business.  By the nature of your position, you have the hardest time looking at your business from a totally fresh perspective.

This exposes you to one of the biggest traps when designing websites:  small business owners who can’t get out of their own way.

They obsess over minor details that will do nothing to help the site convert.  Every image, color, font, layout has to be just so.  Copy is stilted, wordy, and boring. These project often take 3-5 times longer to complete.  The result is a bloated, business-centric site filled with content that is irrelevant to everyone except the business owner.

6 months later they wonder why their website converts poorly.

How to Avoid Building a Business-Centric SMB Website Design

So how can you avoid creating a business website that is the bore at a party who hogs the conversation?

  • Collaborate.  Work with a website designer who understands online conversion goals and listen to them.  Talk to existing clients and ask them about what drew them to you when they first engaged your business.  Get fresh eyes on design mock-ups and listen to the impressions of people looking at your content for the first time.
  • Conversions.  Here is the rule:  Design your business website around lead-generation goals.  All content should support these goals.
  • Simplicity.  A business website is not a work of art.  It’s not your first-born child. It’s a tool.  Simple, clean designs that make it easy for people to find what they’re looking for do the best.

Your website is important in defining your company identity and conveying your value proposition.  As the business owner, you have a lot to contribute in these areas.

But don’t micro-manage your website design project to fit your personal vision.  You’ll waste time, get frustrated, and end-up with a site that more about you and less about the job it’s supposed to do.

Contact us today and get a Free Quote from a Professional Designer.

Why your Brick-and-Mortor Store needs a website

In the mid-1990s, smart, forward-thinking businesses were asking some valid questions about whether to explore this new world called “The Internet.” Since the World Wide Web as we know it was still in its infancy, business owners were wise to be a little cautious about committing resources to something unproven that also threatened to disrupt traditional commerce methods.

Even analysts were hesitant early on—Newsweek columnist Clifford Stoll had nothing but disdain for the brave new online world in a 1995 piece. Economist Paul Krugman also speculated in 1998 that the Internet would grow slowly and never catch on as a serious business tool any more than the fax machine. Boy were they wrong.

This new model meant that people no longer had to visit a brick-and-mortar store in order to shop or browse. They wouldn’t see the great displays, and shop owners suddenly found that business was more competitive, since consumers now had easy access to products from anywhere in the world. Embracing the concept required a shift in thinking, spending, and merchandising for small business owners.

So while it was probably wise to be a little cautious and take a wait-and-see approach back then, these days more and more business leaders are concluding that being an online hold-out may cost you money. In fact, 93 percent of purchases begin with an online search, which means that without a website, you only have access to seven percent of the existing market.

You can see how having a website can help people in your community find your business. And that isn’t the only benefit. Here’s our list for why having a website for your business is an absolute must:

24/7 Exposure. Why put an end to shopping opportunities at six p.m.? Your brick-and-mortar location has “office” hours and people who wish to make a purchase or simply have questions will have to accommodate this schedule. But the convenience of a website, especially one that offers e-commerce, is that people can take care of their business on their own time. They can browse, shop, read your FAQs or send you an email—all while you’re sleeping or enjoying dinner out with your family. So quite simply, the more exposure you have, the better chance you have of making a sale.

New Customers. You probably have loyal shoppers who live or work in the neighborhood, but you are missing out on a whole other world of potential customers just because they don’t live in your zip code. Even if you distribute flyers, advertise in the local papers, and send out email blasts, you’re still limited to the customers you know, their friends and family, and other locals. Having a website allows you to tap into a national or international market that is already out there and grow your customer base—not to mention increase sales.

Easy and Cost-efficient. Sure, web design used to be complex when people had to calculate their own color values and program each element of a page. But these days there are plenty of free, do-it-yourself website builders, not to mention a slew of tutorials for all skill levels. WordPress offers thousands of drag-and-drop templates so all you have to do is find one that you like and enter your business’ information. Once you feel a little more comfortable with this basic set-up, you can look into plug-ins, which are smaller programs that can be added to your WordPress page to further customize it. BusinessNewsDaily suggests some other tools to improve your organization, including ways to make your website show up in searches better—which means more traffic to your e-commerce site.

Credibility. Research shows that 89 percent of today’s shoppers prefer to shop online over at a store for the convenience, and the younger generation may even be suspicious of a business’ lack of online presence. Including a website in your branding strategy gives you the credibility that consumers are looking for when they are at the point of purchase. Your website should include a blog where you (or someone you hire) writes posts about your product, service or industry in a way that makes you an expert and the go-to website for information or tips. This furthers your reputation and gives you more credibility, which can, in turn, lead to more sales.

Pre-sell Products. With a website, it’s easy to pre-sell your products that are still in the production process. All you need is one or two quality photos, an alluring description, and an availability date. Get people excited about your new product well before it ever hits the shelves, and gather the customers’ pre-sell orders through your website. Keep in mind that an online presence doesn’t exclude a brick-and-mortar shop; you can always allow shoppers to place the order online but encourage them to pick it up at your location. This is a clever way to get people into the store and create a reputation for being a business with stellar online and offline service.

Stay Current. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 470,000 small businesses close every year. This means that today’s mom-and-pop store owner needs to be a marketer, a social media strategist, a PR expert, a skilled salesperson—and, of course, have a top-notch product to sell. While this may sound like a lot, it is easier to do when you have a website, because much of it is taken care for you. For example, building a website with WordPress makes it simple to optimize your site with keywords for high search engine ranking (marketing), link up to all your social media accounts (social strategy), and include quality photos that, with your eye-catching product description, is sure to draw in customers (sales).

In conclusion, having a website for your store will lead directly to increased sales. So build or commission a website for your mom-and-pop shop and enable more people in your area to discover your local, personalized, in-store service!

Request your Free Quote and see how having a Website for your Brick-and-Mortor Store can help you.


Why Real Followers Are A Must To Use Social Media For Local Business

80% of all Facebook, Instagram & Twitter accounts and followers are fake. Yes, you’ve  got it right. The large number of your Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts’ followers are not genuine. Now, you might be thinking that how come this is true. This article will explain ‘how’. Also, you will come to know how to get real likes for Facebook or any other social media platform that matters.

Have you ever thought why a new post attracts only 10-12 likes for social media accounts having more than 50,000 followers? The answer is these social media accounts have fake followers. Let us discuss the concept of fake followers.

Fake followers don’t always mean that the followers have fake accounts or they are not real people. Instead, it means the followers are not related to your business at all. This means the audience who is following you comes from different business domains; consequently, it is not interested in what is being posted. If the audience is in line with your business, you will see genuine interactions taking place across all social media platforms once you publish posts there.

So, you should have an emphasis on having followers of your business domain. This will inspire the interaction between you and your followers, giving you full advantage of social media platforms. The need of genuine followers becomes paramount if you want to use social media for local business. Having real people as followers ensures real engagement, making it easy for you meet your social media objectives.

In addition to focusing on real followers, you should also understand which social media platform is right for you. Selecting the right social media platform can be tricky. You might not be able to decide which social media platform will fetch great results for your business. Hiring a company with experienced social media professionals is a good choice if you want to leverage the real power of different social media platforms. A leading company not only helps you select the best social media platform for your business, but also assists you in having real followers on the selected platform.

As of January 2014, 74% of online adults use social networking sites. So there are vast business opportunities for you. Hire a leading company for social media marketing to harness the powers of the Internet. In addition to increasing awareness of your products, social media marketing can improve the overall image of your company.