Why your business needs a website

Recession - definition

Okay, so your business mainly deals with local people, so why would you want a website?

You can still use the web to connect your business to new customers locally.

[caption id="attachment_917" align="alignright" width="350"]Recession - definition A good website can help you fight the effects of the recession[/caption]

The simple answer is, if you’ve ever advertised – in a local paper or Yellow Pages perhaps – or put flyers through letter boxes then you need a website.

Your website is where you get the chance to tell your potential customers about your business.

You can say more than you’ll ever fit in an advert – and that’s just for a start.

Your customers can find out about what you can do for them without them having to ask you directly.

You can show them examples of your work, tell them how to get in touch with you and of course sell your products and services – and the beauty of it is that once it’s set up anyone can access it, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You don’t have to do a thing.

More business

A well set up, professional website can bring in new business and raise your profile more than any amount of advertising.

Get it right and a good website can help your business be a success, even more so if tied in with a well used presence on social media, such as Facebook.

After all we’re in the 21st century now and people expect businesses to be online these days.

Often people looking for a service will look on the internet first and if you’re not on the web you’re not taking advantage of the best low cost advertising space there is.

This is only going to become more important as a generation of young people brought up on computers grow to maturity.

While you may be doing okay with your current customers, your future customers will be looking for you on the web – make sure they can find you!

Mind how you go….

Many small businesses build their own sites with varying results – but wouldn’t you rather concentrate on what you do best and leave your website to a professional?

If you don’t know what you’re getting into some of the do it yourself options can look attractive, but if you’re not careful you can end up wasting so much time learning to do basic things that it would have been cheaper to pay someone to do it.

And don’t fall into the trap of having a mate do your site as a favour – at Moghill we’ve never seen that type of arrangement work out well.

Do yourself a favour and concentrate on what you’re good at – running your business – and bring in a professional to take care of your site.

Your route to web success

If your website is to be a success it needs to be done properly otherwise you won’t get your message across.

Your website creates an impression about your business and if you want to look like you mean business you need a professional looking website.

And if you don’t get a professional to build your site the chances are your customers won’t even be able to find it.

Choosing a web design company

Building websites in his bedroom every now and again

There’s a massive choice of web design companies out there – so how do you spot the diamonds and avoid the duds?

One of the problems with web design is that anyone can do it – to an extent. But you should exercise the same caution when looking at web design companies as you would if you were hiring a builder.

[caption id="attachment_921" align="alignright" width="350"]Building websites in his bedroom every now and again Building websites in his bedroom every now and again[/caption]

Steer clear of companies who offer web design as an add on to their main business – common among IT and telecoms companies, as well as public relations and marketing companies. They often lack the skills to give you a decent website.

They may be able to have a go at giving you a site, but it will probably cost you more money and hassle in the long run.

And in the end you will probably have to go to a proper web design company!

The perils of amateurs

These days anyone with a computer can set themselves up as a web designer and this amateurism can make hiring a web designer a nightmare.

They may have flashy websites of their own, but there’s a lot more to building a professional website than the ability to make it look  nice.

The geeks

There are also web companies who want to sell you all sorts of complicated web solutions – but at a price. Often these web agencies are more biased towards the technical side of things.

Sure – you’ll get a website, but you may well pay through the nose for a solution that uses a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

We’ve seen clients charged large amounts by these companies only to be left on their own once the site has been built.

On the other hand, some may charge very little and only deal with you via e-mail. Always be suspicious of someone who will not speak on the phone or meet in person. And be wary of people claiming to supply ‘cheap’ websites – it will always cost you more in the end.

Long term relationship

Even if you only have a three page simple website you are still entering into a long term business relationship with the company who builds it. So you should treat your website as you would any other long term partnership.

Any company worth its salt should have a portfolio of websites they have produced for other clients. The company should be happy for prospective clients to contact its customers.

You are looking for a broader range of skills, not just an expert in IT, public relations or graphic design.

Those skills include:

  • Writing and editing – specifically writing for websites
  • Photography and design
  • The necessary technical skills
  • In depth understanding of web user behaviour and how to present information
  • Web marketing skills, including search engine optimisation
  • Project management skills and a proven ability to deliver

But above all else they must have good customer service skills. You must be able to build a rapport with your web provider.