First part of four on why you need a website? This series is to start to point you in the right direction as to whether you need a website or not.
We will start with the obvious – you will be able to sell your products and services online. Most people today actually check the web for the things that they are going to buy or need. They do not always buy on line but they will research the products on line. If you are not there then you are not going to be part of the research.
Catalogue your products. This can be a real pain but you can use it to do a stock take as well; nothing like completing two jobs for the price of one. Running a mail order business may not be where you want to be. There is all the hassle of postage and packaging and getting goods posted on time but there is an alternative.
You may feel you don’t need or want a website – right? Wrong you can still have a website to promote your products and your business presence. An online presence with a catalogue of goods and perhaps a way to reserve or order for collection will make your website user friendly and may mean that you get the sale and a competitor doesn’t. Remember the advert of the man looking for a book? You may not be a book seller but you have a product or service. Don’t make it hard for your customer to find you.
A picture can say a thousand words (providing you are not worried about search but that will be another blog) post photographs or videos of your previous work. If you are a decorator, designer or photographer then customers like to see photos as proof of your previous work. An odd testomonial will not go amiss especially if you are in the building trade. Avoid putting things like Mrs Smith said as this actually detracts from the credibility of the piece.
You can build credibility for your business. Most consumers and other businesses expect companies to have their own websites, no matter how large or small they are. Make sure your site is branded the way you want it and it must contain relevant information about your business and services. Do not have a hotmail email account quoted on your website as all your hard work will fall down at this point. Most good webmasters will set you up email accounts as part of the web build and should reflect your web address like email@example.com not firstname.lastname@example.org. It may only be a small thing but keep hotmail, gmail and yahoo accounts for your personal stuff.