When it comes to their websites, most business owners know that it’s important that they make a good impression. Medium and large-sized organisations usually have sizeable budgets to develop their web presence, so developing an attractive site that will appeal to their target audience isn’t usually too much of a problem. But what about website for smaller businesses – are they up to the same standard?
In a lot of cases, unfortunately not, and many small business websites, from flower shops to pub websites, would struggle to be described as ‘attractive’ or ‘appealing’. These smaller organisations face a number of issues that may make it hard to create a well-designed website – namely time and money. Or at least, that’s the perception of many small business owners.
Many feel that setting up a website would require them to hire an expensive designer or developer, and getting the kind of website they want for their business will therefore cost a lot of money, and also take up a lot of time going back and forth with the designer to get things right. And even if they are able to get the website their business needs, they might think they’re going to have an even bigger headache when it comes to choosing the right kind of SEO services so their site gets found in the search engines. Grapefruit Marketing (www.thegrapefruit.co.uk), a London SEO company who have been achieving excellent results for their clients, say that SEO is so often only considered at the end of the process, when the best possible optimisation really should be at the very heart of any website design.
The reality is however, very different – it’s just that so many small business owners aren’t aware of their options, or once again, they don’t have the time to investigate the alternatives that would allow them to get an attractive website for not a huge amount of money.
With content management systems like WordPress, Drupal and Joomla, and thousands of high quality themes developed by designers all over the world (all of them easily customisable to get the unique look each owner wants), expensive, bespoke websites aren’t the only option for people who want something that’s really going to sell their business and give potential customers the right impression.
Spending only a small amount of time looking in the right places will turn up any number of experienced and cost-effective developers that can quickly and cheaply put together the kind of website that might look like it cost thousands, when it was really only a few hundred dollars.
While some small businesses might feel that having any kind of website up, no matter how bad it looks, is better than nothing, they could actually be doing more harm than good. Think about it, if you owned a flower shop, would you just throw your flowers in the window so people could see what you sell, and rely on them coming in to show them how you’d make them into a nice bouquet? If you run a restaurant or bar, does your menu just have pictures of the raw ingredients for the meals you serve, and the customer gets to see how beautifully put together their dish is only after they’ve ordered it? Hardly!
The design of a small business website deserves the same care and attention as any shop window or menu, or any other kind of marketing for that matter. In fact, most business experts would probably say that it deserves even more attention, since the number of people that search for a product or service online is growing every year, and your website might be the only chance you have of attracting new customers.
So, whatever the excuse has been in the past, whether it’s the time or the money, the fact that a well-designed website is only going to become more essential, not to mention that it’s now cheaper and easier to obtain, means that anybody who’s serious about the success of their enterprise should take a look at making their website the very best it can be. It could be one of the best business decisions they make.