A Website – Your Businesses Online Shopfront
There was a time when running your own business website was optional, but these days, having an effective website is as important as having a phone number!
The Internet is used all around the world which means your website is a global gateway where you can promote your business to many customers at a very low cost. Marketing yourself online is an excellent way to launch and market your business.
The main duties of your website should be to build a list of potential customers or clients, give visitors a description of your products and services, share prices and terms, modes of payment, your business’ location, operating hours, and contact details.
Depending on your industry, your website may be where you carry out transactions and chat with potential customers in real time.
The Advantages of a Website
- Your customers will not only include people or companies from your local or nearby area but will also include buyers from other region or even from other countries.
- A website provides and confirms credibility and professional image to your business.
- It provides the customers convenience in knowing about you and your business, taking a look at your products or services, comparing prices, asking queries, and purchasing online.
- Existing and new customers can be updated on your business’ new or improved products or services and give you comments or feedback.
- A website provides you access to advertising tools like mailing lists and email newsletters which can help you save printing and postage costs. This is a good money-saving complement to your marketing printouts.
- You would not need to spend additional money to update or modify your website.
- You would be able to view the number of website visitors, the time they spend on checking your site, and the pages they usually visit. These are important information in improving your product or service and the website itself.
- You may not be operating 24 hours in your store or office but your website is actually open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, anywhere around the globe!
John arrived home late one night when he remembered about his wife’s birthday the next day. He had not bought a gift and worse, all stores were already closed! He initially thought of ordering flowers but then, it was too late to order by phone.
What he did was he searched online for ‘florists’. In just a few clicks, he was able to locate a local flower shop, ordered a bouquet of his own choice of arrangement, and paid it through credit card. He requested them to deliver the flowers to his wife’s office the next morning.
Feeling delighted, he decided to add more of his surprise and search on the internet his wife’s favourite – ‘French restaurants’. He found a listing and decided to book a reservation online for a dinner date on a newly opened restaurant after checking the photos and menu on their website.
John is satisfied. He was able to order flowers and book a romantic dinner as a surprise for her wife’s birthday at the comfort of his chair. Most of all, his wife will be pleased that he had not forgotten!
There are hundreds of available DIY websites to help you create your own website. You should be careful in selecting the design. It should not be too flashy and the colours should be eye-friendly.
On the other hand, you may hire a web designer. If you would choose this option, make sure you are shown how to update and maintain the website yourself. Being forced to pay for (and wait for) a web designer to make even minor changes to your site can get expensive and frustrating pretty quickly.
You may choose either of these two choices, but always ensure your website:
- Showcases your business image
- Has a professional look and feel
- Addresses your customers’ frequently asked questions about your products or services
- Includes relevant, accurate, and helpful contents
- Is easy to find, fast to load, and simple to navigate
- Is updated and maintained regularly.
Understand your goal. What do you want your website to do?
Consider your audience. Who would likely visit your site? What will attract them? What contents and features are they searching for?
Check other websites and see what does and doesn’t apply, as well as the functions that should and should not be included on your business website.
Determine your budget. Identify how much it would cost on creating your own website and hiring a web designer.
NOTE: This month we’re holding a limited number of Free Business Strategy Sessions designed to show business owners how they can manage and grow their enterprises with the least amount of cost and disruption possible.
Would you like to join us?
James HuyVuong is a CPA and the owner of Your Accounting Partners. Partnering with businesses from start to scale thru to sale.