How To Create A Great Website For Your Small Business
It’s not easy being an entrepreneur with a home-based small business. You knew things would be difficult when you started, but that didn’t stop you. In fact, you relish a challenge. Working hard helps you get creative, motivated, and busy.
But as you daydream about fresh orders and new products or services to offer, you need to make sure you have a great website. In today’s modern age, having a site is much more than just a cool feature. It’s become as necessary as a sign outside of a store. For some small businesses, a great website is the store! Read on to learn more about why you need a website — and how to make it great.
Your Online Presence Matters
As Redfin notes, running a small business from home is not an easy task. Sure, you may not have a store to clean and pay for. But you still need to have a great workspace, the right technology, and the strength to deal with all the distractions that come with working from home.
Included in all that is the need for a strong online presence through a website. Even if it feels a bit intimidating to you, this is something you absolutely need to have. The Balance explains that people find businesses online just like people used to do with phone books; if they need something, they look for a website. This is so true that some customers won’t contact a small business who doesn’t have a website.
A site for your small business also helps you find new leads, collect data on your customers, and get sales that would otherwise pass you buy.
Making A Great Website
If a website is necessary to your small business’ success, what do you need to do? You need to focus on two parts of a site: the look and the copy.
Before you start hunting down free graphics, you need a brand strategy that guides how your website will look and what it will offer. Your website is one part of your marketing plan, so make sure you understand what your brand is (and is not) about. Use that strategy to guide choices like colors, fonts, and graphical elements.
Copy is the same as in any marketing effort. It’s the words and content you put on your website. That means it needs to focus on your customers, not you. As you write content, make sure it’s customer-centered. That means giving information and benefits to the readers by using clear English, summaries of benefits, and no hype. You’re selling to a customer through your website, not bombarding them with ads or industry terms.
Don’t forget that you’ll need to update your website frequently. If someone sees your site hasn’t been updated in a year, they’ll assume you’re no longer in business.
Hosting Is Another Matter
You developed a brand strategy and wrote some killer copy. Now what? Before you can start generating leads, you have to find someone to host your website.
Hosting is another term for publishing content on the web, so a hosting company is one that lets visitors reach your website (and by extension, reach you). Inc.com has a great list of features to look for in a website hosting company to make sure your site works well. Make sure the company has live support in case of emergencies, daily backups to recover lost data, and an uptime guarantee.
Build Your Website
For a small business based in your home, having a website is crucial. It lets you reach customers and even serves as your store. Create a brand strategy first, then create copy that’s focused on your customers. Once you’ve found a great company to host your site, your small business is ready to take it to the next level.