More people are searching online for local products and services than ever before and that number is still growing. If they are anything like me, the old-fashioned paper directories do little more than take up valuable space in my drawer and eventually find their way into the trash. As a small business owner, taking advantage of the multitude of online shoppers should be an easy choice.
Worried about the cost? While there can be a substantial up front cost to building a website, maintaining it over time is quite inexpensive. Year after year, you can have an online presence for less than $100 a year, plus the low cost of keeping the content fresh.
Be available at all times: A website gives your customers and potential customers a way to find you and contact you at any time. A website doesn’t have business hours and isn’t closed on Sundays. If you offer products for sale on your website, you can make sales even while on vacation! A website never closes.
Having a quality website will add credibility to your business. More people are doing their research before spending their hard earned money. If your potential customers can go to your website and learn more about you, you are building a relationship with them before they even set foot in your door. (Likewise, a poorly designed website can hurt your credibility, so make sure you do it right!)
Give your business that personal touch: You can showcase your family and involvement in the community. This builds trust and loyalty and inspires people to want to do business with you.
Get a lot of questions from your customers? Offer them an easy way to find the answers at any time with a Frequently Asked Questions page. If they can’t find the answer they are looking for, give them an easy option to reach you. E-mail forms are a great way to get people to contact you. They are inviting and easy to use. They help take the stress out of shopping by allowing the customer to ask questions in a no-pressure setting.
Many shoppers like to ask questions or get information about a company before leaving their house. Offering your customers a way to do this will improve the chances that they will come to you when they do decide to buy.