If this were my father asking if he needed a website, I’d say no. He’s a small business owner, too, a solopreneur. He’s been entrepreneurial his whole life and it’s no different ‘in retirement’. He left his full-time job with the City five years ago, but continues to run his handyman business on the side.
Way back when he began offering his services, he placed an ad in the classified section of the local newspaper. He hasn’t advertised since and the man still turns down work. Thing is, he doesn’t want to reach a wider audience. His customers are educated about his exceptional work via word of mouth. He doesn’t need to bring in more money.
If clients are coming to you steadily, you don’t want to grow and you don’t need to increase revenues, you don’t need a website.
If your business is in continual need for new customers or you want to make more money or grow your business, you do need a vehicle of attraction. Which is what your website is. It educates potential and existing clientele about you, your products or services and the impact they make.
Education and marketing go hand in hand when it comes to your business. Pre-internet, it was on the purchaser to ask the right questions or do a ton of legwork to ensure impartial decision-making. Not only are customers seeking that information more conveniently, it’s powering purchase decisions with many doing research online before making the buy.
But my client can call for more information…
Some telephone and internet companies are now offering data for cheaper than voice for mobile devices. Which is an incredibly strong indicator that folks would rather look up information on the internet than get on the phone. Additionally, they likely need to go online to look up your phone number.
On top of that, who answers the phone has a big influence on the customer’s purchase decisions. If it’s a bad day, the information isn’t handy, or worse, they have to leave a message, you may lose that customer’s consideration.
When I was looking for a chiropractor, the local office didn’t have a website that shared pricing or appointment scheduling options. So I called. Left a message. Called again. Left another message. During office hours, mind you. When I did finally reach someone, on a third call in as many weeks, they blew off my concerns about no one returning my previous attempts. Which means they also didn’t care that I’d been three weeks without chiropractic help. That is far too much work for this customer.
But I have a Facebook page…
A Facebook page is essential to digital marketing but you don’t own that platform. Your business information is subject to the medium’s communication and distribution. You must communicate your information within the template that Facebook provides every business and then you must work with the algorithms to distribute your posts.
In order to effectively show your audience your posts and information, you must pay to play by purchasing advertising. Which isn’t necessarily guaranteeing audience love if your posts and page don’t stand out from the competition or constantly provide value.
Facebook has shut down business pages for real and imagined transgressions, too, which negates all contact with your audience on that platform. If you haven’t downloaded your information from your page, you could lose everything you’ve shared.
Advertisements are also subject to rules which may not be apparent. Negative terminology, too much text in the ad, talking about ‘you’ too often instead of ‘I’… I once ran an ad to a free downloadable cookbook which wasn’t approved due to political content. I was baffled, wondering if moose meat burgers were offensive. I asked for a review and was approved but the point is still made. You are not in control of your information on Facebook or any other social platform.
But I don’t want to blog…
No one says you constantly have to update or write new information for your website. It’s helpful, yes, especially for SEO and to give customers a reason to return to your site.
The most important part of your site is effectively educating your customers about your business. You don’t need a blog or fancy bells and whistles to get the job done.
A website offers many opportunities for marketing, but all you really need is simple maintenance:
- Create your site.
- Purchase an automated backup tool to back up your site on a regular basis – I use UpDraftPlus.
- Check in once a week or every second week to ensure the website doesn’t need updates and is running fine.
- Once a season, ensure the information on your site is correct and all the links work.
With the advent of accessible data at our fingertips, the customer is much more in charge of product information. Part of our job as business owners is to give them access to that product information so they can make that purchase.
If my father had late in life aspirations of growing his handyman business, a website would be his basic starting point. And it should be yours, too, if you seek customers and growth for your business.
Wondering where to build your website? Check out my article exploring three of the top content management systems: Wix, Squarespace and WordPress.