The ins-and-outs of websites for Retail business owners. Learn if, why, when and how to build a website for your business.
Having a website today is pretty much a must for every business! Before you panic, you should know that it’s actually a good thing and most definitely does not mean that you need to invest thousands or dollars (or even hundreds) and hire a web design firm. Building a website can be easy, cheap and actually fun!
Why do I need to be online? For a whole number of reasons. For starters, your website is another channel where potential customers can find you. If a customer loses your phone number, you want to make sure that customer can find your name online through searching.
Additionally, many, many people across the country are looking for local services and contractors on the internet. If you don’t have a website, you won’t be found. The numbers also show that businesses who have a web presence are expected to grow a lot faster over the next 3 years than those that don’t.
If you’re still unsure as to why you need a website or feel that your target demographic isn’t online, take a look at this blog post by Bluehost. It’s pretty convincing!
How do I actually build a website and what sort of investment will I have to make?
Not much! If you’re fairly internet savvy and have some spare time on your hands (as little as 2-3 hours) you can get your site up for no cost at all. We want to recommend two sites that will make this super easy and quick:
a. Get Your Business Online (GYBO) by Google: http://www.gybo.com/. Google is on a mission to get as many small business owners online as possible. GYBO walks you through every step of building your own site and Google+ page (see more about Google+ in Social Media article and SEO article). The cost of the website is free for one year.
b. Wix. With http://www.wix.com/ you can create a beautiful website without the need for any technical skills & totally for free. There are premium plans too if you're looking for something more serious. What’s especially nice about Wix is that they have pre-designed templates for many contracting services like Plumbers, Handymen, Movers & Landscapers.
What do I need to have on my website? You can think of your website like an online business card. All of your essential information needs to be up there and that includes your company’s name, logo, contact information, quality photos of your work and a bit about your business.
In many instances, your website is going to be the first impression a potential client has of your business. Therefore you want it to look nice. Both Wix and Google’s GYBO have great templates you can choose from and have support sections that can give you really helpful tips and insights.
Definitely keep in mind though that when someone looks to hire a labor contractor, for anything from roof repair to hardwood floor installation, there will be many more important factors to consider (such as price, time frame, workmanship, etc) than the way your website looks.
What If I don’t want to build a website myself? Even if you are going to hire a professional to build your site for you, there are ways to do it without having to pay an arm and leg. One great way is to buy a template ahead of time. You can find really nice premium Wordpress templates, or themes, for $50-$100 dollars. There are some very nice examples on StudioPress. Once you buy your theme, all you need to do is have someone instal it for you and plugin your content. Since the design aspect is all taken care of, you’ll save a lot of money.
Have questions about Websites? We’d love to hear them! Send them directly to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. You can also contact us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn where we are always listening!