Reasons to Not Consider a Website

Does that sound like a strange title of a blog post from a website developer?  Granted, there is some sarcasm in my words.  Here’s a list of reasons some business owners shared with me about why they do not need a website:

a.    I am about to retire.
b.    We are changing our name.
c.    Our business is being sold.
d.    The company will not be in business much longer
e.    I only give my website out to my customers.
f.    That’s handled out of our Corporate office (click).
g.    I am a manufacturer’s rep…I work for dealers/distributors only.
h.    We are a wholesaler…we work directly with only retailers.

All of these reasons, while the business owner may really believe they have some relation to a lack of need to consider a website, all suffer from the same flaw: they are illogical.  If the business owner woke up, went to work, and opened their office….in short, if they answered their phone…then they should – at a minimum – consider how a website could help them grow their business.

As a business owner, does it not stand to reason that one should be open-minded to any opportunity that exists that might enable expansion of business or provide expansion or additional stability to the client base, regardless of what extraneous circumstances might be going on with the business?

After all, you are still in business, right?

At least for now.

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How Much Does a Website Cost?

How much does a house cost? A new truck? A new piece of machinery? It depends, doesn’t it?

No doubt, these are all significant financial decisions, and the final price tag is something that affects the kind of item a consumer might decide on. But in all of these cases, the answer to the “cost” question depends on a lot of different things – mostly what the consumer wants included in the item. And more than likely, the first response to the “cost” question must be “well, how much do you want to spend?” or “what price range is in your budget?”.

Yet, when a website developer answers the “cost” question by asking what is in a potential customer’s budget, the potential customer invariably thinks the website developer is asking because he intends to gouge the customer for as much as possible. Why?

And consider this. If a consumer were to find a realtor that would answer the “how much does it cost” question without asking you for any more information, what would the consumer think when he told him a price that was more than he thought he could afford? What if this was you? If the realtor said, “well I can sell you a house that costs $300,000” and you knew it was about twice what you wanted to spend? You would probably respond with something like, “Well, that’s too expensive. Can you help me find a house around $150,000?” What you would NOT think is, “Wow…that realtor was trying to take advantage of me. I better go find another realtor that is willing to sell me a less expensive house.”

Here’s the difference in how most business owners look at the website in comparison to how most consumers look at the other financial decisions previously mentioned: when one goes to buy the house, he is a consumer who has already decided that he will likely make a purchase of some kind. With the website, however, many business owners ask the “cost” question with the intent of factoring the answer into whether or not he will continue considering. This is where the shift must occur. Some even ask how much something costs for the main purpose of saying “no thank you, that’s too much.” What they really ought to be asking at this point is, “What do you think a website can do to increase my business?” Followed by a discussion about what they want and need in a website and how much it will cost to create it, based on their desires. Eventually, like all other business purchases, a decision can be made on a cost/value basis.

You must first embrace the fact that you must have a website to continue to do business. Only after you have accepted this fact will you then be able to approach the decisions about a website from the proper perspective, only then will you be able to discuss the feature and benefits you want in a website in an effective way, and only then will a developer be able to provide you with the high-level of service – like what you receive from the realtor – and help you make the correct decisions about a website that will function for your business while also falling within the confines of your pocketbook.

An Example of how to begin using Social Networking to Promote your Blog and your Business

I am often asked, “Why do you belong to social networking sites? Aren’t those for kids?” In reality, Social Networking sites can actually be very useful tools to build and promote your business, and today I want to talk about just one example of how.

It has been my practice, since October of last year, to dedicate time and effort into developing an informative and useful blog – the one you are reading – focused on the topics of Internet marketing and website development. The main objective has been the promotion of my website development and Internet marketing business. To do so, however, requires a strict focus of attention to offering useful and powerful information to my readers. After you begin writing this kind of information, though, you need to actually find the people who will read it. Everyday, I am searching for ways to promote the blog and increase my audience.

Recently, a fellow blogger by the name of Tom Volkar set me on the trail of a powerful Facebook application called Blog It. Facebook is a social networking site as I referenced above, and different people and companies develop all sorts of “applications” that can be added to your Facebook account to do a wide variety of different things. This particular application, Blog It, actually helps to promote my blog. Here’s how:

Once I installed the Blog It application into my Facebook account (please feel free to connect with me in Facebook by going to the About page of this blog and clicking on the Facebook badge), I linked Blog It to my actual blog. I now had a way of connecting all of my Facebook “friends” to my blog. Every time I post to my blog using the Blog It application, all of my 96 friends are notified that a new blog post has been added. It’s that simple.

And the technical support available from Six Apart through the Facebook / Blog It Discussion Group is incredible. I give kudos specifically to Bryan Tighe at Six Apart for monitoring this discussion board and responding very quickly to everyone’s questions and concerns.

This is just one example of the potential power of the increasingly popular social networking sites, and one way you can begin to employ that power. Social Networking on the web….not just for kids anymore!

Published in: on May 7, 2008 at 3:07 AM  Comments (2)  
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Who Makes Your Business Decisions?

Have you ever wondered what decisions your receptionist might be making for you?

Your initial reaction may be to say; “My receptionist doesn’t make any decisions for me. I make my own decisions.” But perhaps you should not be so sure. I call small businesses every day to promote my services, and one of the most troubling responses I get is “No, my boss wouldn’t be interested in a website.”

First, ask yourself these questions:

Is having a dynamic and results-producing website something that I do intend for sometime in the future?

Do I intend to ever sell products online?

Do I intend to ever offer access to my services online?

Do I intend to ever use the power of the Internet to reach tens of thousands of customer that no longer use the yellow pages?

If the answer is no, then you should do some research on the power of web presence. I think it will surprise you. Every day, more and more businesses get “on line,” and at some point soon, businesses will not be able to survive without a web presence.

But if you answered yes to the above questions, then how will your receptionist ever know when that time has finally come? How will she know when it is time to let the gate open and allow the website developer access to you?

It is entirely too easy for the receptionist to say “no” to a salesperson. Perhaps she remembers that you quickly dismissed several calls from website developers in the past by possibly grunted something like “I don’t have time for that right now.” But she does not necessarily understand the reasons why you may have made that comment, and may not understand that, at some point, you do intend to get a website.

And what if the guy on the other end of the phone, tomorrow morning, is the right guy? What if he is the quickest, easiest, most affordable and most effective way to get online? That’s what I offer, and I could be calling. But you never get to hear about it or talk to me because of your receptionist’s unrefined and less than strategic screening process?

We all understand that it is the receptionist’s job to minimize distractions and unnecessary interruptions for the people working in his/her office, and to do her job effectively, she must limit access to her co-workers. However, there is a fine line that should not be crossed when it comes to allowing the true decision-makers to make the important decisions about the business, and too many Gatekeepers cross that line and exercise control that is not theirs to exercise, only because they have not been adequately informed.

If you think this might be happening, a conversation with your receptionist might be in order. If you feel you do not have the time to investigate it or to instruct your receptionist…I wonder how many important decisions are never even making it to your desk?

Some Good News

Dealer Depot is a brand new client, and after just 60 days their new website has delivered for them in a big way. They are a wholesale supplier of building materials, and their office and warehouse are located in the small town of Monongahela, in Southwestern Pennsylvania. When I first met with them they had a site that wasn’t working for them because it was not developed by a professional. Their website offered limited information, was not properly optimized, and was seldom if ever visited by the search engines.

In the middle of February, they hired us and three days later, we had a site up and running which had a more professional look and feel. By the end of the first week, we had begun adding product listings to the site, and by the end of 30 days, a complete and comprehensive site was published. Web site optimization was complete within 3 additional days, and by the end of the 35th day from start date, a fully functional and optimized site was submitted to the Search Engines.

And less than 60 days from the day we started, I received a call yesterday from Dealer Depot who was calling to inform me that they had just acquired 2 new customers from the West Coast. They wanted to know how and why? I told them that the details are not important, but the “why” is because you hired Power On The Web to develop your site and manage the Internet marketing and online promotion of it.

So, how fast can we get a professional website up and running? Sooner than you might think. How quickly can we get businesses positive and measurable results, with our web solution? Sometimes within weeks. So, what are you waiting for? Call Clem for a no obligation walk-through today at 724-263-6611.

Published in: on April 8, 2008 at 1:50 AM  Leave a Comment  
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“But I don’t use a computer!”

All too often, a business owner makes the mistake of assuming that, because (s)he does not use a computer, a website is not a good way to market his/her company.  Of all the concerns I hear when calling on small and medium sized businesses to dicuss their internet marketing and web solution needs, this is one of the most common among companies that have been around for a while.  Let’s face it…fifteen years ago, they probably did not need a computer to run their business, and they did not need a website to market their business either, right?  But what we must also face is that the world is changing.  As Thomas Friedman would say, “The World is Flat,” and computers and technology have put instant information at our fingertips while also making it AS easy to make a purchase from the store down the street as it is to make a purchase from the store on the other side of the globe.  And as more and more people use computers, companies make the daily discovery that these people are their customers.  So, business owners are forced to ask themselves, “Does it MATTER if I use a computer, when so many of my customers do?”  And, of course, the answer is no…it doesn’t.  As I always say, “If you aren’t selling where your customers are buying, then they are buying from someone else.”  Frankly, your web-savvy customers could care LESS whether you use a computer or not.  What they DO care about is finding the product, service, or information they want as quickly as possible.  And if you aren’t there to give them what they want, they will get it elsewhere.

So you don’t use a computer?  No problem.  POTW not only will assist you in developing and designing your web site, but as part of our web solution services, we also offer discounted rates for preferred customers to continually maintain and update your site without breaking your pocketbook.  And as part of every website we develop, we commit tutorial hours to educating the interested and willing customer on how to use POTW’s extremely user-friendly web design interface software.  In a matter of a few brief hours, we will have you tech-savvy….at least when it comes to your website.