There are many reasons a small company may feel that a website is not for them, usually it is because they don’t know where to turn to get some direction. So I am going to try and open your eyes to the possibilities the web and other technologies hold out to you if you are willing to listen to some free advice…. As a way to introduce myself I thought we would take a look at some rather far-fetched reasons why a small company might opt-out of having a website.

  1. You don’t have any customers or don’t want any. Sometimes this is how it seems to potential customers who are looking for you. Suppose I want to find a local Florist, where am I going to look? I’m going to turn to the web and do a search for florists in Trenton. It’s much easier and safer then risking paper cuts on the yellow pages. If a florist has decided that a web site is not for them, I may miss them altogether. One other nice thing about the web is that I can find information about their reputation as well. What do others think of you. It is in your best interest to place on the web, a site that shows your best side, and showcases your successes.
  2. You feel your customers know too much about you already. One of the first thing I look for on a local company’s website is an “About us” or “Contact Us” page. Usually it’s because I’m looking for a physical location I can go visit. Yes even though I’m a creature of the Web, I still enjoy touching the “merchandise” or meeting face to face with the people or company I will be dealing with. People in general want to know who you are, they want to be able to find these things out with-out jumping through hoops too.
  3. Your customers have never heard of the World Wide Web or are scared of the 21st century. Come on now, who are we kidding? Yes there are some who just don’t want anything to do with the web. There always will be, but keep in mind that the number of those who fit in this category are quickly dwindling. Are these the only people you want to reach? Most companies I know of are looking for the widest possible exposure. Don’t overlook the Web. Another thought to keep in mind is that the target age group for your business should not dictate whether or not you have a website, My mother, who is beyond retirement age, put together her own computer. The first time my preschool aged son spelled out his name was on a keyboard sitting in front of a computer.
  4. All my potential customers know where I’m located. There are very few businesses that can say that everyone in their community knows who they are or where they’re located. Even if you’re establishment has been around since 1612, there are always new customers and potential avenues for growth that may be missed without a Web presence. The sign outside your building probably cost you a small fortune. Why did you put it there? How much effort or money did you put into designing it? Would you think of running your business with out one? How about your business cards? It is safe to say that one of the reasons you have these things is that people expect them, the same can now be said of the Web and a website for your company.
  5. I’m not selling anything. Whether it’s mousetraps or ideas for improving them, you are offering something to others. Blogs have become the information source for many in your community, why not be a part of it? The florist I’m looking for may have spent a few moments of their time to post about the best flowers to give a sick friend or maybe they want to champion a “Beautify our highways with wild flowers!” campaign. As long as the message doesn’t get too militant, these insights into your companies opinions will draw potential customers to your door (or shopping cart.)

Maybe you can come up with a few more reasons why your company still does not have a website. Don’t waste too much time looking for them though, your competitors are snapping up customers that should be yours simply because they have made it easier for people to find them.

Next time I think I might take you on a voyage into the dark and scary world of bad web design and some simple rules to follow when building your own site.

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