The number of people starting small businesses is on the rise. People are choosing to go into business for themselves for a variety of reasons, but whatever your reasons for working for yourself, there are certain business areas that you must address. However, one thing you learn pretty quickly as a small business owner is that you have to wear many hats, meaning there are several areas of your business you may need to handle yourself, at least in the beginning. To be in business you must have some kind of accounting system, a sales process and, of course, a marketing plan. When you make the decision to go into business for yourself, in order to succeed you have to let your potential customers know you are there, that you are in business and what you can do for them. Your small business marketing plan is very important.
Your small business marketing plan starts with a website, but before you get started, follow these five steps.
The center of every small business marketing plan should be a website. Today 98% of consumers visit a business website before making contact or deciding to do business with them. So your website needs to be eye catching, it needs to be a lead magnet, it needs to draw web traffic, and it needs to function. Those are a lot of needs that have to be met. So getting some professional help with your website would be money well spent. But I understand for a small business owner (being a small business owner myself) that sometimes, especially in the beginning, the money is just not there. So you may have no choice but to do it yourself. Subscribe to our email list and we will provide some tips and best practices for your website and digital marketing. To subscribe, click here or text THEGRAPHICSHOUSE to 22828.
To get you started, here are five things to do before you build you website:
- Decide on the primary goal(s) for your website – What is your main reason for building your website? Do you plan to sell products online? Are you trying to give your business credibility by providing a place to get more information? Are you trying to establish the brand for your new company? These are just a few reasons for building a website. Knowing your objectives will let you know what you need to do next.
- Plan the content that will be needed for your website – If you plan on selling products you will need product photos. Your website will need written content, so plan on the information you need to include. If you don’t intend to write the content yourself, the copywriter you hire can use the info that you gather. If you have employees, you may want to include their bios and qualifications, so gather their resumes and photos.
- Do some basic keyword research (or hire someone to do it for you) – Doing some research on Google about your industry and your competitors will help you identify keywords to include on your website. Keywords are essential to your small business marketing plan because they will be used when building your site, but also in your other marketing. You will need to decide where to include keywords for optimal SEO (search engine optimization).
- Secure a domain name – Come up with a domain name (and a few alternates) and go ahead and purchase them. Your domain name can play a key role in your small business marketing. If your business has a unique name you want to make sure you grab that name if it is available. If not, you can decide on a name that is close. Once you decide on a domain name, you may want to consider purchasing the other extensions, .com, .org, .biz, .info.
- Decide whether to develop your website yourself or hire a web designer – There are a lot of options for building your website yourself. WordPress is a very popular site builder and content management system. Plus since so many people use it, there is a lot of support available. There are other templates and platforms where you can build your own site such as Wix, Weebly, or SquareSpace. If you don’t believe you can do this well, consider hiring a web designer. I know it may seem like an expense that can be avoided and money may tight for small business owners, especially in the beginning. But consider what your time is worth. Would your time be better spent developing the products and services for your business or struggling to build a website if that is something you are not good at? If it takes you three times as long to get it finished as it would take a professional web designer to build it, are your really coming out ahead? You may not be out of pocket for the money, but that time away from your business didn’t earn you any money either. Only you can decide the best use of your time.
To be in business today you need to have a website. These are just a few tips to get you started on the right foot.
Is your company’s website up and running? Is it meeting the goals that you set when you launched your website?
Whether you plan on hiring a web designer or building your website yourself, good content is necessary. My online course teaches you how to create great content or revise your website’s current content. Click here to learn more.
- Posted by sjwills
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