Moving to a new area can teach you a lot of things, but it wasn’t until I became an entrepreneur that I noticed it can also educate you about business. And more specifically about how fearful businesses can be about making changes.
I’ve been bit surprised at how many local businesses here in my corner of North Carolina don’t have a website. Yet, they are purchasing space in the Yellow Pages. Really?!
Don’t they know that people are more likely to use their yellow pages directory as a doorstop or booster seat than to actually open it to find a business these days? And I’m not exaggerating.
Business owners still clinging to this antique advertising method are either living in denial (and the dark ages) or allowing their lack of understanding or fear of the Internet to confine their business growth.
For example, if you’re a coffee shop or tanning salon in the Hickory/Conover area of North Carolina and you don’t have a website, you’re missing out on taking my money.
You’re missing out because I’m new to the area, haven’t made a ton of friends here yet and don’t have the time to make personal visits to a bunch businesses to try them out.
You want to know how to get your hands on my money?
Have an informative website. Give me directions. Include pricing and pictures of your business that I can access from my computer. Allow me to read recommendations by other coffee lovers or lily white redheads in need of a little color before the layers of winter clothing are discarded.
My time is valuable, so being able to make an informed decision about where I’m going to relax over coffee or get my tan on is important to me. I don’t have time to try every shop or salon in town.
Use your website to show me that your establishment is clean, relaxing, up-to-date, has wi-fi, and offers products to suit my needs. Show me that you’re a vibrant, growing business interested in your community and customers by keeping your website current and adding new content on a regular basis.
I’m hesitant to try out a place that hasn’t updated their website in months or even years. You want to know why? Because several times I’ve done so only to find out that the establishment is no longer there. Regular updates of some sort let me know you’re still an active business who wants me as a customer and you care about your business enough to be sure you’re web presence is fresh and new.
And take note. I’m not alone.
I’m not the only consumer out here that is looking for exactly the same things. In fact, I’d go out on a limb and say that most of your potential customers are looking for those things.
Stop making excuses and pretending that a business website isn’t necessary for your business. Realize that a business website allows you to reach more people and share more useful information with them than an expensive Yellow Pages ad ever could.
Do that and you’ll gain customers…and their money.
(If you think that building a business website is too expensive, too difficult or too much trouble, contact me today and I’ll share my secrets for easy, affordable business sites. )