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This isn’t backed by any hard data, but I’ll bet that if you asked artists, makers, and small business owners what the the most dreaded items on their to-do lists are, “find someone to help me get the website my business needs” would be right up there with “ask my accountant about my taxes” (or “find an accountant to ask about my taxes”).
Picking a web designer has a lot in common with buying a car: it can be a big financial commitment, the options are overwhelming, and at the end of the deal you often aren’t sure whether you got what you wanted to buy or what the person on the other side of the deal wanted to sell you. Fortunately in both cases it’s pretty easy to pick out the good guys, because they’re the ones asking you the most questions.
There’s a scene in the movie There’s Something About Mary that has Ben Stiller’s character picking up a hitchhiker. This hitchhiker brings with him a duffle bag that is suspiciously similar in size and shape to a human body, and a scheme to hit it big by shaving a minute off of the popular 8-minute abs workout: Seven. Minute. Abs. He is convinced that people will be falling all over each other at the chance to save a minute. And he was right: according to an unscientific Google search the fastest ab workout out there today is 2 minutes. Now we’re talking.
I promise, this is related to building small business websites.
It’s become almost a matter of faith that every business needs a website. It’s so easy, there’s really no excuse not to have one, right? I agree that the vast majority of businesses can benefit from having a presence on the internet that they control, with the tiny little stipulation that a bad website can be worse than none at all.
Your website needs to reflect the strengths, values, and unique selling proposition of your business; it needs to be kept up to date and be filled with content that is valuable to your customers; and its design needs to meet the expectations of your customers. This is beginning to sound less and less easy.
There are so many ways to get your business online today that it can be easy to overlook one of the most basic, and most important things you can do to make your website work for your business: getting your own domain name.
When you can get facebook.com/yourbusiness, yourbusiness.sqaurespace.com, or yourbusiness.wordpress.com for free or for no extra charge, what makes getting www.yourbusiness.com worth it? Continue reading “Four Ways a Website isn’t Enough: Why your Business Needs a Domain Name”…
If you’re trying to decide what the best eCommerce platform is for your handmade business, I’ve got good news, and I’ve got bad news. Let’s start with good: if you make things and want to sell them online, these are your salad days, your golden age of opportunity. It seems like every day there’s a new eCommerce platform out there designed to help artists and makers put their wares up for sale online and build a business with a global customer base. All you need to do is pick the best one. Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you, that’s the bad news too.
I’m a big believer in reading what other people in your field (and out of it) are saying, and as a result I’m subscribed to about 1,637 email newsletters/blog digests/daily summaries and such. One of the updates that came in the other day looked interesting so I loaded it up in my web browser and started reading. And then I went insane.