If your small business or restaurant already has a website, you may want to skip this article.
According to a survey, about 1/3 of all businesses have websites.
My advice to those businesses that don't currently have websites is - it's time.
Why do so many retail stores and restaurants not have a web site?
Many small retailers feel that they don't have the technical expertise to set up a website.
Many small retailers believe that the cost is exorbitant.
Many managers and owners just don't have the time to even think about setting up a website.
Let's see if I can help you overcome your objections.
You really do need a website. It doesn't matter what type of business you own. Without a website, you don't exist (in the eyes of many people). Fewer people use the yellow pages to find your business. Your customers are searching the web to find you and to think otherwise is living in denial.
Let's say you own a small general store (called John's General Store). Why would John's need a website? People pass it by all the time. If they need bread or a carton of milk, they'll stop by and make a purchase.
Having a website presence allows your customers to find you on the net. Your customers can now go your website and find your location, address, directions, and your phone number. Your local customers can call you and ask you if you have milk, ice, or other items that they may desire. Your website presence takes the place of a listing in the phone book (or can enhance your phone book entry if you make reference to your website within the phone book).
Having just a one page website allows you to give your customers information that they may need in deciding to stop in your store. If you own a hardware store, you can list those items that people in your area may want. Add a list of the items that you sell on the front page of your website. People searching Google or Yahoo will find you.
How difficult is it to create a website? Many website hosting sites offer free templates. A website hosting site is owned by a company that places your website online so that other people can see it. You can choose a ready made template for your type of business. You add your business name, a little information about your company and you're all set.
If you are not technical, EziWorx offers website design, hosting and email to suit every budget.
Start small and grow. Start with a one page website. Take a digital photo of your business and place it on your web page. You may also want to add a photo of the inside of your business or perhaps some of the products that you sell. Add some photos of your staff and let people know more about your store. Add a list of items that you sell and you are all set.
You don't need to sell anything on the web (although you can, its like having a salesman 24/7). You just want people to know more about your retail store or restaurant.
If you want people to keep returning to your website, add some content. Add a little section to your website that has some exciting information about your retail store or restaurant. One week, you may want to offer a freebie with any purchase. Another week, you may offer a discount. Perhaps you can add a weekly contest. Anyone who has a cash register receipt invoice number ending with the number "5" gets a 10% discount the next time they come into your store. Or perhaps give a 10% discount during a certain time period.
If you own a clothing store, you can feature one great sale item each week. Just take a picture of the item with your digital camera and post it on your web site. Give 50% off on a certain item each week. That will get people to keep returning to your website and returning to your store.
How much does a website cost?
Pricing starts from as little as $150.00 for a single page, hosting from $28 a month including email (Business Package) and Domain Registration from $20.00 year. Obviously you can get cheaper if you have the skills but this pricing would suit most small to medium business.
Here's a couple of places that can get you started.
Microsoft offers FREE websites for your small business. It won't cost you a penny and it comes with FREE templates (pre-designed pages) to help you get started.
Is That Website Down?
Have you ever gone to a website and it doesn't work?
Is the problem with you, your computer, or is the website down?
To find out, go to this website which will tell you if it is down for everyone or just you: