When I was out this morning for my morning walk I noticed that a small tyre repair business which I pass on my route had a nice new web address emblazoned on the side of the owner’s van.
I resolved to take a look at the site when I got home because I am a secret admirer of this little business and have seen it start in the rural area where I live in probably the most difficult economic climate since the foundation of the state.
Despite the difficulties of starting a business in Ireland today, I have seen this little business progress from a shed beside a rural bungalow to two sheds, new equipment and genuine progress and a growing customer base.
And I had decided that if he ever needed a website for his business..well perhaps he would consider my company. But it appeared I had missed the boat-someone else got in before me.
When I got home I fired up the computer and discovered that the web address had no website but the standard message from GoDaddy that the domain had been registered. I checked out the registered owner of the domain name and discovered it was registered to a UK web design company.
I then visited the website of this company and when I checked out their prices I was astonished and incredibly angry.
There is a screenshot below and you will see the prices for yourself-a 2 page website for Stg£499 for example and if you take a look at the “non inclusions” in this service you will see that this does not even include submission of the site to Google. There may well be other hidden extras (eg hosting) also.
Check out the price of a 10 page site-Stg£1,099 with NO Google submission.
I shudder to think what the overall cost of these packages would be with hidden extras included and this is for a 2 page website.
So I resolved to go directly to the owner and tell him that if he had not yet paid for a site he could save himself a lot of money and avoid being ripped off.
When I got chatting to him he told me that he had already paid them €200 and they had done nothing for him. And to add insult to injury they had registered the domain name, which is geographically specific to our small, rural parish in their own name, not in the name of the small business owner.
To make matters worse he had been inundated with phone calls from all sorts of boiler room operations attempting to sell him virus removal software and so forth. I suspect that his web design company had sold his email and contact details to similar boiler room, cold calling operations because he was receiving a spate of these calls in the last couple of weeks since divulging his details to the web design company.
We are now going to build a nice little website for him which meets the requirements of his business-it will be simple, basic and cost effective but exactly what he needs and wants at this point in time.
And he will have a .ie domain name with the exact phrase that he wants and needs for the domain name for his new site.
Seeing hard working, progressive small business owners being ripped off like this is difficult. Unfortunately many unscrupulous operations will take advantage of the ignorance and lack of knowledge of someone like this who understands the tyre repair business but who has no knowledge of internet marketing or websites.
To avoid this happening to you take your time, suss out the website designer/company and take the time to speak to them, check around for recommendations and previous work and don’t be taken for a ride by fast talking, high pressure cold callers.
Filed under Small Business Web Design
If your business does not have a website you are missing out on many opportunities to grow your business.
There are many reasons why a website is absolutely to the continued success of your business; lets take a look at 6.
1) Permanent billboard
Your website serves as a permanent billboard and form of advertising for your business, even when you are asleep.
It will be working away on behalf of your business 24 hours a day 7 days a week and does not require (nor is entitled to) annual leave, smoking breaks, rest breaks or any other type of break.
Once you build it (or have it built) it will work for your ceaselessly at a very cost effective price.
2) Professional appearance
The vast majority of people nowadays expect any business that is serious about it’s work to have a website.
Not having a site may lead your potential customer or client to wonder just how serious you are about your business if you don’t make the small investment in a professional presence.
3) Contact details
Your site, if designed properly, should have your contact details writ large and make it as easy as possible for potential customers to contact you to make an enquiry, obtain a quotation or purchase a product or service.
4) Relationship building
Run properly, your business website can help you build a good, positive relationship with your existing customers and potential new ones.
This can be easily done in a number of ways such as through email marketing through the use of an autoresponder service such as provided by Aweber.
5) Business growth
Your website, if built correctly, can be a significant catalyst for new client acquisition as it will reach potential audiences which are not possible to reach through traditional advertising such as newspapers, local magazines and so forth.
6) Great ROI
The return on investment in a cleverly built website will be enormous because of it’s ability to build trust with existing customers and to help you acquire new leads.
The cost of web hosting can be less than €10 per month and a domain name can also cost you less than €10 for a year.
There are many other reasons why having a website is essential for a progressive business in 2011 and the relatively small cost of doing so makes this one no brainer of a decision which will repay you many times over.