Does YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD Business Need a Website?

If you wish to attract customers, the answer’s a no-brainer.

Websites are possibly the most overlooked vehicle of advertising for local, owner-operated businesses. Yes, every retailer needs one. Every dentist, lawyer, accountant and minister needs one. Every café, restaurant, restaurant and nightclub needs one. Every wholesale supply company needs one.

I’m not suggesting that these businesses have to actually transact online business. I’m only saying that everyone listed in yesterday’s Yellow Pages must also be accessible on the web today–it’s where your visitors be prepared to find you.

If you are thinking you will possibly not manage to afford adding a website, reconsider. For a straightforward website, a budget of $2,000 to $5,000 for construction and $100 to $400 for monthly maintenance and updates should cover it. Robust sites with streaming video, opt-in subscriber functions and other, more difficult features can run between $12,000 and $20,000 for construction and $500 to $2,000 for monthly maintenance and updates.

Properly constructed, a website allows your prospects to assemble the information they want from the privacy of their own computer monitors. What exactly are the questions your salespeople answer just about any day? And how, exactly, would your very best salesperson phrase those answers on his / her best day? It is the information that should be available 24/7 on your own site.

Think of your website as a relationship deepener, a half step in the middle of your advertising and your entry way. Do you suppose it’s simpler to convince customers to go to your web site or even to convince them to enter their car, drive to your store, park that car and walk in your door?

The web is heaven on the planet for the 49 percent of our population who are introverted. That’s because introverts strongly prefer to assemble information anonymously. They’re unlikely to dial your contact number, except as a final resort. A lot more unlikely is that they can choose to head into your store and engage a salesperson. Introverts aren’t necessarily shy–they simply prefer to gather all of the facts before they put themselves ready where they’ll be asked to answer questions. Forty-nine percent of your visitors strongly prefer to learn what they’re arriving at buy before they walk in your door. And even the extroverted 51 percent of your marketplace will appreciate an informative site that functions as a specialist salesperson during those hours you are not open for business.

Don’t believe for an instant that your visitors aren’t already online. Many times a month, I talk with sets of at least several hundred people. And I usually ask, "Just how many of you have used search engines within the past a week to research something or service that you were considering purchasing?" I raise my very own hand when the question is completed. The hands raised in response haven’t been significantly less than 85 to 90 percent of the crowd.

The most interesting of the situations happened in regards to a year ago in NEVADA. I was the keynote speaker for a trade organization whose 1,600 delegates have been gathered from all over the world. I was there to provide a speech on the keys to far better advertising. The trade organization published a full-color magazine for his or her members, and ahead of this conference, the executive council have been complaining if you ask me privately about the high cost of publishing and shipping that magazine. I was waiting offstage as the emcee introduced me when the chairman leaned over and whispered, "Virtually all our membership has ended 55 years, and that means you probably don’t want to say the web." Just then, the emcee finished his jabber and barked, "Roy H. Williams!" I opened my mouth and asked this roomful of oldsters, "Just how many of you have used search engines within the past a week to research something or service that you were considering purchasing?" You guessed it, about 95 percent.

I believe maybe that chairman continues to be standing offstage along with his mouth open.

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