Home Forums Marketing mastery Are you one of the 65% of Aust. businesses w/out a website? What’s stopping you?

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 175 total)
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  • #1067111
    FionaFell
    Member
    • Total posts: 342

    As a website designer, I would love everyone to have a website.

    But so many of my small business clients, and even more of my solo-entrepreneuerial clients, don’t have websites before I start helping them.

    Way to many get scared, so don’t ask for advice. And too many designers/developers in the region frown down at them if they ask questions that the pro thinks is ‘silly’ and for not having thousands of dollars in their coffers to spend on a whim.

    • Websites don’t need to cost the earth. (For small business the earth is a much smaller number than for corporates!)
    • Websites do need to make the business owner money
    • Websites need to be simple. (For owner and visitor)

    I guess I prefer to be the person who answers questions in plain English. Business English. And then see if a website is helpful for their own circumstances, goals and desires.

    #1067112
    Heather Cox
    Member
    • Total posts: 13

    Websites can be a huge part of Word of Mouth too! Links to a company website in a Facebook post about a great service or product is a great endorsement, and can’t happen if you don’t have a website.

    I’m totally behind your crusade to make small business understand the value of being online – there might not be a measurable ROI, but then you wouldn’t be without business cards, would you? It’s part of the cost of doing business.

    #1067113
    The Copy Chick
    Member
    • Total posts: 963

    Appreciate the support Heather :)

    I definitely think giving offline businesses a forum to learn more and ask questions is a good place to start… after all, you don’t know what you don’t know.

    #1067114
    JaneB
    Member
    • Total posts: 324

    There is a presumption here that businesses want to grow.

    Some don’t. Some are quite happy with the status quo or with their business slowly growing via WOM.

    I have a nephew who is a carpenter and is very web savvy. But he doesn’t have a website. When I asked him why he looked aghast and said that he had all the work he could handle.

    Lots of small businesses are quite happy being small.

    #1067115
    OneArmedGraphics
    Member
    • Total posts: 314
    The Copy Chick, post: 83411 wrote:
    In this day and age, as a consumer, it blows me away that more than half of Australian businesses don’t have an online presence and I’d like to find out more.

    Hi Anna, just interested to know where the 65% figure came from?
    Regards,
    Robbie

    #1067116
    Cesar
    Member
    • Total posts: 591
    JaneB, post: 83627 wrote:
    I have a nephew who is a carpenter and is very web savvy. But he doesn’t have a website. When I asked him why he looked aghast and said that he had all the work he could handle.

    Lots of small businesses are quite happy being small.

    Excellent point JaneB, there are many small businesses that have built up enough clientele by referrals that already keeps them booked in advance and can hardly keep up with the work.

    Perfect example is my mechanic and auto-electrician who are always booked one to two weeks in advance and would not be able to handle any extra business. What a Bummer!!! All this built by word of mouth.

    Not every business requires an online presence, especially if you already have a large and “Happy” customer base. “Happy” = More Free Referrals

    I’m a big believer in my favourite three words for success, Service, Service and Service…

    #1067117
    WhereAreThey
    Member
    • Total posts: 50
    WAHE, post: 83634 wrote:
    I’m a big believer in my favourite three words for success, Service, Service and Service…
    Here here to that. :D
    #1067118
    sam_leader
    Member
    • Total posts: 660
    OneArmedGraphics, post: 83631 wrote:
    Hi Anna, just interested to know where the 65% figure came from?
    Regards,
    Robbie

    I’ll let Copy Chick answer that one, Robbie, but in the meantime I can tell you that Flying Solo’s survey of 1,330 community members showed that in 2010, 77% had a website whereas in 2008 it was 68%. If anyone would like to download the survey please feel free to do so: http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/surv​ey

    Great discussion happening here!

    Sam

    #1067119
    John C.
    Member
    • Total posts: 439
    WAHE, post: 83634 wrote:
    Excellent point JaneB, there are many small businesses that have built up enough clientele by referrals that already keeps them booked in advance and can hardly keep up with the work.

    Perfect example is my mechanic and auto-electrician who are always booked one to two weeks in advance and would not be able to handle any extra business. What a Bummer!!! All this built by word of mouth.

    Not every business requires an online presence, especially if you already have a large and “Happy” customer base. “Happy” = More Free Referrals

    I’m a big believer in my favourite three words for success, Service, Service and Service…

    Hi Guys,

    Interesting discussion. I see your point that some small businesses are busy enough without any online advertising, but that’s presuming that websites are only there for attracting new customers. Often these small businesses who are too busy to take on new clients, are also too busy to take phone calls from current or potential clients who often only want to know the answer to a question that has been asked hundreds of times before – having a website would give them an opportunity to have a FAQ and a clear description of their services and possibly even a status entry that explains that they’re not taking new customers at the moment due to overwhelming demand – that then gives them the opportunity to devote their full attention to their current paying customers.

    A website doesn’t necessarily need to be about selling more or finding more customers, it can just be an excellent form of communication. A great way to improve the level of service you provide to your existing customers, without adding any strain to your limited resources.

    I can’t think of any type of business who wouldn’t benefit from a website in one way or another – it’s just that the purpose of the website is different for each individual business.

    Cheers,
    John

    #1067120
    Cesar
    Member
    • Total posts: 591
    onsiteTECHS, post: 83654 wrote:
    Interesting discussion. I see your point that some small businesses are busy enough without any online advertising, but that’s presuming that websites are only there for attracting new customers. Often these small businesses who are too busy to take on new clients, are also too busy to take phone calls from current or potential clients who often only want to know the answer to a question that has been asked hundreds of times before – having a website would give them an opportunity to have a FAQ and a clear description of their services and possibly even a status entry that explains that they’re not taking new customers at the moment due to overwhelming demand – that then gives them the opportunity to devote their full attention to their current paying customers.

    I will have to disagree with you here John, because as I mentioned if you already possess a large, satisfied and loyal customer base it means the business objective has been met. It’s all about excellent customer service and fulfilling their requirements. There are numerous successful small businesses which don’t require a website, and their customers have the facility where they can call them personally to discuss any concerns they might have. In this scenario a website is not required.

    #1067121
    Jen from Webtree
    Member
    • Total posts: 10

    I started out doing sites for small business with no online presence because I thought it would be the most rewarding and there is obviously a large market. But quite honestly, it’s all a little too hard.

    Unless a business owner already has an understanding of what a website can bring to their business it’s very difficult to convince them. Small businesses will spend $2k on local newspaper advertising that lasts 6 weeks but they can’t see the value in a $2k website that will last years with very little ongoing cost and (if done well) bring in more customers.

    Sadly, I’m of the opinion now that redesigns and clients who know what they want are a better target for my business.

    I guess making more information available for a better understanding is the solution.

    Jenny Power
    http://www.jennypowerwebdesign.com.au

    #1067122
    Sarah Marie
    Member
    • Total posts: 15

    Such an interesting discussion! I don’t think 10 years ago we would be this passionate about the importance of being online. Which makes it concerning for those wanting to be in business for the next 10 years. Will your target market change as new generations look for your product/service? Will they be younger, savvier? More likely to discard those not online for fear they are unprofessional, backward, ‘behind the times’?

    I’m not sure. But I do know that, when I worked for a large organisation arranging media trips, there is no way we would send media to an accommodation/activity that did not have a website. It was far too risky. So the web presence can be more than just targeting your customer directly. It can be about targeting media, partner organisations and other opportunities that may provide that ROI in places you never expected.

    Sarah

    #1067123
    John C.
    Member
    • Total posts: 439
    WAHE, post: 83662 wrote:
    I will have to disagree with you here John, because as I mentioned if you already possess a large, satisfied and loyal customer base it means the business objective has been met. It’s all about excellent customer service and fulfilling their requirements. There are numerous successful small businesses which don’t require a website, and their customers have the facility where they can call them personally to discuss any concerns they might have. In this scenario a website is not required.

    I understand what you’re saying Cesar, and agree that there are plenty of successful small businesses out there without a website, which obviously means that a website is not a necessity for success – I didn’t mean to imply that it was… at least not just yet.

    Just because a business is currently successful doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t start adapting to impending change though. I think that in 5 or 10 years time, when our culture has changed even more dramatically towards an online world, there will be plenty of small business owners kicking themselves for not having done something about a website years ago (i.e. now!), because, amongst other things, the age of a website has a big impact on how it ranks, and it’ll be even more difficult to secure just the right domain name for your business.

    Anyway, there’s no right answer here. Every business owner has to decide what’s right for them. This conversation is great as it at least gives people insight into the pros and cons of having an online presence.

    Cheers,
    John

    #1067124
    Keeta Nova
    Member
    • Total posts: 294

    I write copy for websites and most of my clients pay less than $100 for a small business site. It takes me no time at all, because my clients don’t usually over analyse things. They just want something simple and straight to the point. No gimmicks, just commonsense.

    I am also a web designer, but I don’t advertise this and just work on jobs if someone asks me too. A construction business I created a site for said ‘we don’t need all that bulls#$%t, just keep it simple – put up some pics and give them our phone number’.

    #1067125
    Cesar
    Member
    • Total posts: 591
    onsiteTECHS, post: 83727 wrote:
    Anyway, there’s no right answer here. Every business owner has to decide what’s right for them. This conversation is great as it at least gives people insight into the pros and cons of having an online presence.

    John buddy, you have some valid points but I would like to point out something very clearly. I used the example of my personal mechanic and auto-electrician to show that there are certain service sectors which in 10 years or 20 years will still be able to manage a successful business without an online presence, social marketing and Internet marketing.

    The proven good old principals of business, satisfactory customer service and word of mouth will always exist as a way of building solid foundations for businesses. The Internet will never replace these principals.

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