Truth is, the vast majority of small businesses have a website. A website today is about
the same validation that a business card was a few years back. If you did not have a business card you surely were not serious about your business. The same can be said today about a company website. So where is the opportunity for sales in this market? As customers change the way they research and buy products, so must the companies who sell to them. Website technologies and marketing strategies strategies change. The Internet moves at an incredibly fast pace. It is not unusual for a company to completely revamp or replace their existing website every 3-5 years. For some companies and industries, it may require major revamping one or more times per year. Keeping clients current with consumer needs and current trends means a big opportunity for those providing complete web services to their clients.
It is also very common to have more than one website for a company with multiple product lines or service offerings. Add in the increased use of mobile devices to view email and browse the Internet and the need for keeping your site current has never been higher. And that means your opportunities are as good now as they have ever been. I recently heard a friend talking about the success of her site to a group of women business owners and she asked the question. When was the best time to jump into the market with a website? Her answer was 10 years ago. And her follow up question was when was the second best time to invest in a website? She replied today! Today is the best time to take a serious look at what your site is saying about the way you do business.
As a vetted and trusted vendor providing printing, graphics and other marketing materials to many small business owners, your shop is a natural partner for web solutions as well. So while most small businesses already have a website, be on the lookout for opportunities to suggest a website revamp. The following opportunities are a great time to talk to your client about a website update:
- Corporate Rebranding – This is an obvious one. If you are in the middle of creating a new logo and identity package for a client, be sure to talk to them about the importance of Brand Consistency. The new logo, colors, text and images should be used on their website, email marketing, blog and social media profiles as well as in their print material.
- Scour Materials for Missing Data – Regardless of what you are printing for a client, take a quick look at the item and make a note of whether it contains a URL (web address) and a domain based email address (firstname.lastname@example.org). If these items are missing from the printed material, it could be that they simply forgot to add them, but it also could be that they don’t yet have these items secured. It again, brings up a natural opportunity for you to talk to the client about your web services division.
- New Products or Services – In this economy, small business owners are doing anything they can to make sure that they remain in business. That often means the addition of new products and services that they didn’t offer before. The General Contractor who once specialized in new custom homes, is now offering home maintenance packages; the local retail clothing store is now sourcing jewelry and hosiery to sell as well. All of these “additions” bring up a great opportunity to talk about how the small business owner will be marketing these new services and products. Their website must be updated with the new offerings in order to show they are serious about their new venture.
- Change in Staff or Other Important Event – Quite frequently I will read through our local trade magazines to see if any of our clients have published a new press release. Often I will see articles about someone winning an award, getting a promotion, hosting an event, making donations to charities, serving on a board, etc. All of these items are important business news stories that belong on the company’s website. Too often, however, small business owners don’t update their own site with news and press releases. This is another opportunity for you to talk to your clients about the need for a website that they can update easily when they have an exciting announcement or event.
- Mobile Solution – With well over 50% of all website traffic coming from a mobile device, it is critical that small businesses have a website that includes a mobile solution. Take a look at your top 25 customer’s sites on your handheld device or tablet. How does their site look? If the user experience is cumbersome or impossible, it might be time to have a conversation with them about creating a solution that works on all devices and platforms. They would much rather have this conversation with you than with a customer who is complaining about the lack of accessibility. E-commerce and mobile or M-commerce is particularly important with a mobile solution. More and more people are purchasing online using their phones and tablet computers. If a product cannot easily be purchased using a phone or tablet, the user will abandon that site and go find a site they can purchase from.
- Solution Seeking – As business owners, we often commiserate with other small business owners who can relate to our daily challenges. A finely tuned website can solve a lot of problems in marketing, automation, customer services and staffing. Listen up for a client who is complaining about a problem that might be alleviated with a comprehensive web solution.
What other opportunities have you come across where talking about a new web solution is natural in the conversation? Remember, you are a problem solver and a dreamweaver. Your client’s will appreciate you taking the time to have these conversations with them as it shows you are looking out for their best interest as a business owner. Share with us your success stories below.