Signature Staffing, Inc.
As you know, homeowners and landlords are already booking projects for spring and summer. Most of them will be searching online to find reliable businesses and contacting them through their websites.
Do you have a website? Is it old and outdated? How does it look on a mobile device? These are all questions you need to be asking yourself because a website is often the first interaction a potential customer has with your company.
Why is a website so important?
Pretend you are a homeowner who budgeted $20k for a kitchen remodel to be done in May. It’s late January and you want to get it scheduled. You start looking to Google, Facebook, and/or personal friends for recommendations.
Assume two companies were equally recommended; ABC Corp and XYZ Corp. They both have good reviews, the same estimate range, and both can start as soon as you want. What is the first thing you do? You Google them.
You easily find ABC Corp’s professional website on Google and it loads fast on your phone. The site looks great and it shows recently completed projects as well as customer testimonials. The contact information is easy to locate on their site and you can fill out a simple form for an estimate. You spend less than 3 minutes on the page.
Next you search for XYZ Corp and fail to find their website on the first page. XYZCorp.godaddy.com finally shows up on the third page. You click on it and it takes forever to load on your phone. When it finally loads there is a grainy picture that takes up the whole screen. You have to scroll this way and that to see any text. It takes you 5 minutes to find a tiny gmail address at the bottom.
Who would you go with all other things being equal?
Katama Bay helps small and medium businesses create, redesign, and maintain their websites. Our goal is helping businesses land new customers. Once you contact us, you will learn that a great website costs less than you think and could even pay for itself.
Contact us to help you get ready for a busy 2019.
Why do small business owners, especially those in the trades, feel like they don’t need to focus on a professional website?
When I started doing research for Katama Bay, I found a large group of local small businesses had taken ads out in a weekly neighborhood newspaper. 99% of those businesses were in the trades – offering construction, masonry, painting, etc. And 54% of the businesses advertising in this paper did not have a web page or professional email listed on the ad.
Researching these companies on the web, I found that most, if not all, did not have a professional website, professional email address, or even simple Google or Facebook business pages. These local companies are not alone. In fact, according to a 2017 CNBC/SurveyMonkey Survey, 45% of small businesses do not have a professional website. That’s almost half of all the small businesses surveyed that said they do not have a website!
I am a homeowner. When I need an electrician, plumber, or any other home service, the first thing I do is ask my friends, either in person or on Facebook. I will usually receive more than a few recommendations. Immediately, the second thing I do is look for their business website to find out more about them. If one of these recommended businesses does not have a web page or at the very least a Facebook page, I usually skip them onto the next. And I am not alone:
“It’s still surprising that so many businesses don’t have a website. This ignores the fact that most Americans are on the web, looking them up. Studies have shown that over 70-80% of people will research a company on the web before making a purchase decision, usually by visiting its website. Even having a one-page website can establish credibility. It shows that the business is actually real and has taken the time to put out a presentation.” Rehan Fernando, CEO at EIGHT25MEDIA via Clutch.co
These businesses without websites, even ones that are recommended by friends, are missing out on sales because most customers want to see a website before making a purchase.
Getting back to those businesses that are advertising in the local paper, let’s assume that these small businesses feel like their local ad will get sales. The price of the ad was right at the top of the advertising section and it’s significant – approximately $350 for the for 10 weeks. That’s around $1800 a year for a hyper-local paper ad that probably ends up in the recycle bin.
In order to justify this cost, a business has to know they are at least making $1800 in sales from the ad. And as pointed out above, most potential customers that do see the ad will try to find the business on the web before trying to contact that business. So even if the business is spending on the ad to generate more leads they end up shooting themselves in the foot by not having a web page.
So why would these businesses spend significant money on this hyper-local ad space and not have a website? Maybe some think it costs too much. Maybe some are not convinced they need one. The point here is to realize that any small business, whether it’s a cleaning service, electrician, or landscaper, needs a website.
Contact us if you have any questions or want to learn about the cost for creating and maintaining your website. (it’s cheaper than you think.)
A quick way to reach more potential customers is by creating a Facebook small business page. It’s free and not as hard as you might think. Here are some tips for creating a page for your small business. If you already have a business page, it’s not a bad idea to review your page with these tips in mind.
- Facebook has tools that will walk you through your page creation. Facebook will “look” at your page and remind you what needs completing.
- Take special care when adding information in the “About” section. Only add the most relevant information. Keep it short and sweet.
- Get your friends to like and share your page. The more eyeballs, the more potential leads.
- Try to post once a week. These could be new pics of a recent project, customer ideas, or a vendor thank you. Posting regularly will keep you at the top of users’ feeds.
- Aim your posts to try and drive the customer to click the “Send Message” or “Contact” button to start a conversation that could lead to a sale.
- Take time researching when to post. According to some surveys, Wednesdays between 12PM and 2PM are generally ideal for most small businesses. (SproutSocial.com)
- Be positive when addressing any criticisms or bad comments on Social Media. This is your business. Know that potential clients are watching your comments to others.
- Be careful what you or your business likes on Facebook. Try to steer clear of political, religious and cultural debates on your business page. Stating personal opinions, whether right or wrong, could cost you some clients. Is the lost revenue worth it?
Once you have created and published your Facebook small business page, you should start showing up in local Google searches. As a result, this can lead to new customers visiting your page and hopefully to more sales.
If you have any questions or want to learn more about how we can help your small business gain more customers, please drop me a line at email@example.com.