Do You Need a Website for Your Local Small Business
How Do Your Customers Find You?
In today’s episode: We discuss why it is critical that you have a website for your local small business. We go over the 3 roadblocks of lack of time, lack of money and what the heck should you have on it.
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Episode 63: Episode 63 – Do You Need a Website for Your Local Small Business
Welcome back to the Local Small Business Coach Podcast. I am your coach, Tammy Adams.
Today we are going to take a look at why you need a website for your local small business. Even a basic one is better than none!
Hey everyone, welcome to the show. Today I want to talk about something that I think many local small business owners do not take advantage of and that is having a website for your business.
Now I don’t care if you have a brick-and-mortar or if you have a service based business… you need a website!
The reason that you need a website is, in today’s world, everything is going mobile. Think about the last time that you wanted to know anything… what did you do? Odds are you picked up your phone and you googled it. You went online and you tried to find the business you were looking for. Maybe you went to find a specific business or someone who did a certain thing. For example, if you needed a plumber you probably typed in “your city” plumber and you saw who showed up and that is who you called. Any plumber that didn’t have a strong website presence nor a website, didn’t show up.
Yes, even if you have an ice cream shop, people may or may not know you exist and they’re going to Google ice cream in your city and you need to show up. By the way, even if you are part of a franchise, look at what your franchise agreement says. Sometimes you have to use their website but they might give you a page for your location. However, many might not care if you set up your own as long as you meet their criteria
You might be asking yourself, okay Tammy I get it, I need a website, people need to be able to find me, but I have three problems: I don’t have the time, I don’t have the money and I don’t have the first clue as to what needs to be on this website. All of these are fair concerns. Let’s take a look at them.
What Needs to be on Your Local Small Business's Website
First, let’s take a look at what needs to be on your website. At bare minimum, your website needs to talk about who you are, what you do, where to find you, and what are your hours of operation. The reasons you need these items are, they are what people are going to want to know first and foremost when they land on your webpage.
They will want to know who they will be doing business with. What your name is and what do you offer. They will want to know what makes you qualified to do this job for them. Don’t make assumptions. Just because you are a plumber, they might not realize that you can do more than just fix toilets. Maybe they are looking for someone who can do a bathroom remodel or maybe replace a water heater. So try to be as specific as possible on the top jobs you do. Use the 80/20 rule. Make sure you list out the items that make up 80% of your sales. In our plumber example, odds are it’s fixing leaking pipes, fixing broken toilets, fixing water heaters, changing out garbage disposals and maybe a few others.
Another example might be that ice can shop. When I had mine, I would want more than just selling ice cream. I wanted them to know we made ice cream cakes, we could be trusted with their child’s birthday parties and that we even did school fundraisers. The goal is to pick those top things that people might google and be looking for.
Should You Add Even More to Your Local Small Business's Website?
Now if you really want to crazy, then you could add even more to get that famous Google juice. Basically, Google loves when you are very specific to both your community and with what you do. The more information that you can give about your local community, the better.
So if we go back to our plumber example, you could do articles about common repairs that would help local homeowners with their plumbing problems. For example, what should they look for if they have a leak? What should they look for if their toilets are running? Teach them how they can repair themselves.
But wait, isn’t that just telling them not to use me?
Trust me, if they want to fix it themselves they already made that decision. They are already surfing YouTube and Google to find out how. You might as well be one of their resources. This way they know they can trust you when they do need to seek your services. YouTube has made a killing off this because YouTube wants to teach people how to fix things. A huge portion of YouTube’s video are about helping to solve problems. Heck you can make your own video for YouTube and then link these back to your website. Or link ones that are on YouTube by others, so you personally don’t necessarily always have to do them but you still get to teach through others.
So yes, teaching people will not hurt your business. If anything it will only help because people see you as a teacher and trust you even more.
Do You Need a Blog?
Now, some people have asked me, what the heck is a blog and do I need one? A blog is the old term that was often associated with the original websites before they became more about businesses. Basically a blog is a series of articles that you write. It is like talking to your customers or clients directly. Typically you are sharing information, telling stories or teaching how to. It is just another way to connect to your community.
So what can you blog about if you want to add these articles? It can be real easy. Sit down and write what are the top 10 questions you get asked the most? These will make great articles since you already know this is what folks want to know about. And since you have answered them a million times, it should flow pretty easily for you. People always wonder what should I write about and this would be exactly what I would do.
Do you have to do a blog? No. But I would look at it down the road at some point. It can only add value for you.
But I Don’t Have the Money to Build a Website
Next up let’s talk about the fact that you don’t have the money for a website. The good news is, you don’t need money to start. You can actually do the most basic website using a free website at WordPress.com. The only negative is, your website will have a weird address because the free WordPress keeps their name attached. For example, in our plumbing example it might be abcplumbingpros.wordpress.com . Which by the way is a very basic mock up I did in like 10 minutes to show you how simple it can be.
But you can also buy the website name of abcplumbingpros.com and redirect it to this free website. So there are options. But if that is too complicated, at least start with the free wordpress.com. No one cares. They just want the information!
I know your concern. I’m not that techie. Trust me, you can do it. WordPress makes it so simple that anyone can do it. They walk you through it all. Just head to WordPress.com. If you still have concerns on time or expertise, then I’m going to bet that each of you know somebody who can help you put it together in a couple of hours. Don’t laugh, it might just be your kid. They are really savvy on the computer now. Way more savvy than we are. Or maybe you have a buddy or friend who could also help you do it.
Have a Little Bit of Money?
If you want to go more high-tech and you are familiar with building websites. You can purchase your own domain name and sign up for a hosting service. I happen to use GoDaddy for all of mine and I have manages WordPress account for my sites. You can use either a free template or purchase one. Now, I’m not going to go into detail on this option since most of you will not be looking at doing this. But if you want to see some of the awesome websites you can build, just google your type of business and see what comes up. Some of these folks did them themselves and others paid for a service to do it for them. My recommendation is to start small and then budget some money to continue to upgrade your site.
How Do I Find the Time to Build a Website?
The final concern was not having the time. Let’s face it, we don’t have time for a lot of things we need to do. The key is you need to schedule it by putting it on your calendar. Make it a weekend project, make it a night project after the kids go to bed, but just schedule it. Remember, it only takes a couple of hours to do the free version. Heck, it will probably take longer to decide on the name you want. Don’t over think it, shoot for your business name first. Just go to WordPress.com and play around. You can always tweak it as you go.
Now, a word of caution, do not download pictures from Google or borrow from other websites. Odds are, you will not have permission to use them. You don’t want to get sued over a picture. So just take then when you are out in the field. Use your own. Take pictures of jobs that you do. Use before and after. Share horror stories you see. However, if you use anything specific that you wonder if you should, you can always ask the homeowner if it’s okay. People love before-and-after pictures. People want to see the type and quality of work that you do.
So just schedule a couple of hours one night this week or maybe this weekend and get that website up! No matter how crude it may look. Something is better than nothing! By the way, don’t forget to add the website to your business cards.
Don’t Forget Testimonials
Before I forget, another great thing that you can add to your website are testimonials. Ask your clients or customers if they would mind writing a short paragraph that you could share on your website. By the way, you can get these a lot of different way. You can ask directly. You can pull it out of an email they send you thanking for what you did, you can use what they tell you verbally. If someone tells you how awesome you are, just ask them if you can use on your website. People love to read what other people are thinking about you. So create a page of your testimonials. Just keep adding them. People eat that up.
Later in the future we will probably dive into websites a lot more but I want to keep today to being the most basic things you need and that is to at least get a free website up and running. Your mission is to have one within the next two weeks if you don’t have one currently. Make it a priority.
Claim Your Business Everywhere!
By the way, you will not rank number one on the first page of Google. It takes time. You need to do a couple of things that will help get you up there. The number one thing you need to do is claim your business on as many other websites. The first being on Google. Claim your business claim and put your address. It will help bump you up because you can assign your website address to that business. Do it on Yahoo, they have a business section. Do it on Bing.
Claim your business anywhere that you see that little man. You know, that fake person that shows up when you land on places with your business.
Is there, anything your town offers for local businesses? Head to the Better Business Bureau, the Yellow Pages, the White Pages. Anywhere and everywhere. Anything that is associated with you and your business. They all will give you Google juice and help people find your and your business. Most of these sites allow you to put your name, business name, phone number, web address and hours. Take advantage of it all!
So, with that, let’s wrap this one up. And if you don’t have a website, make it a priority this week!
And as we wrap up this episode I want you to know, that I realize being a local small business owner can be a lonely gig at times. But you don’t have to do it alone. Just know, I’m always here for you.
By the way, If you like what we are taking about, then make sure to subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss an episode, if you love the podcast and what we are talking about, then please leave a 5 star review so other local small business owners know this is a podcast that they can’t miss.
And don’t forget to visit the website at LocalSmallBusinessCoach.com to leave your question for me to possibly answer on the podcast in the future. You can leave it via the Speakpipe button or just shoot me an email.
Meanwhile, I wish you the best in your business and remember: Great Customer Service, coupled with Great business practices will set you on the path to Great Profits!
Bye for now…..
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Podcast Website: LocalSmallBusinessCoach.com
Leave your Message on the website with the SpeakPipe Button or just email me at Tammy@LocalSmallBusinessCoach.com
Our Training Materials for Local Small Business Owners: TrainingforLocalSmallBusinessOwners.com
Starting a Local Small Business Website: StartALocalSmallBusiness.com
My Recommended Bookkeeping Program for Local Small Business Owners: Freshbooks Link
Why? Helps you invoice quicker and more importantly, get paid quicker. Let’s you know when your clients have opened the email and they even help send reminders. Clients / customers can pay right from their phone or computer. Give it a Try: Freshbooks
**Freshbooks is an affiliate link. This costs you nothing. I only recommend due to how much folks have loved it. I am paid a small commission but trust me. Even I use it. Try it for free for 30 days and see if you don’t love it too!
Today's episode, as well as all of our episodes, is brought to you by trainingforlocalsmallbusinessowners.com. Where we provide free tips, tools and resources for your local small business. So whether you are just starting out or you've been in business for a while and want to learn more ways to increase your profit, boost your sales, improve your processes and develop stronger teams then head on over once again to trainingforlocalsmallbusinessowners.com..
And if you are Thinking of Starting a Local Small business, over at StartALocalSmallBusiness.com we have lots of free tools and resources to help you get your local small business started. Plus, we now have a more in-depth course to Help Get you going. It has 12 modules, 50 mini videos and 13 downloadable tools a person can use to start their local small business. You can find the link once again at StartALocalSmallBusiness.com. I also have set up a special discount code for listeners of the podcast. At checkout, just add the code PODCAST to save 25%.
See you on the next episode!
Two Great Books to Help You With Your Small Business:
Highly Recommend all Local Small Business Owners Read the eMyth by Micheal Gerber. You will learn some critical things about running your business.
The second book is one I wrote based off a popular example I always use when folks are trying to understand their role as a leader with their people. Check it out.
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