Top Ten Website Tips for Entrepreneurs

Believe it or not, nearly half of Canadian & U.S. small businesses still don’t have a Web site. Here are 10 ways going online can help boost even the tiniest company.

  1. Stand out from the competition. Online you can be compared side-by-side with your biggest competitor. That gives you a tremendous opportunity to identify what your business does better than the rest. “A Web site is the great way to level the playing field”.
  2. Establish credibility. This is particularly important for small, relatively unknown businesses. For example, a family-run restaurant may want to highlight how long they’ve been in business so new customers feel they’re discovering a hidden gem.
  3. Provide in-depth information. Use the Web site to provide background, testimonials, directions, demonstrations or other content that speaks to your target audience.
  4. Make shopping easy. Every small-business owner is trying to sell something, whether it is a product, service or idea. Even a doctor’s office, which may not have anything tangible to sell online, could provide users with an estimation of the wait time so patients don’t have to sit in the lobby all day.
  5. Enhance customer relations. E-mailing the company, placing an order or securing a reservation can all be done easily online.
  6. Increase customer spending. Ultimately you are trying to build a business, not just boost one time online sales, which means using the site to keep customers informed and make them feel happy about spending more money.
  7. Expand nationally or worldwide. When a business goes online, the dynamics change significantly because Web sites can be viewed by many more potential customers anywhere in the world. The resultant interest may mean that business owners have to consider enhancing their inventory management, shipping and distribution.
  8. Gather customer data. Everything you do as a small business requires you to develop an understanding who your customer is. Data from Web traffic can tell you where your customer is coming from and where they are going after visiting your site.
  9. Brand extension. Offline, your store front is limited by your real estate. Online, your business is unlimited. You can even offer other products and services online that would be difficult to carry in a store due to size and space constraints. For example, a pizza stand could sell slices in the shop but also have t-shirts, hats and other souvenirs available online.
  10. Drive traffic either to an online or offline location. Regardless of what type of business you operate, traffic to your site can translate into “qualified” traffic to your store. “Leverage the Web presence to build the business.”

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