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Website Blunders New Small Business Make

The first thing I should say is every business needs a website, even if it's dull & never changes. It's the first thing a prospect will ask, and if you don't have one to give out (or give out a phony one), they won't even consider going any further.

However recently I was introduced to a website that violated common sense so badly I felt compelled to write this. This was for a new services company with an owner who had experience as a freelancer.

Here's what go me going:

1) No contact name - None whatsover. Not on the front page. Not on the contact page.

2) No address - Not even a PO box. If I hadn't known previously, I would have no idea where this local service business was. Not even a city or region.

3) No photos of owner/people involved - No way for me to know who I'm presumably wanting to do business with.

4) No photos of jobs they've done - Nothing to show they actually know what they are doing.

5) No history of the owner - No company names, projects, references, etc.

Starting out, most people want to project a larger image then they truly are, and in fact accomplish the opposite. As a new company, people have no idea what to expect from this company. It has no dealings, past clients, or reputation.

So the owner wants to project the image of a large company, but if people don't see the information they expect, their subconscious dreams up the worst and inserts it instead. What are these people hiding from? If they have experience, why don't they list it? They don't, so therefore I will assume they must have none. They must be small & new, why are they lying about being big?

If you found them in a search engine, how would you even know if they could service your needs? You wouldn't, and you'd click and move on.

Be who you are

If you are a small & new company, then be a small & new company. You may think you're fooling the world, but everybody that sees the website knows the truth, and instead of looking cool you're first impression to them is as a liar. It's like the guy with grey hair which suddenly turns jet black. By putting your smallness on display, or maybe even being proud of it, it becomes a non-issue. People can deal with you being small, but they have no desire to do business with a liar. Being small also probably means you provide excellent customer service, and being new means you'll bust your butt to make sure they're happy or you'll starve.

Woudn't it make more sense to play your strongest suit & put the owner out front and center? If only to serve as training wheels for the company until such time the company is so large it develops a reputation of it's own, separate from it's owner.

Let's see a contact name. That personalizes you. Let's see a photo. That personalizes you more. You're a real human being. Maybe they'll think your attractive...or trustworthy...or knowledgable. With no photo they will assume the absolute worst. Let's see an address. This lets people start to see you as a real entity in a real place. Before you were an alledged business in nowhereville USA. Now you're associated with a city or town. A real place people can have opinions or feelings about. A place a prospect might have been too before, giving fodder for the chit chat. You know what chit chat turns into? MONEY.

Show what you've done

Photos should be easy if you've freelanced on other jobs. Take pictures of those jobs. Hell, take pictures of other people's jobs if you have too! If you've got customer testimonials that's wonderful. Even if they're of you as a freelancer. Remember, people will assume the worst if they know nothing. It's just people's subconscious mind trying to protect them. With testimonials, people at least know you've been nice to one person.

Dive deeper into you

New business owners start off never wanting to offend a single soul, but your goal isn't to be everything to everyone, it's to find the people who want to do business with YOUR company and then serve them. Who tries to be everything to everyone? Politicians. How do they do this? They lie to you. It works because all they're looking for is for you to press a lever for free. This won't work for you in business.

So add to the above bits & pieces of what makes you...you. Your opinions. The way you do business. What differentiates you from the competition. What gear you own & why.

Might you offend someone? YES, and that's okay. By offending a small percentage by being you, a much larger percentage will see a personal connection with you as a human being that is enough to catapult them into actually doing business with you. So which is it? Have 100% of the people like you but never buy from you, or have 5% of the people dislike you & 40% of the people give you their $$$.

I know which one I want.