Not to long ago I was at a small business networking meeting. Somehow during the meeting I and a few other business owners got into a discussion about online marketing and websites. To no surprise none of the business owners I talked to were doing any type of active online marketing. Most of them had an online business card (2-3 page website) that had no purpose other than to give a phone number and address so people could contact them during business hours.
That night I went home and I read through one of the very basic manuals for “internet solution salespeople” I wrote a couple of years ago. I was reading through a chapter called “Evolution of websites”. I suddenly realized that possibly I should have named that chapter “Evolution of business”. What I found when looking at these small business websites was that most of them had a website that reflected their business pretty accurately. If their business was shaky and skimming through every month, their website reflected that. If their business was blooming, their website reflected that as well. Out of the roughly 15 websites I looked at that night, only 2 would qualify as marketing tools that had a purpose of actively getting new clients for the business. Hopefully to no surprise of readers, those two businesses were blooming and doing the best out of the 15.
This was a revelation to me as well, because now when I was doing sales straining I had another approach to use. Instead of talking about websites I could tell salespeople to approach the subject from a matter of where the business was and wanted to go. It seems like there is a direct connection between the virtual world and the “real” world when it comes to business. So maybe it is time for small business owners to look at their website and ask not how cheaply can I do this, rather does my website represent the income I would like to see? Maybe it is time that small business owners make the connection that there is a direct connection between the amounts of business you do and how your website looks and performs. It comes as no surprise to us that work in the industry and have seen this connection, that when a small business realizes that the internet is a great marketing tool and start treating it as such, their websites and their business take a giant leap forward.
So what does your website say about your business? Is it struggling or is it blooming? Maybe it is time that you look at your website as a mirror to how your business is doing and what it could be doing.