Why Do I Need a Company Website?

Why Do I Need a Website?

A client asked recently: “I have a Facebook company page, so why would I need a website? I don’t want to confuse my customers.”

As this is a popular question among small business owners, I have provided a few links to articles with points for consideration in addition to what I will share in this article.

Entrepreneur.com

ConstantContact

GoDaddy

In addition to the perspectives provided by service providers such as GoDaddy and ConstantContact, I would raise the following considerations if you are weighing whether you need a website for your business.

Does Customer Perception of Your Business Matter?

There may be some small service providers in your community that provide a niche product such as children’s birthday cakes or handyman services, providers from which you really don’t need to trust them – primarily because you personally know them or there’s a common link via a homeowners association that provides a level of credibility for that business.

In general, it matters that your potential customers can trust you. Is your business properly set up? If you are here today when I place my order, will you be there tomorrow on the date I am picking up my order? You say you are a specialist in x, y, or z, but how do I know your credentials?

The decision to have a website requires a few decisions that imply permanence and continuity. You must secure a Domain Name such as BirthdayBakers.com and claim your space on the Internet with that name. You must decide what services you will provide and what you won’t provide. You have to make style decisions about your company’s appeal and look/feel.

The more thoughtful you are about the website content you publish, the greater you can influence your potential customers about your legitimacy as a small business that customers can trust.

If you don’t need to be perceived as permanent or as a ‘real’ business, then you may not need a website.

Do You Need an Internet Presence Without Hassles?

It is true that you can now rely on Facebook, Yelp, Google, and many other web platforms that are more than happy to sponsor your business on their platform. At the end of the day, however, your needs are only the means to their real drive toward getting Advertisers attracted to their platform. Those courtesy ‘free’ pages they provide come with lots of robo-calls and suspicious service providers that will constantly nag you to purchase advertising services. They mask themselves as just checking to make sure you update your business information, and then they are deep into a discussion with you about an advertising purchase.

With a website, if you choose your website hosting service carefully, you will be liberated from all of these hassles. A website hoster exists only to host your website and possibly maintain it, but their business model is simple.

Do You Want To Control Your Website Features?

Do you want to offer an online payment option? Do you want to have several different sections of your website? Do you want a means of letting customers rate your services?

With a custom website, you can easily extend the website as your business evolves. If you don’t like to use a certain Online Payment Process, you can easily switch to a different provider? You can provide a way to book appointments as your business grows?

With a custom website, you can evolve your business presence to meet the evolving needs as your services change or your business grows.

If you are relying on Facebook, LinkedIn, and other business pages, you will always be limited and will conform to whatever they have provided for you.  You will have little creative liberties you can take with those options.

Do You Want To Appear in Internet Searches?

I learned the hard way that the answer is not always yes to this question. If you just want to point customers to your site via business cards or other advertising references, then you don’t need to consider this for your site.  Again, if you are just a small company wanting to generate a bit of extra revenue for customers you are comfortable serving, this may not matter.  Also, if you show up on Internet searches, your business can become a target.  Just several months after me hiring a company to attract customers to my website, I was lured into a cyber-scam that cost me $4000.  I’ll spare you the details, but I encourage you to not unnecessarily pursue exposure for your business unless it an obvious means of attracting customers.

You can have a website that does not ‘rank’ on Internet searches, because it’s a very deliberate decision to take steps to increase your exposure on the Internet.  But it’s a decision that matters when you think about your need for a website.

If you definitely want to attract customers via Internet searches, then you really need a website.  The website becomes just one of the components that enables Search Engine Optimization for your site. To effectively achieve exposure for your business online, you will likely need to pay a specialist to help with that aspect of your business goals.

Summary

I have captured the main reasons I believe warrant consideration as you decide whether you want a company website or not, along with providing some other perspectives in the links I provided at the beginning.  I hope the content has been useful as you make your decisions.

If you are interested in a business consultation to talk a bit with my company about website development and hosting options, feel free to set up a Free Consult to discuss your questions and goals.

Start a Business, Let Office 365 Do the Work!

Start a Business? Overwhelmed at the Thought?

There are just a few basic steps to start a business. But then what? How will you attract customers? What services will you provide? Will you let another company’s brand be yours, or do you want your own brand? As a new company, how will you keep up with the backoffice side of things, scheduling and paying bills and invoicing customers, while also finding time to deliver your services?

The Rise of Micro Businesses & Unique Value of the Cloud

Micro businesses are defined as businesses with 0 to 5 employees. Many micro businesses exist today and have no employees – consultants, freelancers, and multilevel marketing reps. If you are a micro business and plan to be for the long haul, chances are high that you will just exist as a Sole Proprietor and possibly file a Doing Business As | DBA to represent yourself as your brand.

If you are a micro business, you can uniquely reap advantages from looking at the many services offered in the Cloud today.

The Fundamentals – Legal Stuff!

The basics to start your business would include the following tasks, at minimum:

  • Business Formation -Services such as LegalZoom make it very convenient to create your business entity.
  • State Sales Tax Permit – Determine whether you’ll need to collect sales and use tax for your products and services – most companies will need to get this permit to operate in their state. (Reference: QuickBooks Article)

Technically, at this point, you are in business! Now for the hard part….

What’s My Business Plan?

Do I need a plan? The answer is always yes! However, you may need very little formal planning. For example, if you plan on acting as an Associate for Scentsy or Rodan+Fields and you are just primarily in business to connect in your community and make a few extra bucks, then you can likely just dive in.

The reality is that most people start a business to make money, even if it’s supplemental income secondary to a primary job. If you are in business with a need for income, you need a business plan.

A business plan will minimally cover these topics:

  • What will I sell?
  • How will I sell it?
  • Who are my customers?
  • How much income do I need?
  • What combination of services/products can I sell to make the needed income amount?

A business plan will range in complexity, based on the structure of your business, risks in your business, etc. A great resource is offered here by the US Small Business Association (SBA).

Attract Customers

When you start a business today, there are so many options to engage with your customers:

  • Do you want to just network directly ‘old school’ style with business cards & cold calls?
  • Are you hoping for exposure in your local community via the local Chamber of Commerce?
  • Planning to attract customers to your business website via Google Search, Bing Search, etc?
  •  Do you like to reach customers through email campaigns offering discounts and coupons?
  • Do you plan on Social Networking presence – LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc?

The options are endless. You could waste a lot of time and money on marketing. Be deliberate with your decisions in this area.

Office 365 and Attracting Customers

Microsoft introduced the Business Center available in the Office 365 Business Premium plans.

In the Business Center, the following apps can be used to generate sales leads and new customers:

Microsoft Connections for email campaigns.

Outlook Customer Manager for customer relationship management tailored for micro and small business.

Microsoft Listings for maintaining your business listings on Yelp, Facebook, Bing Places and Google My Business to keep business hours and contact information consistently updated.

Operations & “Office Work”

Office 365 offers Business Center apps for the following ‘back office’ roles every business needs:

Microsoft Invoicing for billing customers (Accounts Receivable)

Microsoft Bookings for customer online appointments and scheduling.

Need Help or More Information?

Book a free consultation to learn more or discuss your business ideas for feedback!

A Business About Community.

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Microsoft Office 365 – A Bargain for the Micro Business

Office 365 & The Cloud Is Transforming Micro Businesses

Microsoft Office has been around for years. What is so exciting about Office 365, and why has it fueled Microsoft’s rebirth?

Office 365 and the Hype

If you still think of Microsoft Office as Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and Outlook, take another look. The fuel driving Office 365 is the flexibility, the range of services available, and the mere fact that cloud computing options eliminate IT staffing needs for many small businesses (see article for some thoughts around this).

Office 365 and the Enabling Services

In not too distant past, small business were looking at costly solutions for online appointments, invoicing customers, bookkeeping, etc.  Office 365 and other cloud solutions are transforming the competitive landscape by constantly expanding the breadth of available services while hardly budging on price.

Microsoft introduced the Business Center recently that provides the following basic services to small businesses, in addition to all the core Office suite applications (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc):

  • Maintains connections to business listings with Facebook, Google My Business, Yelp, and Bing via  Microsoft Listings

  • Provides online scheduling capabilities via Microsoft Bookings
  • Provides automated invoicing via Microsoft Invoices
  • Provides built-in marketing campaign automation integrated with a Contacts center via Microsoft Connections

How much would you assume I pay for these services? Not too long ago, I would be paying anywhere from $6-20/month for each of these services. This all costs a total of approximately $10/month total and provides all the services I need to run a basic micro-business.

Office 365 – Want a Tour or More Info?

I would be happy to demo Office 365 for you or just talk with you about your business goals and whether Office 365 is a fit. You can book a free consult with me for more info!

Need Help? Develop A Plan for Change.

 

Need Help?
Need Help?

Career Coaching & Life Change

Industry research provides evidence that active planning & life change can promote better long-term health.

Need Help? I have the Passion.

With 10+ years of management and a Masters in Counseling, Tamra has a passion for helping people that need help to navigate their careers & optimize their lives. As a result, she focuses on all opportunities to assist others in career planning and changes.

Need Help? I Have the Experience.

We live in unpredictable times with changes coming. Therefore, most people will need assistance exploring career options that match their interests, goals, and financial needs.

Tamra is driven by her life experience and is equipped through education and job experiences. As a result of years of providing services to all sizes of business customers, her focus on coaching through career change is a natural fit.

See Professional Profile on LinkedIn.

Need Help? I Have the Training.

Life Coaching emerged with an emphasis on the partnership of client and coach around problem-solving rather than a medical diagnosis.  Therefore, it is an alternative to counseling.

Many job dissatisfaction issues spiral into more serious problems such as anxiety and depression. Therefore, coaching is a proactive way of resolving issues early. Develop a plan now.

Tamra has formal training as a counselor and respects the boundary where assisting a client may require partnering with a counselor.

Need Help? I’ll See You Through It.

Tamra offers Business Services that align perfectly with many client needs as a natural outcome of coaching and consultative work together. The realities of our digital economy are pushing more people toward entrepreneurial interests, often by necessity. With a plan, you can hedge those risks by building early.

Tamra has services that take you fully through the assessment of your skills/interests, plan development, and plan implementation. She believes the most common sources of personal dissatisfaction for US populations will center around career and income problems that can be solved with technology and planning.

 

New Business Startup Services

 

Business Startup Services - Tamra King
Business Startup Services & Cloud Consulting

Tamra King – Business Startups & Cloud Consulting

817-307-5489

tamra@tamraking.com

Small Business Startup & Consulting Services

Tamra has a passion for helping with small business startups. Tamra King has spent her career in ‘tech’ with almost 25 years of experience serving business clients of all sizes.

Tamra offers a range of business development and IT services including web branding, Search Engine Optimization, Office 365 Consulting, and Project Management.

Skills

  • Crisis Management
  • Enterprise Messaging
  • Systems Design & Troubleshooting
  • Project & Program Management
  • Website Development & Branding
  • Website Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Cloud Consulting

Education & Certifications

  • B.S. Biomedical Engineering, Texas A&M University
  • M.S. Counseling Psychology, Tarleton State University
  • ITIL Foundation v3 Certification
  • Project Management Professional (PMI-PMP)
  • Data Science, Microsoft (In Progress)