Chris Graham: Does your business need to be online?
Chances are, you’re already there, in one form or another. You run a store, and you have a website that tells people what you have for sale, and maybe also sell direct to customers with the click of a button. Or you run a service business, and you tell people about your services on your website, maybe take appointments there, definitely emphasize as much as possible that people can call or email anytime.
But it still might nag at you. What is all of that doing for me?
In terms of market share, online shopping represents 8 percent of all U.S. retail sales, and 13 percent of all clothing retail sales, a number that is expected to increase threefold in the next five years. For those businesses with a potential global reach, there is another interesting number – 242 million Chinese are shopping online, a number that is getting bigger every day as that country’s middle class gets bigger every day itself.
With both retail and business-to-business business, it has become routine for consumers to look up a particular business online before doing anything else with respect to that business, including walking in the door or picking up the phone to make a call.
So if you’re not one of those business folks that I assumed above is already online, well, you need to get with the program.
And if you are online, you need to put some thought to how your website sells your business. Because that’s what it does, whether you realize it or not. As much as your storefront or office or industrial location is your window to the world, and the world’s window to you, your website is that much more a window, if only because it can be accessed 24 hours a day, seven days a week by anybody with access to the Internet.
If your website looks barebones, looks out of date, looks like your best friend’s nephew’s college roommate put it together for you over spring break, that’s how your business looks to the world.
One thing we say to ourselves often here at Augusta Free Press, and have said since we launched our first website, AugustaFreePress.com, a news portal serving Virginia, back in 2002, is that we don’t want people to look at a website that we do and say, Not bad for a small company. We want them to say, That’s a pretty good website.
No doubt your business has a lot to offer the world. That’s why you put your heart and soul into it. You need a virtual storefront in the form of a website that reflects your heart, your soul, everything that you put into your business.
For more information on web-design services from Augusta Free Press LLC, contact Crystal Graham at firstname.lastname@example.org or 540.910.1233.