Tag Archives: website

3 Secrets to Creating an Awesome Storefront-Your Website!

webdevelopmentWhether you have a physical storefront or an online one, your website is the key to your success.  It deserves  the time and effort to make sure you choose the right company to create the website your business needs.

Did you know that there are now over 1 Billion websites worldwide, and that  68% of our clients are viewing them on mobile devices?

Since it is a growing part of our businesses, why is it such a problem to create one that is simple, functional, works for us and our clients, with the ability to keep it updated and fresh looking?

We are not all born to be our own webmasters are we? Many of us have been told we can, should, and that it is the  only way to be a successful entrepreneur; but for most of us we need the right experts!

For those of you who can create a successful website for your business, I applaud you! You won’t need this information, but perhaps you know others that do!

With all the world companies and those doing website design work part-time, and the 300,000 that are officially listed in the United States, there are many vying daily for our business! How do you know which one is right for you?

After experiencing many disappointments in web design, customer service, and making an investment of both monetary and time;  I began to think there must be something wrong with me!  This wasn’t fun and I was frustrated. Ever been there?  What can overcome being in this state?

I realized frustration is not always a bad thing, because in this case it drove me to take control, do my homework, and come up with a game plan to begin again to find someone that would listen and help me develop a website that would meet the purpose I needed for my growing business!

“Choosing a website company is a critical decision. You’re not just putting a project in their hands, you’re entrusting your business to them.”
Blue Fountain Media

In putting my plan together I discovered these three secrets that are key to finding the right company you want and being the client they need.

#1-  Know what you want, and what you don’t want. I found out there is a difference in companies that do website design and those that are website developers. Do your research on this, it is important.

Then pick out some websites in your industry you like, and decide why you like them. Determine whether you want a more modern design, or does a more traditional style fit your style and brand.

Ask yourself, how do you want to maintain it? Make sure you know and understand what a responsive site is, and is not!  Also check out whether a Word Press site or a custom designed one is better for your company. Don’t overlook finding out what SEO means for the results of your website. Having these ideas in mind is important to making sure those companies you are interviewing understand completely what you are looking for.

#2-   When interviewing a company make sure you request a quote that covers the entire scope of the project.  I suggest you take another person with you as you interview companies.  It could be someone in your company or one that already has a great website. This helps to make sure you don’t misunderstand anything in the process.

Ask for references and check them out while waiting for your quote.  Once you receive your quote make sure it is covered page by page allowing you to ask questions.  See how they answer you, as you are looking for a company that has the “heart of a teacher” so that they will make sure that your communication is clear and geared toward your understanding of the project. That is the key difference between just designing a website and developing one and building a relationship with you!

Make sure there are time lines and deadlines included in your quote. Also clarify that you own the website design and the content. Review the hosting and maintenance fees and what is included.

I suggest you do not sign the agreement at the time you receive the quote. Take time to have your attorney and others review the quote just in case there is anything you might need to ask for further clarification before you make your decision.  This is an extra expense and time, but it can save you so much in the long run.

#3-  In website development like anything else, it is true “you get what you pay for!”  Don’t make your decision based strictly on the lowest price,  but take into consideration the quality of the website and the ease and function design that your clients will be looking to experience.

After developing my plan I am thrilled to share that I found the perfect website company for the re-design of my business website: Atlantic Webworks, headquartered in Greensboro, NC. The CEO and President, Adrienne Jandler and her team are true professionals, and deliver exactly what they promise. They give “exceptional” customer service, and are a full service company offering other marketing and training services as well. I highly recommend them for all your website and marketing needs. http://atlanticwebworks.com/

I found my “dream” website company, and hope you do too!

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Surprise Marketing Sources for Your Business Success!

yesmarketingIt is amazing that as advanced as we are here in the United States, our businesses are not doing as well as they could be! Why is that? Leading researchers share that marketing is the key; and business owners do not take full advantage of what is available for them, both FREE and at reasonable fees!

Business owners think in the beginning, and then going forward, that they have to do it all, including marketing!  They attempt to do things they are not skilled at, and end up eventually having no life, and failure becomes a reality. I learned early on that I can’t do everything, but I got into the trap and gave it my best shot! I learned the hard way what every successful business owner knows, you have to be working “on” your business doing the things that you are best at, and you need to outsource many of those “in” business things that others are better at doing than you are!

Marketing was always one of my skill sets, and I was astonished to learn that 55% of businesses still do not have a website! That seems strange since 80% of Americans and a 1/3 of the world population is online. How does a business intend to reach their target markets or grow without an online presence? I have interviewed many consumers and our own clients, and they have shared that they do not consider doing business with a company that does not have a website! “Just sayin!”

Why would a company choose not to have a website? Most studies show they don’t feel they have the “right” skill sets to get one up and running and then maintain it; nor do they feel the fees for websites are worth the time and resources.

I want to share a secret with you! I know the value of a website, and I recently decided I needed to update my website to one where I could maintain it myself.

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would seek a TV station to create my “new look!”  After doing my homework and securing many quotes, I was surprised to find that my local TV affiliate offered many marketing services for local businesses besides TV ads, and at a rate I could afford!

Thanks to an outstanding sales representative, Hayley Curry, of ABC45 WXLV (owned by parent company Sinclair Broadcast Group), we will soon launch a new site. It was a joy working with Hayley because she took the time to understand my business, and could translate that to the project manager, John Wertz, and webmaster, Beth Tuzi.  It has been a great experience working with this team. I feel they really take their jobs seriously: one of working for me, and wanting my business to succeed!

Besides having a good website, your marketing should include a great Social Media strategy. LinkedIn studies show that 81% of businesses use some form of Social Media to market. But I wonder how many are using all the capabilities of what Social Media can do for them? I love all aspects of Social Media, which not only includes the sites everyone is tapped into, but also newsletters, email blasts, and written publications, such as this blog!

But studies show most business owners are not tapping into the resources that are available to them, and seeking help in getting the “in” things of Social Media handled on a consistent basis!  I found a great virtual Social Media Guru, Tracy Taylor of TNT Marketing, who helps keep our Social Media sites looking good, and the posting of some things. I still feel my sites needs my “personal touch”, but I have limited time, so together we have a strategy, with less stress and time involved for me! Again I found Hayley and her staff can do some major marketing pieces for my business at an affordable rate, which we will soon be putting into place.  Then I can be even more focused “on” my business!  Keep following us here and see the new changes coming!

Have I taken out a large Small Business Loan to cover what I have shared with you?  I assure you I have not! I “bootstrap” my own business, and we remain debt free in it! I look forward to a great rest of our business year, and now that I have given you some awesome ideas, I would love to hear what you plan on doing with them!

Since many have helped me succeed, I love helping others in turn. To contact Tracy Taylor, email her at tracytaylor5312@gmail.com or call her at (865) 809-5989.  To contact Hayley Curry, email her at hccurry@sbgtv.com or call her at 336-499-1704.  Let them know how you heard about them!

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