Pay for a web designer or do it yourself? Can small business owners really design a website or is it a job for the pro's? The first stop for many consumers to source a product or service in now the internet. Sometimes it is their only stop: they research, compare and buy online. It goes without saying then that for a small business to reach its potential market, it should have an internet presence.
Small business operators do not often have a dedicated IT person on staff - in the past this is the person who would be given the job of building a website. It's great news then that there are now beginner-friendly website building packages on the market which are perfect for the small businessperson's use. If you can use a word processor you will be able to use most modern web site builders. You simply type on the page as you normally would when writing an email.
The tutorials provided with almost all software suppliers take the novice through the process of building a website in a non-technical, easy to understand way. Having completed the tutorial, one is equipped with more than enough knowledge to launch straight into a website build. Some website programs are easier to use than others.
Small business operators do not need fully blown web design industry solutions due to the steep learning curve. One feature to look for is a WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get) editor. This simply means you type on the page as you see it.
There are expenses involved in publishing your own website - you get nothing for nothing. Apart from the cost of the software (there are free web builders however they are more difficult to use or too basic in features), a small business (or an individual or a large company) will need to register a domain name (less than $10) and find a web hosting service (around $8 per month). Businesses should also set up a merchant's account from an organization like Paypal (free).
Having a third party handle financial transactions is always reassuring for consumers and takes away an administration burden. As soon as an order is placed you will receive an alert from the merchant. You can then arrange shipping - or in the case of digital products - automate the delivery. In any small business time is money, and the time spent learning a new skill like website building with easy to use software must be seen as a good investment. It is possible to build multiple websites so that you can have a website network feeding a central business. This is ideal for multi-brand retailers and multi-branch operators.
Having the ability to be flexible with your online presence will be an advantage to the savvy business owner. Because you have built and are managing your website yourself, you are able to instantly react to changing trends and new opportunities. Clients demand up-to-date content and the saving on webmaster fees and the benefits of avoiding delays will be significant.
Some website programs are specifically designed to assist the business person become an internet business marketer, and as your knowledge of web design grows, the more you will value search engine optimization and site map generation tools. Having a correctly designed site map helps search engines easily match your site to search requests. If you decide to look at other ways to earn money through your website without doing a thing, you will no doubt look at including on your site some affiliate marketing and advertisements from non compete companies. Features to look for: Ideally you will have an instructional video, help desk support and forums. Look for testimonials from other business owners to see how they have applied the software. Getting started is the next step once you arrive at the conclusion that a website is no longer a luxury - it is essential!.
Building your business website is only one step away: Check out the Best Website Builder