Small Businesses in Canada Absolutely Need a Website

New notices of layoffs at Sears and Royal Bank here in Canada are new reminders of how consumer behaviour has changed. If big businesses are feeling pressure, then what’s going to happen to small business here in Oshawa and Whitby?

From banking to clothing to hailing cabs to finding auto parts, they’re using their smartphones or laptops to buy, interact, and stay informed. They would do everything online if they could including buying real estate or mortgages.

Watch people when they at lunch at a restaurant, and you’ll see how dependent they are on their phones. Whether on Facebook or searching with Google, they like how responsive the smartphone and the web are. They can connect with anything right away and find what they want.

And consumer’s lust for information seems unquenchable. They prefer websites or online sources that satisfy that demand. It’s not that the information they find is life-changing. It’s the way they live their lives. Small business owners and startups need to key in on these lifestyle preferences because it’s no joke. Millennials especially, don’t want slow, old-fashioned anything. They want to feel like masters of their digitally centered lifestyle — that’s the real deliverable.

Not having a website is a negative statement to consumers who want to be connected to you and your business. It’s like putting up a “Go Away” sign on your front door.

Sadly, most small businesses don’t even have a website to serve them. Some have chosen to use a Facebook page as their homepage, to save money. Yet, the unbranded, plain Facebook page offers little for small business owners. We need websites that are flexible, cost-effective, powerful, customer friendly, custom designed for your company, and which look perfect on any net connected device.

Your website is powerful when it reflects your businesses unique personality. A Facebook page unfortunately makes companies look the same.

Let me ask if you if seeing this screenshot below of a well known restaurant in La Jolla California has any impact on whether you would like to dine there? Visit their website and get a sense of how important their website is in creating focus for their company and generating enthusiastic diners.

Image Courtesy of Georges at the Cove https://www.georgesatthecove.com/
Image courtesy of www.theinvestorspodcast.com

You can have all of these benefits at a ridiculous price now. If you’re good at marketing and really understand how to promote online, you could do it yourself. Despite your best efforts though, it will probably come off looking and sounding amateurish. And that can kill a good business.

The Clutch marketing survey showed price and lack of technical skill as the biggest issues confronting SMBs in creating a company website. It also suggested that business owners consider a website irrelevant. That’s a huge mistaken belief. A website is relevant, especially in the long run. It is crucial in establishing a brand and keeping customers loyal. If you’re in that price conscious category, then cutting a few corners isn’t so bad. That’ll give you the extra funds to put where it matters.

Here’s some tips that will get you lots for your money:

  • buy a website domain name that easily identifies what it is your business does
  • choose a WordPress website – its a free platform and framework for a website. You can actually host it for free on wordpress.com.
  • install a free WP theme on your free WordPress website
  • install useful plug-ins that help you stylize your blogs and make it more useful for your visitors
  • use free graphics and photographs offered online
  • take your own pictures of products, scenery, and locations
  • write your own service and product web pages
  • list your business with Google my Business

After your experience in “Let’s just Do it” you’ll gain the confidence you need to take that big step to hire a professional Oshawa web designer who can bring in other talent such as graphic designers, copywriters and digital marketers to help you dominate your local market here in Oshawa / Whitby.

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