The website for a small business should be very specific toward the particular needs the company could have.
Although many companies may be considered small, there is often a wide margin of variation in size and capacity.
Let’s define a small business
A family business, for example, may be considered small because it operates from home.
However, a factory located in a leased space, and importing materials, can also be considered small.
So let’s say, a small business is one that does not have many employees and has limited capital.
It is important that when thinking about how the website should be for a small business, rather than thinking about size, let’s think about for what they need it.
The website of the company should not be a mere formality, but must fulfill functions that could be vital to create customers and business opportunities.
Essential factors for the any small business websites
Although small businesses, as is clear, may be very different, there are some factors that are imperative to the websites of any of them.
Although per se do not ensure success, if one of these factors is missing would be very difficult to obtain customers or share information with them. The following four factors are:
- Build trust
- Easy communication
- Good page about the company
- Mission, vision and values well defined
Let’s look at these common factors one by one.
Whatever your type, it is important that a small business website builds trust in users.
Among the professionals of User Experience it is said that trust comes first and then business comes.
A key way to achieve this is by visibly publishing the company’s telephone and email.
Some additional information could be the address and work schedule. Also an online chat could be useful.
Maybe you have noticed that this website has all these elements. That is how we do.
Trust comes first and then business comes.
Even when clients do not use these means of contact, it lets them know that there are people behind the website, with whom they can communicate if they need it.
Make it easy to communicate with you
Another key issue on small business websites is a formidable contact page.
On this page you must place a contact form that works. It should, in fact, allow users to send you an email from there.
Users should be informed whether or not the email was successfully sent.
Also, since they are automated mails, they may come to you as spam. Therefore, check frequently and answer promptly.
But in addition to this interaction, it is necessary to place all your contact information, such as phone numbers, emails, address or addresses, maps, schedules, contact persons, etc.
A good page about the company
A good part of the users are on your website to know precisely about the company. This will allow them to decide whether to do business with you or not.
It is possible that many may only know you this way, so having an excellent presence here is vital.
It would be good to tell the story of the company, but not in a cold, but inspiring way. Explain how what the company does can help people or make them happier.
You can also include photos of the staff. You could decide whether to include only the key charges or all employees equally.
Depending on the personality of the company, there may be space to be creative with these photos.
In any case, remember that what is different is what it gets people’s attention. And you certainly want to get customers’ attention.
Mission, Vision and Values
When it comes to the mission, vision and values of the company, there are always doubts about what should go there.
Some specialists have said that the mission of the company is:
- What the company does
- How does it
- For whom
As an example, Disney’s mission is to create happiness by providing the highest quality entertainment for people of all ages around the world.
Can you see the 4 elements in that simple sentence? Then do yours.
The vision is not only an ideal, as “becoming the supplier with the largest market share in the country”, but corresponds to established strategies.
That is, your vision could be “to cover 50% of the market share for your particular niche in the next 3 years.”
But in order for you to really say that, you should have drawn strategies for doing so. That way you could have a better chance of reaching it.
Remember that desires are not goals.
Values are qualities that characterize you (or should characterize you) as a company.
Customers would expect employees representing the company to be examples of these values.
They can be as many as you want. The important thing is that you can explain why it is important that the company has these values and how it shows them.
It is more than clear that all employees must know the values and accept them.
Placing the mission, vision and values of your company on your website is convenient to provide a personality for the company.
If the company is a manufacturer
Some small businesses make original products, perhaps even from their own creation.
If this is the case, your customers would be the distributors who buy those products by bulks and then sell them to stores or outlets.
The purpose of the website for these manufacturing companies should be to facilitate interaction with these distributor customers or to create new customers like these.
To put it best, let’s take as example a family owned small business that makes pasta sauces.
On the website of this small business, called as the name of the brand, there is a description of each of the products.
This description includes all the details, such as weight, nutritional table, own characteristics, quantities in which the bulks come, etc.
In each product description should have the possibility that, as a shopping cart, those who visit can request the prices of the sauces’ bulks.
It is to suppose that the visitor is a customer distributor or someone that could be it. If so, this price request form could facilitate contact between the customer and the small business.
In addition, the catalog of products in PDF and advertising material of the brand could be placed as downloadable.
If it is necessary to publish information on the website that is only for customers, these pages could be placed as restricted access. Users and passwords should be assigned to clients so that they can receive such information.
Maybe promotions in specific seasons, or volume discounts, etc. could be examples of content restricted to customers.
But you also have to think that the user could be a regular person, someone who saw or bought the sauce in a supermarket. You need to have content for them too.
For them, the brand should have a story about how they started making pasta sauces.
This story must be true and told in a way that will make end users feel close to the brand.
it’s good to try to reach the heart of the public at the time of writing that story, rather than presenting facts with dates.
In addition, in the particular case of a product that is food, something very common is to provide recipes for people to make using those products.
Some brands that have clear digital marketing strategies have used gamification elements in their websites, in order to please users.
This can be done through animations, trivia, challenges, etc. The possibilities are endless.
If the company is a distributor
When a company is a distributor of products, it may be for a single brand or for several brands. This single condition could cause the company website to change.
Distributor companies of a single brand
When a company is a sole distributor, it usually has an exclusivity in a country or region.
In that case, your website should have the name of the brand and the country or region among the key SEO factors.
A good idea would be to get the ccTLD (Country Code Top Level Domain, eg .es for Spain, .cl for Chile, etc.) of the brand for the country.
For example, if the brand is Hlusick, you have the domain hlusick.com and you are the representative for Italy, you could get hlusick.it
If a company is a single brand distributor for a country, actually the name of the company is not so important, but the name of the brand, which is what customers may be looking for online.
Everything on that website should be related to the brand, as it is what customers want and for which they pay.
Distributor companies of many brands
However, many distribution companies usually do not do it for a single brand. Rather, they have a portfolio of products as wide as possible to offer more to their customers.
If that is the case, the right thing is to give equal importance to each brand. The website should be called as the company and make clear in the description which are the brands that they distribute.
Whatever the conditions, the products that are distributed must have a prominent place on the website.
If the company wants to make direct sales to the final customer, their website should be e-commerce.
But if the company distributes these brands to stores or points of sale, it can have a strategy similar to the company that manufactures products.
In any case, users should be able to find products by brand, type or name.
If the company provides services
Some companies instead of selling products offer services. Some of these services could be legal or accounting advice, cleaning, transportation, surveillance, etc.
We ourselves are a service company: we design websites, as well as graphic design and digital marketing services. That’s what we sell.
In such a case, it is very important to define well the services you provide. There must be a complete description of the service or of each of the services you provide.
If the service is performed during a period, it would be useful to present a timeline, so that the clients can understand how the service will be developed.
A FAQ page is very valuable on websites of this type.
Even so, in the description page of a particular service you can include the questions (and answers) that customers usually have about that particular service.
What to include in the description of a service
The description of the service should not only be what it is, but also why your client needs it.
In this part, in addition to being objective as to the real needs that your clients have about this service, you can be subjective as to the emotional benefits that will bring them.
Of course, the opinions of other customers who have used this service should be placed as part of the description.
But perhaps the most valuable in the description is the section where you explain why you are the ideal person or company to carry out that service. Why they should hire your services instead of your competitors.
It is good to spread as much as you can in this explanation, as it is surely what would make the difference and would allow you to differentiate yourself from the competition.
The contact from a service
At the end of the description of each service, you must place a form that allows the user to contact you to request that service.
Although it is possible to link to the contact page, if you include a request form in the description of the service you would being facilitating things to your client, who will surely thank you for that.
Not including this form and not even a link to the contact page would make you think that the information you have posted there is merely informative. So your client will go to another place where it seems that they do offer that service.
Hlusick is by your side to help you
Depending on the market they are targeting, and the commitment they put on having a flawless digital presence, small businesses can put these ideas into practice for their own websites.
For us, here in Hlusick, it will be our pleasure to use all our experience to help you have an excellent website for your small business, at a very reasonable price. You are free to contact us so we can see your particular case.