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From Bricks To Clicks: Importance Of A Website For Small Businesses

 
importance of a website
 

A website is the cornerstone of marketing strategy for any business. It is a vital part of your digital ecosystem but it must be integrated with your marketing if you wish to get the best results. Some traditional businesses and professionals today rely on 'word of mouth' to attract customers. Referrals from your friends and clients can show enormous results in attracting new clients, who do not know you personally. 

When a client refers you to a friend they might mention your name, your business name or your service. These new referrals will 'check you out' on the on a medium of their choice: usually Google, LinkedIn or your website, or all three! But what if they cannot find you online? Or worse, what if they do not find you credible? 
'First impression is the last impression'. Yeah, this applies to you now! Your first impression on your prospects online could possibly turn into your last impression. If you don't match the perception in the prospect's mind, they will bounce and go elsewhere. This is the change in businesses today, there is a layer of digital in between the referral of your service and first point of contact from a new client. 

Let's elaborate and have a deeper understanding of the power of websites, see results of a successful business with a website, and how you can take your first step towards building a website.

The power of a website 

For example, when I google 'florists in Melbourne' this is what I receive. I see 14 million search results and offers for beautiful flowers at a very cheap price. But if I wanted to book a florist for a wedding or a conference, would I really just choose any of those options? No! I would visit their website and scrutinize every inch of their service. If I then feel satisfied, I would give them a call or visit the shop. This applies to every single business today. In today's world, the percentage of someone checking you out online as opposed to stepping in your shop is unbalanced.

 
google search
 

IBISWorld also depicts that 80% of the online population shops online. 71% of these people believe that they will score a better offer online compared to in-store shopping and 50% of the online population makes a purchase online every day. That's a mind-boggling customer base available to you. 
In comparison, 60% of small businesses in Melbourne do not own a website online yet. That's a whole lot of businesses that are straight out of competition due to lack of digital platforms. 
According to IBISWorld Australia, digitally active businesses are increasing by 4.3% per year on average. At this rate, most of the businesses will be online sooner or later and people without a website could potentially loose a fair bit of business. 

With a growth worth 4.3% per year it is a no brainer for any business to have a website.

The story of a florist 

 
Floral impressions
 

Kathleen is one of our great clients who received awesome results from turning her shop front into a digital world. Having worked with some of the most prominent florists of Melbourne including Panache in Hawthorn and Full Bloom in South Melbourne, she considers herself to be lucky to do what she loves and be a part of special moments in her customer's life. Kathleen has developed and honed her skill for weddings, corporates, and events. Having started her business in 2015, Kathleen felt the need for a website and that's when she found us. 

"Over the past few months, I have been working closely with Andrew and his team to transform my shop front into a digital reality. Tonight the website went live and it all came together. A consistent approach with a seamless strategy across several platforms that is just right for my evolving business. Best of all, I have control of it. Thanks, Social Star!" - Kathleen Farrell, Floral Impressions, Ivanhoe VIC

We are grateful to have worked with Kathleen and put a beautiful website together for her which people can love and trust. Check out the website here.
 

First step towards a website

Now that you are super excited to build a website, you need to find someone to build it for you. You don't have the skills to easily go in and make updates. Making changes on your website yourself is mandatory as it enables you to quickly fix errors, update changes in your business and add new content. Improving your website and adding new content frequently is one of the major drivers of SEO or how your site gets on the first page of Google.

 
squarespace
 

We recommend one of the new templated website systems as they are made specifically to be easy to use for the average business person. Squarespace is the system we recommend.

Once you have decided on a website template you need to get all of your content organized. For most clients, this is the hardest part! An example of the types of content you will need to gather includes the following:

  • URL location
  • Logo in .eps or .ai
  • Your biography
  • Professional photos of you and your team, products, events etc.
  • Images to use (these can be stock photos or your own photos)
  • Icons
  • Descriptions of your business and services
  • Descriptions of your products


Most Professionals don't have all of these in hand so it's important you choose a website company that can assist you in the creation of this content. Most Professionals don't have all of these in hand so it's important you choose a website company that can assist you in the creation of this content. You can also have a read of 'Top 5 Tips on Building a Website for Professionals' to learn more about website building

So you see, in today's digitally growing world it is imperative to have a website. Especially because not many businesses own a website and this can really give you and your business a competitive edge. If you would like to create a website for your own business and consult with a professional then give us a call. We would love to have a quick 20-minute chat with you. Click below to request a call.

Andrew Ford

Social Star, Level 4, Suite 402, 517 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, Australia

Marketing expert Andrew Ford, the founder of Social Star, has discovered the secret of ‘Powerful Branding’. With a fire for unleashing people’s inner brand and developing business models to generate profit from an individual’s passions, Andrew leverages ground-breaking digital and social media marketing techniques to create digital strategies for clients to attract maximum opportunities. Having established a strong name for himself in the field, Andrew blends traditional business techniques with now-necessary tools for entrepreneurs to achieve scale, quality, and influence in their niche. Andrew’s comprehensive business background and qualifications consist of a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) (RMIT 2003), a Graduate Certificate in Management (MBA Executive Program, University of Sydney 2005), and a Masters of Entrepreneurship and Innovation (Swinburne University 2011). Continually on the cutting edge of his own education, Andrew has tested his marketing theories in forums such as the BCG Business Strategy Competition, which he won in 2005 against all Victorian MBA schools, and the Venture Cup Business Plan Competition (Swinburne University 2003), which he won in the Masters category. With experience working at Hewlett-Packard, Sensis (Telstra) and IBM, Andrew also has mentored dozens of junior staffs to help them achieve their professional goals. Meeting and influencing high-profile public figures helped Andrew to realise just how many professionals require more understanding and control of their public brands or appearance, and need help with the skills to use the many amazing free tools at their disposal to generate success. At Social Star, Andrew consults with clients to uncover their personal brand – both where it is today and where it can be tomorrow – and refine and define how that should be displayed in social media in order to attract their perfect target audience. Andrew mentors his clients to rapidly grow their business’ audiences, resulting in larger potential client bases and higher revenue. Applying formulas that integrate over twenty years of Andrew’s business experience and fifteen years of formal business education, Social Star specialises in building clarity and velocity for clients’ brands using the ‘Understand, Build and Leverage’ methodology. ‘Having a Personal Business enables people to have an authentic, congruent connection with their valued clients and partners, using their brand as the bridge,’ says Andrew. ‘I’m highly driven to work with the new breed of entrepreneurs and small business owners – people who have a passion for making the world a better place. Traditional business models are stepping aside as people follow their innermost dreams and my role is to see them operate within their values while creating wealth. Some people think you have to sacrifice what you love to be successful in your business, yet it is actually the opposite. Follow your passion and success will come.’ Lecturing at Swinburne University from 2009 to 2011 on brand dynamics and digital marketing, presenting at numerous conferences, and consulting to hundreds of clients, Andrew has seen his philosophy work that if you follow your unique path, based on your skills, experience, values and goals, you will automatically attract the opportunities you desire and achieve the success you deserve. Living his mantra, Andrew has created a successful business and attracts high-profile clients including musicians, athletes, authors, models, entrepreneurs, professionals and small business owners, helping them find their ‘why’ in their business and fulfilment in their lives. Business for Andrew is more than work, it’s personal. Running a personal business means that he is able to fulfil all of his values rather than separating his life from work. It supports his two boys while providing social opportunities, educational development, fitness opportunities, spiritual fulfilment and many valuable friendships. Social Star has now become the vehicle for Andrew to crystallise his mission in the world, to help people love what they do, supporting his ‘why’, that if more people loved what they did, the world would be a better place.

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