It's been a long cold winter and it's the first day of spring. The air is crisp, the sky a crystal blue. You're feeling your spirit rise and the breath of air fills your lungs with the joy and feeling of fresh new beginnings.
You look around your home, you peer into your garden and you see them weathered from the winter but ready to spring into a new season with you, a new beginning. Its time for you to make changes and bring your home into order, clean and crisp as the new spring and feeling of opportunity that falls upon your world.
At first it seems like a daunting task, to clean the house, remove all the things you don't need anymore and most importantly clear away the cold past that was winter. Wanting this done fast so you can enjoy spring and the summer to come you want to find people who can help and do it more efficiently, faster and less expensive than if you were to do it yourself.
15 years ago before the internet was known, you would have looked in the yellow pages and telephoned cleaners, gardeners and property maintenance businesses finding out what they could do and how much it would cost. Your decision would come down to the price they gave, and what you found out they could do and even the tone and care in their voice would either persuade you or have you politely hanging up.
15 years later and the world is very different. It's another spring and your home needs maintenance, your garden attention, and you know you would prefer to have people help you get it done faster and more efficiently so you can spend your time enjoying spring and the summer to come. Like many people the first thing you will do is search the internet and search the yellow pages online. You may even instant message a friend and ask who they have used. Many will twitter their feelings or blog how much spring is on their mind and how they plan to get their world in order. Just as quickly they will write about who do a great job and link to the website. The internet has become central to our life: one of the first places we seek answers and the most likely to convince us.
Every small business, and the smallest of small businesses, will spend hundreds of dollars a month on their telephone; they'll spend hundreds each year on their yellow pages and local advertising and hundreds more on letterheads and business cards for staff. Many businesses will even spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars extra on their office or shop lease to be in the best position for their customers. Any business that has started in the last 50 years knows how important all these elements are to having a mere chance of success.
Today we live in an era of the internet - the most powerful, most accessible, dynamic communication system ever known to human kind. Most of us will turn immediately to the internet for answers to the simplest quests to find products and services or just another person to help us. Even if it is just people to help you maintain your home, clean up your garden or just simply clean your carpets.
Many people will still lookup a printed yellow pages, check out the flyers in their letter boxes or ask their neighbor across the fence to find who best to call. To finalize the decision, make their final choice and put their plans into action, they'll consult what they can on the internet. Most people will be looking and asking for the website of businesses that are suggested to them.
For people a website best answers who, what, why, how and when the business can help them. For the business it is the best chance they have to fully and completely express who they are, how and why they are special and best able to provide the value people are looking for.
After all the searching, calling, querying and asking other people that your prospective customers do, the final piece in the buying process is your website. It's your website that seals the deal, clinches the sale and reels in the business. Or not.
The worst thing you can do is spend hundreds a month on your telephone, thousands a year on local advertising, more on your office or shop lease than you may need and not have a web site. Even the most basic web site is as critical to the success of your business as your telephone, business cards, advertising or even your office or shop.
If you don't have a web site, or you've held back spending on your website don't expect to gain too much new business - you could risk losing a lot of sales.
Investing in your website to the level that you spend on your telephone and business cards each year will earn far greater results than both combined. It's your website where you get the chance to fully express, sell, persuade and show prospective customers every facet of your business, skill, ability and talent. You get to show everyone how alive, capable, knowledgeable, experienced and active your business is. All you need do is write about your business and the services and products you provide with all the passion that inspired you to go into business in the first place. And just as easily, with little effort your web site will have photo's showing you, your people, your products and examples of your work. You don't need to be a web or computer genius or even be a geek.
Just remember the feeling of a new spring day with the fresh air on your face, the gleam of a crystal blue sky in your eye, the feeling of clarity in your mind and emotion of new possibilities. Now picture your web site and how it can clear doubt from your customers' minds and the fresh opportunities for your business.
It's your web site that will seal the deal, clinch the sale and reel in the business. Always keep it alive and fresh like a new spring day, don't hold back.
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