Running a small business is hard work. Long hours, juggling all of the various job titles that you didn’t know you were signing up for, and trying to build your business up. We work with so many small businesses that have all done some things consistently that we think is hurting their growth. All of these things are incredibly important to your business, but you may not realize it.
1 – Bad Branding / No Branding
Your brand is the cover to your “book”. People are going to judge your business based on what they see. According to a recent study by Google, 70% of people look at multiple businesses before making a final decision. Often times these people may be Googling for the service/product that you offer outside of your business hours, the only thing there to “sell” them is your brand and hopefully a great website.
2 – Using Your Social Media Address as your Web Address
Your social media accounts are different than your website, your Facebook page should not be used as your only online presence, and here’s why. As a Facebook business page, your non-monetized posts are going to reach approximately 3% of your entire following. So, you have 100 followers on Facebook, your standard “free” posts are going to reach 3 people. Also, let’s talk bring branding into this. If I told you that you could find my business (named Widget Builders) online at widgetbuilders.com would you find that easy to remember? What about facebook.com/widgetbuildersohio ? Which one would you find easier to remember? Your users / customers / fans aren’t going to want to look hard for you. Make it as easy as possible.
3 – Free Email as your Business Email
Look, gmail is a terrific service, but did you know that if you buy a domain (typically around $15 per year) and have some form of a website, it’s super easy for you to have an email address with your domain name in it? So would you trust “email@example.com” or “firstname.lastname@example.org”? You are a professional business that is trying to convince people to patronize your business, let’s get you a professional email address.
4 – Poor Domain Name Strategy
Our domain name is duodesigndev.com. We offer design and development services and our business name is “Duo Design + Development”. We have various subdomains, blog.duodesigndev.com , projects.duodesigndev.com , planner.duodesigndev.com , etc. Research in 2015 by Verisign has shown that Internet search users are almost twice as likely to click on a domain name that includes at least one of the keywords in their search query, compared to a domain name that does not include any of the keywords in their search query. While there are many variables that go into search rankings, such as content quality, cross-linking, advertising budgets, etc., having a portfolio of descriptive, keyword-rich domain names may give you an edge in getting prospective customers to click to your site.
5 – Delaying Creating a Website
As much as we don’t like to admit it, it’s pretty easy to get a website in today’s world. There are drag ‘n drop / free website builders all over the internet. Or if you don’t want to try to learn some annoying tool you can sign up for our low-cost monthly website plans here! The point is, there is no reason to delay building your website. In fact, we would say that’s the first thing you should do after you setup your business officially. You have to ask yourself, are you going to ALWAYS be around to answer phone calls, read emails and talk to people in your store / shop / office? Any good website should be able to effectively communicate your messaging and your tone with every person that visits it.
6 – Forgetting to Update Your Website
Here at Duo we use WordPress as our primary Content Management System for websites. We also offer unlimited change requests / edits with our monthly website plans. Every small business that we have worked with wants to rank higher on Google and the best way to build up your Google ranking is by keeping the content on your website fresh and up-to-date. Blogging (super easy to do if you have a website built on WordPress) is just the art of talking about your business, your services, your products but in written form. Every single day us small business owners talk about our businesses over and over, so just write down a few of those FAQs that you deal with and POW there you have some blog posts!
Running a small business is a lot of work. Having a website is a lot of work, but what sets small business owners apart from other people is that we have that hustle gene. We have that drive to always do better, to always build our business up and to figure out new ways of connecting with more people. Set your business up so that managing the marketing, creative and website is helpful to your bottom line. If it’s too hard to use, or it’s just not easy to manage, consider hiring a digital agency like us to help you out. Your business cannot survive if you try to do every single thing by yourself. Invest in yourself, invest in your business and invest in your mental health by setting up your business on the right foot. If you already have a business up and running, it’s never too late to pivot and set these things up.