If you are an owner of a small business, this article is for you.
It’s driving me nuts. A lot of small businesses are still clueless about the benefits of doing it online. And for the few that jumped into the techie bandwagon, many are doing it wrong. As a result, they end up spending money on it instead of having the technology bring them the money. Technology then becomes a liability for them instead of an asset; sucking money out instead of pouring it into their business.
Take owning a website for instance.
The following as very common symptoms of small business website failures:
1. The website is owner-centered instead of user-centered. If this is you, don’t be surprised why your website has only three frequent visitors: you, yourself and you alone.
2. A fancy graphics design that demonstrates the graphical talent of the web designer more than his ability to promote it. Ever wondered why your website doesn’t appear on Google? Tip: Don’t ask your web designer.
3. Poor content including: ineffective copy, grammatical errors (of which I admit I am guilty of), articles made only to boasts the company’s already inflated ego and disorganized navigation. You may not be guilty of it all, but at least you get the point.
Mario was the visitor who came to ask how much I would charge for making a simple website. For the life of him, he can’t believe I actually charged a whopping $650 that consists of the following: Web Design, Setting up Ecommerce Account, and Search engine optimization.
Was I overcharging?
Based on Mario’s emails, yes I did. But that’s his opinion. Despite the fact that I pointed him to the websites I made where I charge even three times that amount, he’s still unconvinced. You can read the whole email exchanges here.
My fault, I guess, is that I didn’t elaborate to him further enough on what he would get from those things I offered. I was not able to convince him that by using me (my skills and experience), he would recover his investment in no time and if his products are good enough that there large enough market ready to bite it to nourish their respective businesses. He could have been laughing all the way to the bank now and surf as much as he wants, all because I made him a cute, cash-generating and simply crazy website.
His fault, I guess, is he thought every web developer is like everybody else. He therefore had the website developed by his son. And oh, he asked his son’s friend to do it for him FREE of charge, because his son was busy with his master’s.
Of course it made me smile in silence. I actually wished him luck in his new business website.
Break… Some Words Of Wisdom
Enough for this blame game now. An old man once told me a long time ago that “the only person to be blamed for in any failed business deal is the guy who stares back at you when you face the mirror.” Right, that’s me.
The Disappointed Entrepreneur
I can hardly believe it. Mario came knocking at my door once again (read: my website) after six long months to ask if I can help him with the website his son started but for some reasons could not continue any longer. And note he did not get his son’s friend to do it. It seems like nothing is FREE anymore nowadays. He thought he has no other choice, but to have his son develop him the website. Go, go, go, kid!
But what a crap! I could almost laugh when I saw the damage done by the kid. It was not a website that you can be proud of — from a business standpoint, that is. The domain looked like some cute-little fingers just typed in the keys in random and then another one decided it would be nice to have it registered as domain name. And viola, a domain name!
Not only that, the very reason why he shot me an email was that the shopping cart software failed during checkout. The email sort of say, “Carlos, can you help me with this emergency blah, blah, blah.” Unfortunately, I’m not the type of programmer who enjoys fixing the mess that others have created in the first place. And if I did, I would ask for a premium in doing so.
Enter: Carlos, The Consultant
Of course, the Web Consultant that I am suggested some solutions that he could take. My free suggestions included the following:
- Getting a new Domain Name
- Doing a Keyword Research and Analysis
- Preparing the contents
- Do the Web Design or Get Someone who can do it (should be some other guy and not me, I’m not available no more.)
- Promote the website
These are the areas where a many online entrepreneurs failed miserably. Like Mario, they started taking the wrong path and wonder why they are not going anywhere.
In Part 2 of this article we will explore each one of these. So hang on please.