By Mark Oldberg: October 15, 2017: Blog
We recently decided that the half bath on the main floor of our home needed some new floors. So, like when we get any work done on the house I set about trying to find three companies to meet with and get quotes from. First thing I did? I searched Google of course. I chose what looked like the best company based on reviews and ratings, and that also had good information on their website. I then asked some business contacts for referrals. I got 2 more names from that. I then started doing additional research on these companies. So of course I went looking for their websites. What I found out was very interesting.
Neither of the companies had any reviews left online. One of the companies had a website that looked like it was built sometime during the Clinton administration, and the other had no website at all. That's when I realized something.
I don't trust businesses with bad or non-existent websites.
Even though these two companies were referred by people in my network, I immediately pegged them as amateurs. I ended up giving them a shot at getting the job because they had been referred, but the first impression was damaged. We operate in a Google world now. Your web presence can get you business, and also establish a solid first impression with potential customers. It is absolutely vital that your business have a website.
A company without a website looks like a hobby. So if you are starting or have a business, you need to get a website. You can go use one of the website builders like WIX, hire someone to build you one, or you can figure out how to build one yourself.
If you want to utilize a tool that works off of a template, I suggest using WIX. It is easy to use and you can still customize it enough to accomplish your goals. This can be good enough for a lot of companies. I will, however, tell you that you cannot use the free version. It looks cheap and has WIX branding. You need to sign up for the paid plans where you can get your own domain and the WIX branding is taken off of the site. Having a website without a dedicated domain can almost be worse than having no website at all.
If you hire someone, make sure you get quotes from at least 3 companies. Make sure you see previous work they have done. Also figure out what any on-going maintenance is going to cost you, or if it can be built in a way were updates can be done by you. The prices vary wildly out there, but a good one can cost your from $1,000 to $5,000+ depending on the complexity of your site.
If you want to sign up for your own hosting and build a custom website, I have written a guide that will help you get your website in less than 10 minutes. You can then learn to polish it from there. It can be the cheapest route but you have to put in some time to learn.
Remember if you are a small business owner that wants to DIY as much as possible, you are going to have to be willing to learn. Learning to manage your own web presence can be extremely beneficial for your business.
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