Small business website development is the real key to the success of small and medium business enterprises that crowd the web world today. The companies do not have the resources to go in for sophisticated, high-end, fully software-loaded websites that big Corporates and business conglomerates indulge in usually. SMEs have to confine their websites within the frameworks of their budget and objectives. There is no money to splurge on fancy websites. Here the purpose of the website is to declare a web presence and also to promote the marketing activities of the companies, utilizing the potential of the internet world. Customer friendliness is the watchword here. Small business website has to increasingly depend on Customer service which is increasingly seen as one of the most valuable uses for a business website. The website should be available on a 24 hour, seven days a week basis.
The basic rule for small business website is that every page of the website should be written from the visitor’s point of view and not from that of the web promoter. The ten fundamental rules for effective small business website development are:
1. Always Be accessible. Show very clearly on your site all the ways that your customer can contact you – including e-mail, phone and fax numbers, and your office hours.
2. Return every e-mail or phone call in the same day, as far as reasonably possible. This may sound simplistic, but a recent experiment with the top Fortune 100 companies showed that nearly a third failed to respond to e-mail sent through their website within one month!
3. Acknowledge all orders. Send e-mail confirmations (this can be done very effectively with autoresponders), and if you’re shipping actual products, give tracking numbers and expected delivery dates.
4. Provide a clear return policy, honour it and learn from it. This may give you more information about what’s working and what’s not.
5. Expect more phone calls. If your Web site traffic and response rates grow (which is, of course, what we want), so will the volume of phone calls, whatever your business or industry.
Regardless of the site quality, clear returns and privacy policies, secure servers, etc., people still require human interaction.
6. Keep the loading time of your webpage to the minimum.
7. Cut down on graphics and action movies and increase the response time of the website so that the client can quickly access all the pages he wants.
8. Search engine optimisation is a must if the website is to be brought during searches.
9. Put effective yet limited banner-ads and logos on the website. They all take time to load.
10. Put content that guide the client easily and lucidly through steps till confirming the order.
Small business web development must offer custom web development for small business websites which should ideally include complete ecommerce solutions and other such current tools. Small business website development keeps its focus on the development of affordable yet professionally designed websites for the use of the small business community. The constraints of budget, time and purpose must dictate such development without compromising on quality. Such optimal design and development are possible taking into account the fast development in technology and concepts of web development.
The small business segment in the world internet economy, mainly cater to marketing of products and services. They enter the web world with minimal investment and maximum expectations. They look to derive maximum benefits out of this ethereal web world. With the present stage of development, these expectations are not beyond the realms of reality. On the contrary, they are realistic and down to earth. The cost of domain registration web hosting, web design and development etc have all come down sharply following the widespread of use of the internet and internet technology. There are thousands of web development companies that offer packaged website development specifically designed for small business sector. No great fancy stuff here. Just the basic things- HTML-Flash-minimum graphics and effective content The key area to be ensured is the reliability of the web hosting service provider and the continuous availability of the website to the clients.
Small website development can be termed successful if they achieve these basic standards. Small clients who own these websites can rest assured that they have not exceeded their budget, means and at the same time that they have boosted their revenue earning potential, thereby adding substantially to their bottom line. Professional yet affordable websites development has become the order of the day. Who want to pump in thousands of dollars into developing a monolith of a website which no one would want to browse for fear of interminable loading time and cumbersome, interfering pages and pop-ups?
Certainly many successful small business websites owe their very existence to the discretion and maturity shown in selecting the appropriate model for websites and deploying content and technology in tune with their business objectives. Small business companies should taking care in finalising the right professional web developer who is well-versed with the requirements of the entrepreneur and the limitations of resources. Ideally small business website development should concentrate on and ensure that:
1. Website should offer all basic needs- dynamic web pages, optimal animation and graphics and realistic content.
2. Website should have minimum lead time between crashes and resumptions.
3. Websites should be able to offer 24hour support.
4. Good software and website maintenance agreements should be available.
5. Good feedback and contact arrangements with order and delivery tracking services.
This should put a small business website in a high orbit with no chance of coming down in a hurry. Small website development is all about, sense of direction and awareness of its’ limitations. This professional approach should make the small business website eminently economical and small business website development worthy of the great efforts put in.