Quarter-size hail + wind + 20-year-old siding = this.
Quarter-size hail + wind + 20-year-old siding = this.

Why Small Businesses Need a Good Website

Whether you’re a contractor, a manufacturer or a service provider, having a clean, content-rich, updated website is more than just about promoting your business. It’s about providing potential customers the information they need to WANT to do business with you.  

Earlier this month,  much of Billings and the surrounding area was hit by a hailstorm which left roofs, shingles, siding, windows and fences in shambles. Our home was one of those hit, meaning that for the first time we had to file a claim against my insurance and begin navigating the world of home contractors. 

With a plethora of news stories already decrying the number of scams that frequently begin following a major storm, I found myself already feeling a bit anxious. So my husband and I set out online to find some local contractors who had been in the business for awhile, with good reputations both on and offline. What we found wasn’t necessarily surprising, but certainly disheartening.

Other than some of the larger/franchise groups, there were few contractor websites for providers in my area. There were a few websites which looked relatively new, largely templates (no finger pointing there) with little or no content to tell me who they were, how they work (or why I should work with them.)  Sites like these led me to believe that a) these were people who tossed up a website in hopes of taking advantage of the hailstorm (aka those “scammers” mentioned in the news; or b) companies that lacked the experience we want and need to make my home look great again.

As noted in this Entrepreneur post by Mikal Belicove, you have less than a second to make a first impression online–which means you could be losing potential business left and right if your website is dated (and think of what it means to your bottom line if don’t have a website at all.)

So whether you’re a contractor, a manufacturer or a service provider, having a clean, content-rich, updated website is more than just about promoting your business. It’s about providing potential customers the information they need to WANT to do business with you.

Oh–and for those wondering,  we have found a contractor, thanks to referrals by friends and colleagues that all pretty  much pointed to the same person. But you better bet I’ll be talking to him about why he needs a much better website.  If you want to talk about your website, please feel free to contact me.

 

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