Saturday, July 3, 2010

Overview of the article: Why Your Small Business Needs a Website in 2010

by Lisa Barone, 12/21/2009
Overview by Dr. Cheryl Cottle

The article looks at the number of small businesses that have not yet built a website as a marketing tool for their business. The author states that 46 percent of all small businesses do not have a website, but suggests that they should all have a website because gone are the days when your customers or target audience uses a telephone directory to locate businesses to meet their needs. The author also talks about the widespread use of social media by small business owner; suggesting that it is a progressive move, but states that there are disadvantage on this dependency.

She therefore states that:

"It’s possible to create a Web presence without a full site thanks to things like Yelp and other social media outlets. However, you don’t control any of those. You have no say on how they’ll let you connect with customers. You can’t create an email list on Twitter. By relying on other sites to house your conversations you’re severely handicapping yourself." (Barone, L., 2009)

The author therefore suggests that small business owners would see more returns on their investment if they get a website to showcase their product or services. She recommends a simple website and not an e-commerce site. An e-commerce site is a much larger investment and requires greater management. An e-commerce site unlike a website adds much more to your business marketing expansion plan. A website does not have to be very large; a five page website is a great start for a small business.

She also recommends that in creating your website you don’t have to compete with large organizations and businesses by building a “huge web site over flowing with content” but a much smaller space that is more intimate; a place that customers can get to know you and what you do. She therefore recommends that five pages is a good start; and suggests that it should include your home page, product or services page, an about us page, and a contact page is a great first start.

The author further suggests that a “real” website will enable you to gain a great deal of advantage in the marketplace and points out what happens to those who rely solely on “free” social marketing space to market their product, services and or brand. The author states that without a “real” web site, you lose your ability to:

• Differentiate yourself
• Create authority and street credibility with customers and within your industry
• Spread ideas
• Get social
• Take advantage of universal search’s ranking power
• Benefit from the engines bias to show local results
• Share your company’s story and information
• House your own community
• Save costs by answering frequently asked questions
• Target your specific neighborhood: by defined by zip code, points of interest, ideas, etc)
• Build an email list.

You must be asking, what is a “real” website? “I have a “real” website on Facebook, and I also have a beautiful blog,” is your thought right now. While they serve as a great platform for promoting your product or services, they are not “real” websites. A business needs a professional website to reflect more professionalism and to gain greater respect and trustworthiness.

I hope that after reading this blog and the article that you will rethink your marketing strategy for your business and get a website built. If you have the skills and the expertise start now, or get a website expert to build one for you. If you want Cottle's Professional Consulting to build one for you, contact us at:

About the Author:
Dr. Cheryl Cottle is an Educator, Instructional Technologist, and System Analysis. She is the Founder of Cottle’s Professional Consulting a multidisciplinary consultancy. Her business website is at: Dr. Cottle is also the creator of two online forum; Women in Business on Facebook and CPC Women in Business at

Copyright © 2010 by Dr. Cheryl Cottle ● Cottle’s Professional Consulting

To read the article:

An Overview of the article: 12 Benefits of Having a Website!

12 Benefits of Having a Website
This overview is written by: Dr. Cheryl Cottle

This article examines the benefits to small businesses having a website as part of their marketing strategy. The author states that having a website is far cheaper and much more flexible than using print-based advertising. The author also suggests that a website is much cheaper to have, and it has greater accessibility and visibility with greater longevity and maturity, while not discounting other forms of marketing methods. He also states that a website also facilitates a business to bridge “geographical barriers” making contact with other markets globally.

A website is not only used as a “medium for representation of your company,” to inform your target audience of what you do and who you are, but you can also use your website to advertise for other business. Selling advertising space to other businesses is a great opportunity to create another income stream and provide an opportunity to have a residual income. This however requires careful planning making sure that you do not advertise for companies that are your direct competitors. The author suggests that the best approach to use is, to sell advertising to companies that complement your business, and not to those that are in direct competition.

Another advantage to having a company’s website is accessibility to customers twenty-four hours. He suggests that while you post a closing sign on your business establishment that says’ closed, a website is always open. Gone are the days for relying solely on your answering machine, saying “We are not in at the moment but if you leave your telephone number and a detailed message we will get back to you as soon as possible.” With a website a person can write you an inquiry in your inbox and you can respond to it in a timely manner.

A website also affords the customer the opportunity to access and research your website at his or her convenience from the privacy of their home. He states that “a potential customer won t have to judge a call centre agent to determine whether he has their best interests in mind, or just wants to make a sale.” With the information provided on your website; a would be customer can make that decision on his or her own. A website provides “convenience” to your customers. He points out that by “offering convenience” and individualized customer service you have add value to your offerings and this fosters a higher level of customer satisfaction.

He also suggests that you include an aspect on your website to facilitate social interactions by featuring tips, advice, and general interest content like daily affirmation tips, or quotations that speaks to people. You can also include visitors’ polls, online survey for customers’ feedback on your product or service, customer service and or marketing strategy used. You can also track your web traffic by analyzing the data provided, as to who accesses your website, time and geographical location of the person, to identify whether your business is best positioned within the market place, and allow you to thinks of ways of making changes if the indicators are not positively reflecting where you want your business to be in the marketplace. Make it a source for great information also, and this will surely keep your customers coming!

In the design of your company’s website, it is also advised that you include a tag line that reflect your company’s philosophy; as your business pitch. He recommends that you analyze the pitches that you have used, and determined which one was most effective and use it. For example, you can include one that says, “We are here to meet your needs!” A website also helps to improve your credibility. Customers conducting research on a product or services will determine if your product or services is what they need and decide whether they will patronize your business. In addition, a website serves as a great space and direct marketing space for referrals. Once a person receives a referral, they can immediately check, out your website for confirmation.

In addition, a website can be used to provide information to your “brick and mortar” business location. To make getting to you easy, a map can be used on your website to direct customers where to find you; it is easy, accessible and timely. If you have to relocate your store front, you can easily update this on your website. You no longer have to write each customer a letter and post it, you can just e-mail everyone informing them of you move, or post the change on your website. The use of e-mailing is another lesson that small businesses need to incorporate into their business marketing strategy that also requires training. The author also states that a website in addition to its great potential also provides a “growth opportunity” for would be investors. Individuals interested in investing in your business can easily analyze and monitor your business’s progress and decide at a distance whether they will invest or not in your business: if that is one of you business objective.

A website is a great forum for any type of business. It enables you to reach a larger audience, at anytime from the privacy of their home. It is an open door to your business. It provides information about who you are and what you do; immediately and it allows the person to make a decision on the spot so to speak whether they will patronize your business and refer you to another.

Need a website, Cottle’s Professional Consulting Will design one for you at a reasonable cost and specific to your business Needs!
To read the article go to:

About the Author:
Dr. Cheryl Cottle is an Educator, Instructional Technologist, and System Analysis. She is the Founder of Cottle’s Professional Consulting a multidisciplinary consultancy. Her business website is at: Dr. Cottle is also the creator of two online forum; Women in Business on Facebook and CPC Women in Business at

Copyright © 2010 by Dr. Cheryl Cottle ● Cottle’s Professional Consulting
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