A website can generate sales as well as make your business look more professional

By Harold Taylor
Last month we discussed websites at our Chamber of Commerce members’ meeting and how you can use a website to generate sales.

I’m not sure about entrepreneurs in general, but in my field, 30% of professional speakers in one survey revealed that they didn’t even have a website.

Websites make you look professional, provide a great way to quickly communicate to your prospective clients, and often bring in business you hadn’t expected.

With a domain you get professional email addresses. Many small companies use addresses such as TonysMeats@hotmail.com or SurefireSecurity@gmail.com, which simply look unprofessional. Any 8 year old can have a Hotmail account.

With your own domain you can create sales@TonysMeats.com which looks a lot better than Hotmail or Gmail. You can also make your company look larger and more professional by having several more targeted email addresses such as sales@TonysMeats.com, accountspayable@TonysMeats.com, info@TonysMeats.com and so on.

A website doesn’t have to be expensive to develop or to maintain. For example, WordPress is free, as is the eCommerce component, Woocommerce. PayPal is free as well – except for the 3% or so commission on any sales.

You can get a domain for about $15 a year. Hosting might cost about $100 a year, and you’re in business. And don’t forget to take advantage of a free email marketing company such as Send in blue for your monthly or quarterly electronic newsletter.

These are the companies that we are currently using at our website, Taylorintime.com, and there are many others to choose from. Mailchimp for your email blasts is another option but the free version is only free up to 2000 names. If you’re not computer-savvy, get help from any 12-year-old. My 12-year old son is now a 52-year-old entrepreneur; but he still helps me when I need him.

Robert Bly, author of the book, Getting Started in Speaking, Training or Seminar Consulting, says, “next to a published book, nothing establishes you as an authority more than having your own dedicated website on a topic.”

If you want to communicate clearly, keep it simple. According to marketing consultant Mary Hayes, quoted in a Toronto Globe & Mail article, visitors to your site expect to find what they are looking for in 15 seconds or they’re gone. She claims, “They want to find, not search.”

How much customers buy from your website is influenced by how much time they spend in the store. So capitalize on this fact by designing your website so people will stay longer. You can do this with interesting articles, tips, questionnaires and information of value to the visitor. Make your website attractive. Not just attractive in appearance, but designed to attract people back. Give people a reason to return to your website. Make it a point to change something each week, whether it’s an added article, a new product, a special offer, weekly quote or simply a change in design.

A monthly or quarterly opt-in newsletter in your area of expertise is a great vehicle for directing people to your website.

Many organizations have affiliate programs where you receive a percentage of any sale made when someone uses a link on your web in order to visit the other organization’s website. If they are selling non-competing products that would help your clients and prospects, it’s a win-win situation. If you link to several websites, the revenue will add up.

Since I currently write electronic books for a publisher in Denmark, I have a list of these 24 books on our website with a link to the book description on the publisher’s site. Generating sales for Bookboon generates more royalties for me.

For information on future luncheon meeting topics, call the Chamber office at 506-433-1845, or contact us here.

Harold L Taylor, owner of Taylorintime.com, is a member of the Sussex & District Chamber of Commerce and a columnist with the Kings County Record, tj.news/kingscountyrecord.

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