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Effective small business web design is now critical to almost every small business. In fact, until you have your own business website, most potential cus­tomers won’t see you as a credible business at all.

Why is that? What makes a business website so special?

Why Small Business Web Design Matters

A website is nor­mally the primary mar­keting vehicle for your business. It isn’t just a shop window. It’s an inter­na­tional trav­elling sales team, with the ability to sell 24/7/365 to cus­tomers in their own homes in the moments when they are most inter­ested in buying.

Think about what it would cost to achieve that cov­erage with a team of sales people. That’s the value a website provides. So that’s why even estab­lished high-street shops often struggle to compete without an effective online presence.

Still, “effective” is the critical word here. Just any old website won’t do.

How Is Small Business Web Design Different?

Whatever your business sells or provides, mar­keting is what makes it a business. Marketing encom­passes all the pro­cesses that lead to sales, so when we talk about needing to compete, mar­keting is the competition.

Providing great products and ser­vices matters, but you can’t just do that and hope they will sell them­selves. That sort of “hope mar­keting” just doesn’t work. It can always be outsold by someone who’s better at mar­keting, even if what they provide is mediocre.

Whilst some people love that idea, many don’t. Small busi­nesses often struggle because they try to deny or ignore it.

So, small business web­sites need to compete effect­ively. Still, don’t all web­sites do that?

No. In fact, most don’t!

Business Websites Are Not Personal Websites

Many small business web­sites are built as though they were per­sonal pro­jects, or by people who have only ever built per­sonal pro­jects. Competing in search engines and con­verting vis­itors into cus­tomers simply aren’t pri­or­ities for such sites.

So building per­sonal sites isn’t much help when it comes to designing business web­sites. Using drag’n’drop editors and relying on having an “eye for design” or being “artistic” doesn’t even really teach design or coding at all. That sort of free expression is art. Design is not art — design uses structure to solve problems and make things work.

In other words, going from building per­sonal sites to building business web­sites is like learning brick­laying and then claiming to be an architect.

Common Small Business Web Design Mistakes

Many small business startups claim to follow a “lean startup” men­tality. That’s fine if done properly, but often just means doing as little as pos­sible as cheaply as pos­sible. That misses three vital points.

Firstly, whilst cutting costs is good, cutting invest­ments is often fatal. Unlike pure costs, decent invest­ments pay for them­selves and then gen­erate returns that tend to be pro­por­tional to the investment. So whilst all invest­ments involve risk, not investing guar­antees failure — and investing too little just adds a cost to that failure.

Secondly, no race was ever won by just copying com­pet­itors and tagging along with the pack. Established firms have advantages over startups, who first need to catch up with the pack. Either way, you’ll need to work smarter and/or harder than your com­pet­itors to stand out. The skills needed to work smarter often take years to learn. That is why people invest in exper­i­enced web design and digital mar­keting help.

Finally, whilst starting with a “Minimum Viable Product” (MVP) to test your market is wise, it isn’t a valid test unless you reach the market. So trying that with inef­fective mar­keting just wastes your entire budget and cripples your dream.

Underinvesting in mar­keting doesn’t reduce risk. It increases risk, and reduces returns.

Why DIY And Cheap Web Design Services Often Fail

Whilst DIY website builder plat­forms claim you can have a “pro­fes­sional” website without skill, time or money, that’s just a sales pitch. If it were true, most pro­fes­sional web designers would be using them. Most of us don’t, because they’re lim­iting. We prefer to con­tinue building sites that out-compete what those plat­forms can achieve. Because that’s what your com­pet­itors pay us to do.

Likewise, the cheapest web designers are usually either so inex­per­i­enced with business that they don’t know their own costs, or moon­lighting. Either way, they probably won’t be in business long enough to provide support when you need it. Don’t under­es­timate how much that can cripple your business. The web evolves rapidly, so you will need ongoing support.

In other words, the hidden costs of cheap web design are gen­erally more expensive than investing in better solu­tions. You need to invest in the most cost-effective solu­tions you can afford. Normally, that means pro­fes­sional web design. If your budget really is tight though, my affordable small business web design packages can help.

Get a website that means business

Affordable Small Business Web Design