In recent years we’ve seen a HUGE increase in the number of small businesses owned by women. This growth has been so dramatic that millions of people now think of a woman when they visualize who owns the businesses they buy from.
Women everywhere deserve a big pat on the back for this amazing accomplishment. But as is always the case for small business owners, there is still a lot of work to be done.
The one thing your small business MUST have is a web site. Sure, ten years ago having a site was an option many small businesses could do without. But that is no longer the case. Here’s why:
* These days consumers and business leaders are more likely to use search engines than the Yellow Pages. They’ll type the name of your town and your type of business into Google and start their research from there.
* A web site lets you put as MUCH information as you want in a public forum. You no longer have to pay thousands for a big newspaper ad just to let customers know about your prices, new services, or show photos of what you do. Now you can keep all that information available on your web site 24/7 at little or no cost.
* You know as well as I do that most customers are a little shy about asking questions. Often they don’t even want you to know they’re interested until AFTER they have learned more about your product, service, or idea. A web site allows that vast number of potential customers to privately and anonymously read all about your business. Then, when they’re ready to buy, they’ll come forward with their questions and orders. This is a MUCH more efficient way to do business, which leads to my next point.
* Web based business operations can be EXTREMELY EFFICIENT. Customers often prefer convenient email over phone or in-person visits. Email encourages customers to organize their ideas, contacting you when they know what they want and are ready to act. You’ll find your web site generates many more customers and the customers you get are better organized.
* Finally, women love to buy from women-owned businesses. Women, as a group, tend to be less compulsive shopper than men. While a large segment of men will buy an item on impulse, the vast majority of women prefer to learn about your product or service, getting all the details they can before placing an order. Web sites are perfect for presenting a lot of information at very little cost.