You have been saving your money for years. You have been setting aside your pennies and working overtime. And you are now walking into the car dealership – finally ready to purchase your dream car. But, you immediately recognize that something is wrong when you step foot onto the showroom floor.
Instead of the sleek sports car that you have your heart set on, in the middle of floor sits a man behind a desk waving politely (and maybe with quite a bit too much enthusiasm), saying: “Do you want to buy?!”
It seems this dealership has forgotten what a showroom is for. And, as a result, you walk back out to go look for a dealer who will let you see the beautiful paint job, sit in the soft leather seats, wrap your fingers around the steering wheel, and hear the roar of the car’s engine.
The Business Website Problem
So what is this story really about?
Unfortunately, there are many small business websites (and a number of larger business websites as well) that suffer from the same issue this hypothetical dealership.
First, let’s be very realistic about why any business has a website. Ultimately they want to sell their products, services, and ideas.
In order do that, a business must be discoverable. With 59.5% of the world’s population having access to the internet (Statista, 2021), it is crucial for a small business, and all businesses, to have a website.
That website should do a few core things which include:
- provide some information about the business
- describe what it is that the business does
- provide ways to contact the business (or buy directly if the product/service allows).
Unfortunately, many businesses stop short of really achieving the second bullet.
Show. Don’t Tell.
Those who study the art of writing will more than likely come across a quote, often attributed to Anton Chekhov, that states: “Show, don’t tell.”
While its proper application in fiction writing is oft debated, this advice is quite easily applied to businesses and their websites.
Whatever it is that your business does, show your potential customers, donors, and visitors your work. When your customer’s browser loads your site, do they easily see the results of what your business can do for them? If you refinish kitchens – have lots of photography of your projects. If you create jewelry – show off the intricacies of the metal work. And if you teach public speaking to business owners (highly recommend Dale Carnegie!), make sure your photos show your teachers actively engaged with classes. Get people excited!
Don’t leave your products or services up to the imagination of your potential customers. Why? They are visiting you because they need a problem solved. It’s your turn to show them what it is you can do!
Go A Step Further
Once you think you are showing what your business does, pause and ask yourself if you can do more.
Back to our previous examples.
If you are teaching public speaking, why stop at photos? How powerful would a video testimonial be of one of your students speaking in front of an audience about their experience with your company!
If you design and create jewelry, get people wearing them! Put them on people’s ears, fingers, ankles, toes, necks, etc. and have a photographer capture the beauty of your jewelry on real people! Paint that picture for your visitors who are not quite sure they want to make that purchase.
For those kitchen remodels – a final photo of your project is good. But, it’s even more powerful when you pair it with a before photo demonstrating just how great your skill really is in kitchen transformation.
The before/after approach is particularly useful in many different industries. As an example, take a look at Schaeffer’s Auto who took before and after photos of auto-body work that they have performed. This demonstrates their skill an expertise in an intuitive manner by overlaying the two images across each other.
But My Business Isn’t Beautiful!
At CavetTek, more than once, we have heard the phrase, “But nobody wants to see MY business’s photos. I…” followed with a slew of excuses.
If you are a business that is making money, then someone out there wants to see what you do before they buy from you! Don’t make it harder for them. Take advantage of the opportunity. Make it so easy to make a decision to buy from you.
Your website is your storefront in the digital world. It is there for your customers. Show. It. Off.
We discussed why and how businesses should show off their work and that it does not matter what you’re in the business of doing. Whether products, services, online stores, or traditionally low-tech, every small business owner can benefit from demonstrating their work and showing their customers what they’re buying when they choose you.