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Why Every Business Needs a Website, A Case Study

If you take a poll of web users, they are likely to agree that every business needs a website. Take a poll of small business owners, however, and only about 50 percent seem to agree. In fact, half of all businesses do not have a website, and the owners of those businesses have no idea how many customers they lose because of it.

Customers don’t look for businesses and services in phone books or newspapers anymore. Believe it or not, more than 90 percent of business searches are online. If you are a business owner who wonders, “Why do I need a website?”, here is the case study of a service-based company that went from zero to zoom in less than a year.

Not long ago, a small Florida lawn care business was struggling to find clients. The owner had been working in the field for 10 years and he was unfamiliar with the Internet landscape. Even worse, he was paying for an online listing service that displayed ads from his rivals all around his profile. The company name had almost no Google rank and the owner had no idea how much a website could help.

His wife knew, however, and she continually urged him to launch a website. Finally, the business owner relented, and he hired an affordable web designer to create a simple, five-page website. What happened next was amazing. Within hours of the site’s launch, a Google search for the name of the business got the number-one, top spot! That was just the beginning.

The woman who designed the website was also a skilled content writer and web marketer. She optimized the website for local results and targeted the company’s regional service area. She researched and wrote a business blog to build trust in the company, and she started social media campaigns on Facebook and Google+ to link back to the site. The web designer also launched a few YouTube videos and other media to help raise Google page ranks.

The results were astonishing. After just a few months, the website began to dominate Google’s first page of local search results, as it does today. Not only does the site rank high for the name of the business, it also gets top rank for search terms that customers actually use, like “lawn care service” and “lawn mowing company.”

The bottom line is that this business’ customer base grew from 200 clients to 260 satisfied customers in less than a year. The owner is more than thrilled with the return on his investment, and his wife is pretty happy, too. Just one more reason why every business needs a website.

This case study shows how a simple website and affordable web marketing can bring small businesses more customers than any static phone book ever could. Visit Kate Monteith Affordable Web Design & Content Writing Services to find out why your business needs a website.

Your Business Plan – Highlighting Business Functions in the Operations and Management Plan

Unmanaged projects not only cost a business owner time and energy, they also cost money. Clearly defining the approach, procedures and steps needed for a project’s optimal success is imperative. A flowchart clearly identifying the name of the project, the goal, and a breakdown of who’s doing what is essential for each and every project on the table.

The best place to start is to break the project into parts, and then into departments. This lays out the procedures “map” in terms of who handles what, and clearly defines when the different parts of the project are due. It’s critical to emphasize the need to meet deadlines, for if one department lags behind or holds up the team, it can affect the continuity and launch of the project.

It’s also extremely important to define any terms, technical definitions, or any other terminology that relates to the project. Companies that have acronyms, for instance, should create a handbook of terms so that all employees are aware of what the acronyms stand for.

Business Owners need to determine early on what can and can’t be systemized. A general rule is to draw up a series of charts that include business functions primarily in the areas of Production, Sales, Support, and External Functions, though there may be some crossover.

Production:

  • Research and Development
  • Production and Quality Management
  • Manufacturing
  • Distribution and Logistics

Sales:

  • Selling
  • Marketing

Support:

  • Accounting/Finance/Bookkeeping
  • IT/Computing
  • Purchasing
  • Human Resources

External:

  • PR
  • Advertising & Marketing Agencies
  • Business Coach/Consulting Firms

In addition, an organizational chart will show who reports to whom, and a functional chart will show who is responsible for what

This is a good time to involve the whole team, inviting them to write down a job description to ensure that what they think they are responsible for is in fact what they have been hired to do. Invite them to:

  • List their top ten time-consuming tasks
  • List 10 things that stress them out the most
  • List the 10 productivity-related tasks
  • List 10 things that bring them great happiness

Next, it’s important for Business Owners to know the 4 key areas they should systemize. These are:

  • People and Education: This relates to employees and employee training
  • Delivery and Distribution: This relates to exploring what areas can be systemized (go paperless, for instance; streamlining tracking procedures, etc.
  • Testing and Measuring: This relates to everything. Yes, track and measure everything.
  • Systems and Technology: This relates to updating old equipment and software and keeping up on trends in one’s field.

In conclusion, as part of the Operations and Management Plan, Business Owners need to understand that systemizing one’s business begins with the vision, mission, and culture statements, and includes the operational charts mentioned above, positional contracts, KPIs, How -To manuals, and company milestones.

Implementing all of the above is where a business coach comes in, resulting in the freedom to work on your business rather than in it. After all, you are the owner, not an employee – though often the role of employee is what business owners can easily slip into. Ironically, it’s the very role they became business owners to avoid becoming.