“Jumping on the Bandwagon”
In response to my recent post, “Be the River, Not the Rock,” reader Karen Dinitz wrote:
“My website is coming 🙂 I have the opposite problem – I feel I can’t start my business until I have a website! Possibly I am a rock or in this case a boulder!”
— Thank you for reading! Good for you, Karen, getting on the WWW bandwagon right from the get-go. Websites seem to be what it all boils down to nowadays. Back in the pre-historic era of the internet (about 5-7 years ago it seems!), a website was merely an appendage. The true reflection of corporate branding at that time was still delivered through a company’s print ads, posters and pamphlets.
But somewhere along the line, the reverse became true. Now, a website is so much more than a digital business card. On the rapidly-evolving internet, a website of the 21st century represents a company’s face-forward to the world. And the web knows no geography. Through a website portal, any business can go global.
It has reached the point where “having a website” could almost be considered synonymous with “having a business.” The absence of a website is not only highly unusual, but users seem immediately suspect of any business that has zero web presence.
If users can’t visit your site, they may not want to visit your store.
Some business owners may feel resistant at first, as did I in the beginning. But rejection of conformity solely because of maverick ideals would in this case only serve to send the wrong message to would-be customers.
When representing your business on the web, consider the fact that your user is your customer. What would your user like to see? Do users want to interact with you through your site? Are you providing information? Could you provide a service through the site?
On the New York Kids Club website, recently redesigned, we added photos of beautiful NYKC children and videos of our staff and space. Customers can sign up for newsletters, download ringtones, and even sign up for classes right from the comfort of their own homes. We aimed to offer a “web experience” to our customers – past, present and future – to present a site that is informative, not invasive. Private, but communal. Professional but personal.
Our main objective was to create a site that effectively mirrored the strongest qualities of our stores. Consider your site and your storefront as one entity; an extension, not a departure, from bricks-and-mortar-based businesses.
Harness the power of the internet and make it work for you. Think outside the box, creatively, freely. Do maintain your core values where the integrity of your business is concerned, but don’t be afraid to capitalize when you’re presented with a great opportunity.
Entry filed under: Business Bit of the Week.