A common misconception from small businesses is that if they aren’t confident in updating their website that they should avoid having one in the first place. Many small business owners, and especially sole traders, are often daunted by the prospect of having a website that they cannot update themselves or will need to pay high costs to have it updated on their behalf.
I’ve had several clients who have been in this predicament. They have historically shied away from having a business website for one of two reasons:
- They investigated the idea, but when presented with the complexities of keeping the website up to date it seemed too difficult, or;
- The web design company they spoke to said they could keep the website up to date for them, but they would charge a monthly retainer to do so, whether or not the website needed updating.
This has forced a lot of small business owners to abandon the idea of having a website in the first place and relied on just having a Facebook page. Whilst having a Facebook page is always a good idea for your business, a website is one of your business’s most important assets. It’s a place to showcase what you do, how you do it, and how much you charge. Whilst customers may find you on Facebook, the platform itself isn’t particularly geared to showcasing your business. It is also a “one-size fits all” approach with very limited scope to customise the page to truly reflect you, your business, and your ethos.
For some businesses, they may have had their website designed in the past by a web designer, had it launched, then were given no support to keep it updated, or worse still, were quoted extortionate prices to do so. This often leads to a website becoming outdated and stale purely because they just don’t know where to start when it comes to keeping the website up to date.
So, how do you get around this problem if you’re a small business in this predicament? The answer is to speak to me. I understand how running a small business (whether as a sole trader or a small limited company) is challenging enough and having a business website may seem like it will eat into precious time you may not have.
When I design a website for a client, I always do the following:
- Make sure that the website can be easily edited by them if they so choose using a set of tools that takes away the ambiguity and complexity of maintaining it.
- Offer support in the vital initial six-months after launch by making small modifications to the text on the website for free.
- Help and guide my clients in those first few months when it comes to keeping the website content fresh by add blog or news posts. More often than not, if the client can supply me with the content for a blog or news post, I will be able to quickly get it up online for them without charge.
- After the initial six months, if the client still doesn’t feel confident with editing their website themselves, I charge affordable rates to make the changes for them. If the change is minor (for example, a change to their fee pricing), and it takes me less than 5 minutes to make the change, I don’t charge. If the change is more substantial, I will discuss this with my client first, work out how long it is going to take, and quote them a competitive rate to make the changes for them.
Some web designers will start charging support from the moment the website is launched. I feel this is counterproductive as I want my clients to feel not just confident with their website, but confident that the person behind it really does have their back when it comes to one of their most important business assets – their website.
If you would like to explore the possibilities of having your website designed by Websites by Dave Parker or have an existing website which is now looking outdated and tired, then I’d love to hear from you. I’m proud of my track record and can say with confidence that I’ve never once had a client who has told me that they felt support from me was lacking. I’d like to be able to offer the same to you if your website needs designing.