Business is online. Whether you like it or not, we’re living in a connected society and consumers are more enabled to do product and company research than ever before. The average household or business is operating with a limited budget and needs to get the best value for money they can within their means.

What this means for consumers.

In the past we were limited to shopping where we live, at stores near our home or out of town if we went on a special trip to do so. With the advent of the internet and especially mobile, we can now find nearly anything while sitting in bed or eating our toast in the morning by searching for it online. All of a sudden we can buy what we want from who we want no matter where they are, even if they are not in the same country as us.

In addition to being able to buy from more places than before, we as empowered consumers can do far more research in terms of value offerings available elsewhere and can therefore make informed decisions even if we are planning to buy locally.

What this means for business.

As business people we are no longer competing with the store down the street or in the next town, we’re now competing globally. It might be difficult to think this way if you’re running a small garden service company, but the fact of the matter is that consumers are searching before they spend and if they don’t find you then you won’t be on their list of companies to consider.

In order to compete you need to be online and you need to be engaged.

Here are a few things to consider when planning the launch or relaunch of your business website:

  • Register a domain name that is easy to remember and not too long
  • Ensure that your website is built to support mobile browsers, a responsive design should be good for this
  • Consider the legal implications and chat to your attorney about a Social Media Policy, Privacy Policy as well as PAIA manual as may be required by law in your country
  • Plan content in advance and be prepared to publish
  • Keep it simple and fast instead of complex and slow — not everyone has high speed internet access
  • Keep the design easy to read and be aware of those with vision problems — use contrasting colours to ensure readability, an easy to read font goes a long way.
  • Establish an organic web strategy encompassing your website as well as social media

Once you have the building blocks in place, remember the web is constantly evolving and your website will need to evolve with it. You’ll need to regularly spend time working on your site and engaging online.