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What every small business should know about website design

It’s a long held and fortunately untrue myth that only big businesses should have or could benefit from a website, or that paying real attention to website design techniques is not important for smaller businesses. Whatever the size, scale or sector, a professional website design that has had due care and attention employed in the design and implementation is an invaluable asset that can only help a business to expand and be profitable; if done correctly. That said, smaller businesses do need to look at things slightly differently when tackling business web design. That’s why this week we are dedicating our time to you, all of you smaller businesses out there, and giving you some bespoke guidance on website design.

Simplicity has far greater reach than complexity

Sometimes the simpler the format, the easier the formats the more user friendly the end result is. If either you as a business, or your intended customer groups are new to using web based services, then keeping it simple – both visually and functionally – can really help. Why make a process take 5 clicks of the mouse, when you can do it in 2! Why have complex photograph slideshows or Flash pop ups that can slow a site down in key areas, when a clean simple design can make it easier and simpler. It’s worth starting with simple concepts and growing them slowly as your company and site hits grow, rather than jumping straight in with complex ideals.

Small is not invisible; it’s intimate

You may think that being a small business means you lack visibility in comparison to the bigger players out there. There may be some truth in the fact that those bigger companies will have a wider reach and established customer base, but you too have a distinct advantage. Being a smaller business can mean a more intimate and personalised relationship with your customer. A more bespoke approach that keeps your customers at the heart. That is a real selling point that you can promote on your site itself as well as through it’s processes and functions e.g. using blog space or customer feedback techniques.

Be penny wise and pound conscious

You’re a small business, so you really should not be spending a disproportionate amount of your marketing budget on big and complex website projects. There are plenty of excellent affordable website design options out there that do not compromise on quality. So take the time to understand what you need and what your planned expenditure is. Remember, the nature of web development means you can constantly change and update your site as and when your business needs it.

Learn from the big-guns

One of the key benefits of being a younger or smaller business, is that many bigger players in the sector will have already made the mistakes or great moves that you can learn from. Do take the time to check out your bigger competitors and see what they offer through their sites. What works well? What fails miserably? And research what their customers feedback on their web processes via customer endorsement sites. You can always hone and adapt the positives to suit your site and your business accordingly, but also you can avoid the traps they fell in to.

So there’s no reason why you can’t be small and think big!

Posted on 25 Mar 2014