Is your small business website a Store or a Brochure?

Your website should act as if it is a combination of an additional business location and a smart, helpful staff member who never sleeps.

A brochure website may be all you think you need, but brochure sites tend to be relatively static, changing only occasionally.

A store site may or may not have the ability to purchase products online, but it will act as a store or a staff member in every other manner.

For example, you might have

  • copies of repair manuals
  • instructions for how to troubleshoot common issues with the items you sell
  • information about and photos of your staff and their training/expertise/experience
  • checklists that help your prospects and customers decide how to purchase the types of items you sell
  • video or photos that help your clients maintain, operate or use your products
  • a calendar of events for your business, optionally with an appointment calendar if your business performs services by appointment
  • industry news, in plain English, that will be interesting to your clients

Why all this stuff? Because it helps your business become more valuable to your clients than your competitionâ??s brochure website will be.

  • When your clientâ??s lawn mower needs a part on Sunday afternoon and your store is closed, your website can help them.
  • When your client is out of town on business, is swamped in meetings all day and remembers when she gets back to her hotel room at 10pm that she needs to cater a party for 12 next weekend, your website can help not only help her plan a menu and book the catering job – but also provide her with a short list of things to consider when arranging the event. Things she might just forget during that hectic out of town business trip.
  • When a prospect wants to shop anytime outside of your business hours and has some “me time” to analyze their purchase options, your website can be the resource of far more decision-making information than the same old manufacturer-issued info that everyone else’s site contains.
  • When a prospect wants to order a custom replacement door for their home or office, your website can help them figure out what measurements and other info will make the buying process easier when they call or visit your showroom.
  • When a client wants to check on the status of a repair order, a custom order, or schedule any sort of service that you offer.

Seems like common sense, but there are still far too many businesses out there with brochure websites that offer nothing in the way of helping their clients buy and use their products and better utilize their services. Is your website a store…or a brochure?

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