The Australian Small Business Blog

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Golden Rules of Websites - Rule 6 in a series

By Ron Stark

Picture yourself wanting to enter a supermarket, only to discover there's a guard standing there who won't let you go in unless you are driving a particular make and model of car. In disgust, you go to another shop, only to find that they won't let you in unless you're wearing a particular brand of shoes. The next one you visit insists that you first watch a video that consists of little more than five minutes of their logo in various poses. Would you upgrade your car, change your wardrobe, or find a shop that will accept your business regardless?

Why is it then that so many businesses make it difficult to visit their website for the most important thing you're likely to want - to get information?

We've all experienced it, of course. Those sites that insist that you go no further unless you upgrade to the latest version of Flash. Those sites that inexplicably appear to hang your computer. Those pages that take an eternity to download because some massive image or movie. Those menu buttons that take two or three clicks before they respond.

If you're like me (and many others), you are more likely to simply abandon the site in question and go to one that has no impediment to you doing business with them.

To put the question of technology into perspective, over the last four weeks visitors to just one of my websites were using 16 different versions of Flash, 19 different screen resolutions, 8 different operating systems, 21 different browsers and browser versions.

Those statistics alone guarantee that were I to build a website using just the latest technology, a significant proportion of my visitors would be unable to view it the way I intended; many would be unable to see it at all, or would be so irritated that they'd go to my competitors instead.

Only web developers and programmers get excited by "the latest technology" for websites. Nobody else cares, least of all your customers.

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The Australian Small Business Blog

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Where to Start?

When looking at your business, is it like looking at one of those houses that real estate agents love to call: “a renovator’s delight”? You know, it is basically sound structurally, but the paint is peeling, cracks are showing and the garden is a mess. It does not need a huge amount of effort, just a bit of love and attention, some elbow grease and a bit of know-how. Or is it like a sapling with shoots growing everywhere but with no clear growth direction and shallow roots?

Whatever your business looks like, when seeking to renovate or prune it into shape, the question is where to start? Should it be on your marketing or your systems, or perhaps your website or sales? The correct answer is to re-look at your goals so that every effort you make is taking your business in the direction you want it to go. Otherwise you will waste considerable time and money with unfocused strategies- scarce resources in small business. This is the difference between a light bulb and a laser beam which can cut through steel.

A systematic approach to renovating or pruning your business into shape is provided in the NEW book:

This book, which has a forward from Tony Steven, the CEO of COSBOA, the peak small business organisation in Australia, comes with a $100 of business tools, and provides an easy to understand, step-by-step approach on how to improve your business, starting with your goals, right through to systems and sales.

When you truly understand where your business is going, the job of defining a marketing strategy and putting in place systems becomes much simpler. Without this understanding, every day is a battle for survival, a hand to mouth existence. With it, every strategy you implement is about creating an unassailable position for your business in the marketplace.

Please visit Five Pillars for more information on “The Five Pillars of Guaranteed Business Success”

May Your Business be as You Plan It!

Dr Greg Chapman

Over to You. What do You Think? Post Your Comments Below.

Dr Greg Chapman is the Director of Empower Business Solutions and The Australian Business Coaching Club and is Australia's Leading Advisor on Emerging Businesses and provides Coaching and Consulting advice to Australian Small Business Owners in Marketing & Business Strategies Planning & Systems.

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Dr. Greg Chapman is also the author of
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