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Here’s Why Some Small Businesses Are Hiding From Website Platforms

Here’s Why Some Small Businesses Are Hiding From Website Platforms

We are living in ehe age of the World Wide Web and connection to the Internet, when even in the most rural areas, a raging 46% of the population manages to stay connected.

In the more developed countries, this figure increases to the majority of the population, sitting at around 96%. Nevertheless, it is abundantly clear that certain enterprises still maintain the belief that they do not require the use of a website for their customers to visit.

The arguments that they make to support this theory are abundant. However, six main absurd excuses seem to surface on average more than others. A brief summary of these can be seen on the infographic below provided by Infobrandz:

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    “A website is redundant for this particular business.”

    2

      Across major continents, the implementation of the Internet exceeded 75% of the total population (including both personal and business use) a mere two years ago in 2014.

      These statistics have only risen higher to the current standing of 2016 which approximates an average of over 3 billion Internet users worldwide, with the development of countries globally as well as the World Wide Web.

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      These numbers may seem intimidating at first glance due to the potential amount of people that your website can be targeted to. However, understanding the potential target market that a website will be able to captivate can be the key to developing business for small business owners.

      If you can correctly implement your website — meaning you are able to set up a unique webpage that captivates potential target market consumers with innovative content — it is highly likely that traffic to your business will significantly increase.

      “The industry is not online.”

      It’s been reported that 42% of the global population actively makes use of the internet in one form or another. In addition, this rate is increasing gradually by approximately 1.13% per year.

      Looking at these numbers, it is clear that the Internet is intricately connected to the world’s population. Due to this fact, your clients, both current and potential, are most likely connected to the web in one form or another.

      If your industry is considered one of those that do not require a web-based platform that promotes interaction with your clients, this should by no means hinder you from having your own web-based platform.

      In fact, this should compel you even further to develop your website as it will give you a competitive edge, making you among the first in your industry to actively interact with your clients and prospective clients over the World Wide Web.

      If you are able to be one of the first companies in your industry with a web-based background and customer interaction platform in place, there is a high probability that through the website, you will be able to command and grow your market share.

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      “Development of websites can be overly expensive.”

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        A lot of small business owners are under the assumption that building a professional website is going to empty your bank and leave a hole in your wallet. The cost of developing websites fluctuates according to the complexity of your site. A simple website with minimum functions can cost you from $100, whereas the price for a more advanced website theme can extend to $1000 or more.

        For a small company, the complexity and features of the website don’t need to be extravagant. The cost is decreased, which makes it more affordable, thus a smart choice for investment. However, throughout the web, there are even more inexpensive options. There are dozens of DIY website builders which simplify and alleviate costs, time, and effort. Sites that offer these features include Weebly and Squarespace. If you feel that creating your own website is still too much hassle, there is a wide range of much more affordable outsourcing choices when you hire developers through sites such as Upwork and Freelancer.

        The use of freelancing websites can result in a much cheaper development process if you can find the correct contractor. The average cost of a website is never easy to determine. However, with freelancing sites, you can set up the development of your site on your own budget. These costs vary from freelancer to freelancer, as well as from company to company. The most accurate average for a small business website will be around $1000-$3000. The total cost includes the domain name and hosting, the design work, the programming, and the feature development, as well as other ongoing expenses.

        However, it is important to compare this expense to that of the potentially exponential benefits that an online platform can have not only for the growth of your clientele and income but also for your business as a whole.

        “I have enough customers.”

        The essence of a successful and growing enterprise always lays in the expansion. The development of your total market share is an essential asset, critical in maintaining your business relevance. Keeping on track with this fact will enable you to grow your small home business into a company ready to serve your retirement. Having a website is an essential step.

        When people are in need of a product or service, they tend to use search engines online. Lately, mobile phones have been evaluated to be the most conventional devices used for searching. As many as 44% of online shoppers make use of the search engines on their phones to make purchasing decisions. An SEO-friendly website placed near the top of Google’s search results will be privy to approximately 60% of all organic clicks. Therefore, making small business websites with friendly search engine optimization is the key to increasing your clientele and developing your business.

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          “Maintaining a website requires an extensive allocation of time.”

          In the past, it was difficult and time-consuming to design and maintain a successful website. However, thanks to improvement in both code and software, no longer will your website take hours away from your day leaving you no time to rest. Maintaining your website is simple and it keeps your content appealing.

          The first basic step when it comes to maintaining your website is to ensure that your domain name is paid for and relevant. Domain names can average approximately $49.

          After your domain name, the next step is to secure a hosting contract. Again, different packages are offered depending on your platform requirements and the particular offers available from the hosting companies. Generally, the price ranges from $1 to $10 per month.

          Site maintenance is not as difficult as one may think. If you are interested in learning how the maintenance of your website will work and all that it involves, click here.

          “I use social media instead.”

          Using social media is a fantastic idea for all businesses, as about 2.3 billion people make use of one social platform or another. The annual growth of the number of social media users is approximately 10 % (that’s 219 million new users each year)!

          A recent survey by HubSpot was conducted with 569 participants. The report concluded that businesses are expected to be on three to four social media channels at a minimum. The below graph represents customer/potential customer expectations with regards to service response time on social media platforms:

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          Untitled

            Furthermore, following a friendly and direct rule of engagement with those interacting with your business will improve the word of mouth to your brand.

            It is true that having a stagnant website is not as useful as having an Instagram or a Snapchat account thriving with followers. However, no matter how many followers, shares, and likes you can accumulate per day, if you are not able to turn these idle potentials into fluctuating sales, is there a point to having them at all?

            This is why it is vital to have a call to action such as a link to your website visible somewhere on your social media platform. This allows for more in-depth engagement as well as potential purchases from your website from leads generated by social media platforms — these two foundations work hand-in-hand.

            Start developing your website today

            Although it is true that a small business can do well for themselves without implementing and investing money in online platforms, building a website is not as difficult or as costly as it seems. Furthermore, the benefits of having a website for your small business is a motivation too strong to ignore. Not only will a website promote your company and increase your brand’s awareness, but over time it will also lead to more productive sales quotas and critical expansion in the future.

            Featured photo credit: Vikas Agrawal via Infobrandz.com

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            Published on December 17, 2018

            15 Important Interview Questions to Ask Employees During an Interview

            15 Important Interview Questions to Ask Employees During an Interview

            The importance of asking great questions cannot be overstated. Great questions help you discover new things, diagnose existing problems, and explore how well solutions are working in your life or business. Whether you work with consultants, executives, or entry-level employees, you cannot skip questions.

            Now imagine running a company where sustainability and profitability depends on your ability to determine the brightest minds and skills in the industry in a single conversation:

            How do you know they’re the perfect fit for you? How do you assess their communication skills? How do you know they won’t cost your team in the long run?

            You know it already; ask great questions!

            The concept of asking questions isn’t new but there is a great chance that you’re not taking full advantage of it. A Harvard Business Review article refers to questioning as a powerful tool that unlocks value, fuels innovation and performance improvement.[1] As a hiring manager or recruiter, how to you get this information when you’re meeting a candidate for the first time?

            Ask great questions, of course.

            Without further ado, here are 15 interview questions to ask employees during an interview:

            1. “What are your career goals?”

            Another version of this question is “What types of problems do you see yourself solving in the future?”

            This question is almost never asked and when it is asked, most questions are geared towards knowing how long the employees intends to stay in the company.

            Instead of asking leading questions that would steer employees into declaring undying loyalty for the organization, ask what types of problems they hope to solve in the future.

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            This does two things:

            1. It reveals the skills and interest in your employees.
            2. It lets you know what types of candidates you are attracting in the first place.

            With this, you’re able to trend this data to improve how you market your job opening. And if employee retention is pertinent to you, you can use this information to improve the job function so that future employees can see their future selves in this role.

            2. “Why do you think you’re a great fit?”

            It is important to go beneath the surface to ask questions that make the candidates speak about themselves in their own words. However, a surprising benefit of asking this question is that you’re able to determine how well-versed a candidate really is with the company’s challenges and goals, in addition to their personal attributes.

            Instead of listing off accomplishments, an exceptional employee is able to help you see how these previous accomplishment can translate into helping your organization solve its current business problems.

            3. “What do you hope to learn from this role?”

            The answers to this question can reveal if there is a job-skill match and if a linear career progression is expected.

            As you listen carefully and mind these answers from candidates, you begin to see trends in responses that help you refine how you develop roles, responsibilities, how employees see themselves, and what they want their career to look like.

            4. “How do you deal with conflict between colleagues?”

            Almost every breakdown in relationship is caused by miscommunication or lack of effective interpersonal skills. But a solid indicator of how well a person communicates is how they manage interpersonal conflict.

            Conflict management skills is no longer something required only for corporations who wish to settle million-dollar lawsuits. It’s an essential skill that every worker ought to possess and can make or break an organization.

            Tip: Ask for a time when they didn’t get along with a co-worker and how they resolved the conflict.

            5. “How did you learn about this position?”

            Asking how they learned about the position reveals how the brand is perceived by the outside world. This way, you know if your current employees is your biggest source of referrals for qualified applicants.

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            This also lets you know how effective your current staffing processes are and which channels are worth the effort.

            6. “Why are you interested in this position?”

            Again, another seemingly basic question. But when you field applications from candidates who are transferring their skills from a different department or industry, you want to know why the change was made.

            What led to the aha moment? What was the internal struggle like for them? What stands out to them about this particular position? Very important.

            7. “What excites you the MOST about this position?”

            After establishing how passionate they are about this position, it’s not unusual that you would want to know what tasks and responsibilities excite them most. With this knowledge, not only are you aware of their sense of ownership, you help nurture these skills by encouraging and facilitating the discovery of hidden potential in your employees.

            For example, a hospital nurse might detest inserting intravenous catheters in patients but jump at the task of motivating colleagues and initiating stress-reduction activities on hospital units. An office employee might cringe at the thought of public speaking but excel at creating world-class presentations.

            While you can’t exempt your employee from every task in the role because they favor one thing over another, you are more aware of how rich your existing talent pool is in your organization and can utilize your talents effectively.

            8. “What do you consider your weakness?”

            Why should you ask a candidate what his or her weakness is when all you want is someone perfect?

            Admitting a weakness shouldn’t automatically disqualify a candidate. Rather, it reveals to you how self-aware the candidate is.

            Self-awareness is essential to personal and professional development, and this is sometimes a precursor to how self-directed a person is regarding their career goals.

            There are arguments about the need to abolish the weakness question from interviews because it reduces candidates’ accomplishments. I disagree.

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            Asking employees about weaknesses lets you understand your employees better so you can not only create a work environment that is smart, you’re able to design professional development programs that can strengthen these weaknesses.

            9. “What will you find challenging about this position?”

            Maybe you don’t want to ask the ”weakness question.” Maybe you’re more concerned about the capacity to perform in the current job rather than their job history.

            Still, you want to know if you have a creative problem solver and how they feel about potential problems when they arise. You also want to anticipate how your employees will adjust to their roles once they are successfully hired. Self-awareness about one’s ability and limits can be observed by asking this question during an interview.

            Note: This question should never be asked with a malicious intent. Exceptional employees come with flaws and this should be expected. They key is knowing whether the successful candidate is willing to be a problem solver.

            10. “What additional support will you need during your transition?”

            This is a very important question during the interview question because not only is the labor market diverse, the response to this question can be used to develop the orientation process and additional training materials.

            As a mentor to newer nurses, this is a question I repeat more than 50 percent of the time during the orientation period. The responses I get provide me with insights into what employees really consider as constraints so that I can make their transition as smooth as possible.

            11. “What qualities do you desire in a leader or manager?”

            Not everyone desires a manager who provides direction while giving you free rein to make your job your own. At the same time, some employees might prefer a manager who is detail-oriented and provides all the answers.

            Knowing this before a candidate is hired can prevent conflict arising from differences in communication or management styles.

            12. “What do you do if you don’t agree with your manager’s decisions?”

            Conflict not only happens between employees. According to a study of conflict in the Canadian workforce,[2] about 81 percent of people leave the organization as a result of conflict.

            The purpose of this question is to determine how adaptable an employee is to different communication styles, what they consider deal breakers, and how they model desired behavior when conflict arises.

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            The responses to this question allows you to manage expectations and an indication for leaders to continuously work on their communication and conflict management skills.

            13. “What would make this company an amazing place to work?”

            Maybe you can’t provide free lunches or paid hours of free time at work like bigger companies. But answers to this question can reveal a lot about what employees think is crucial to well-being.

            In a study of nearly 17,000 employees,[3] it was noted that an increase in stress level is directly correlated to workplace injury. While this interview won’t eradicate organizational constraints or stressors, feedback from candidates and employees on what makes a company a great place to work is the perfect place to start.

            14. “What other questions do you have for me?”

            Although this is a conversation to determine the best fit for your team, company, or organization, the interview goes both ways. Yes, you are also being scrutinized by your interviewee.

            The purpose of this question is to create space to answer the candidate’s questions about your organization. You also get to provide insight on processes, expectations, team culture, and information that isn’t readily available on the company website.

            15. “Tell me about yourself”

            If everything else seems too much, lead with this timeless question. You simply cannot go wrong here.

            Sometimes, the best answers come from open-ended queries. This is your best chance to know the candidate’s history, career accomplishments, and get a feel for their career goals all at the same time.

            It is less intrusive and leading with this question makes it easier to approach other questions––depending on how sensitive the position is.

            The Bottom Line

            Conversation is a two-way street. Good questions can give you great insights into the value an employee can bring to your company. But there is an art and science to asking questions.

            While you won’t become an expert right off the bat, these questions provide a good foundation to start from if you want to attract and retain top talent in your organization.

            More Resources About Job Interview

            Featured photo credit: Drew Beamer via unsplash.com

            Reference

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