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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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        y

          “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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            Vikas Agrawal

            Vikas is the co-founder of Infobrandz, an Infographic design agency that offers creative visual content solutions to medium to large companies.

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            Last Updated on January 13, 2020

            Is It Time for a Career Change? (And How to Make the Change)

            Is It Time for a Career Change? (And How to Make the Change)

            Are you challenged at work? Do you regret career decisions? Are you happy? If the answer to the questions leads to a negative feeling, it is time to determine next steps.

            Many people settle for a career that no longer brings satisfaction. Most will respond by stating, “I am surviving” if a colleague asks them “How’s work?”

            Settling for a job to pay bills and maintain a lifestyle is stagnation. You can re-direct the journey of a career with confidence by taking control of future decisions. After all, you deserve to be live a happy life that will offer a work-life balance.

            Let’s look at the reasons why you need a career change and how to choose a career for a more fulfilling life.

            How to Know if You Need a Career Change?

            The challenges of dissatisfaction in a career can have a negative impact on our mental health. As a result, our mental health can lead to the obvious appearance of stress, aging, weight gain and internal health issues.

            You deserve a career that will fulfill the inner desire of true happiness. Here are common factors that it is time for you to change your career.

            Physical Signs

            Are you aging since you started your job? Do you have anxiety? What about work-related injuries?

            It feels amazing to receive a pay cheque, but you deserve to work in an environment that brings out the best of you. If the work environment is hazardous, speak to your boss about alternative options.

            In the case that colleagues or your boss take advantage of your kindness, feeling the anxiety of fear of losing your job because of a high-stress environment may not be right for you.

            Mental Signs

            One out of five Americans has mental health issues, according to Mental Health America.[1] In most cases, it is related to stress.

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            I remember working at a job in a work environment where harassment was acceptable. I had to walk on eggshells to avoid crossing the line with colleagues. My friends started to notice the difference in that I seemed out of character. It was then that I knew that changing a career to freelancing was the right decision.

            Here is a list of mental signs of workplace unhappiness:

            • The tension in your neck
            • Difficulties with sleeping
            • Unable to concentrate
            • High anxiety
            • Depression

            If you start to feel your self-esteem is diminishing, it is time to consider if working in a high-stress industry is for you. The truth is, this negative energy will be transferred to people in your life like friends and family.

            Are You Sure You’re Not Changing for the Wrong Reason?

            Most people that feel they need a career are frustrated with their situation at work. Do you really understand your current situation at work?

            The reason it is important to think about the work situation is some people decide to change career for factors that are insignificant. Factors that can potentially change if the person works in a different department or new organization.

            Here is a list of unimportant factors to think about before you decide to make the transition:

            Desire for an Increase of Salary

            The desire for a higher income can persuade some to believe they are in the wrong career. The issue with this is more money requires more time in the office or taking on several positions at a time.

            At times, pursuing a high-income role can be the complete opposite of what one is expected. It is what happens when a colleague leaves a company to a new one and returns several years later.

            Overnight Decision

            Let’s face it. We make overnight decisions when stressed out or disappointed with situations at work. The problem with a quick decision is the negative and positive points is overlooked.

            Rejected for a Promotion

            I have heard stories of managers that applied ten times for a position throughout a 5-year period. Yes, it sounds to be a lengthy process, but at times, a promotion requires time. Avoid changing a career if you do not see the results of a promotion currently.

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            Bored at Work

            Think deeply about this point. If you work a job that is repetitive, it is normal to feel bored. You can spice it up by changing the appearance of your desk, socializing with new employees in a different department, joining a leadership committee at work or coming to work with enthusiasm. Sometimes, all it takes is you to change jobs into a fun situation.

            A career change can take time, networking, education and the job search process can be a journey. Here is a list of things to consider before making a final decision:

            • How long have you worked in your career?
            • What is the problem at work? Do you work well with the team?
            • Do you receive recognition?
            • Can you consider working in a new department?

            If after reviewing your work situation and none of the above recommendations can help, then it’s time to make a career change.

            How a Career Change Will Change Your Life

            I have a friend that works in the medical industry. She was once a nurse working directly with patients in one of the top hospitals in her area. After five years, she started to internalize the issues with her patients to the point where she felt depressed after work hours. It impacted her relationship with her family and she almost lost herself.

            One day, she decided to wake up and take control of her destiny. She started applying for new medical jobs in the office. It meant working on medical documentation of patients which is not an ideal career based on what society expects a medical professional to perform. But she started to feel happier.

            It is a classic example of a person that was negatively impacted by issues at work, stayed in the same industry but changed careers.

            A career change can fulfill a lifelong dream, increase one’s self-esteem or revive the excitement for one’s work.

            You know a career change can be the right decision to make if you experience one or all of these:

            • Working in a negative workplace: Don’t be discouraged. A negative workplace can be changed by working at a new organization.
            • Working with a difficult boss: The challenges of working with a difficult boss can be stressful. All it takes is communication. You can address the issue directly with a manager professionally and respectfully.
            • Feeling lost about what you do: Most people stay at their jobs and settle for mediocrity because of the fear of failure or the unknown. The rise to success often comes with working a tedious role or stepping outside of one’s comfort zone. If you fear the idea of being involved in activities that are new, remember that life is short. Mediocrity will only continue to make you feel as if life is passing you by.

            How to Make a Career Change Successfully

            The ultimate key to success is to go through a career transition step by step to avoid making the wrong decision.

            1. Write a Career Plan

            A career plan has a dead line for action steps that includes taking new courses, learning a new language, networking or improving issues at work.[2] A career plan should be kept in your wallet because it will motivate you to keep pursuing the role.

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            You can learn how to set your career plan here.

            2. Weigh Your Options

            If you have a degree in Accounting, write down five positions in this industry of interest. The good news is diplomas and degrees can be used to a variety of roles to choose.

            You don’t have to stick to what society holds a top job. In the end, choosing the right role that will make you happy is priceless.

            3. Be Real About the Pros and Cons

            It is time to be honest about strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in the job market that are impacting the current situation.

            A SWOT Analysis of a career can include:[3]

            • Economic factors
            • Direct competition: Is this role in high demand?
            • Location: Do you need to move? If the goal is to work in tech and living in Cincinnati is not realistic, consider moving to San Francisco.
            • Achievements: To stand out from the competition achievements like awards, committee involvement, freelance work or volunteering is a recipe for success.
            • Education: Do you need to go back to school? Education can be expensive. However, online courses, webinars or self-study is an option.

              A career blueprint is the first step to creating realistic goals. A person without goals will be disappointed without a clear direction of what to do next.

              4. Find a Mentor or Career Coach

              A mentor or a career coach that works in the desired position can share the pros and cons of working in the role. Here is a list of questions to ask a mentor:

              • What is required to be successful in the role?
              • What certification or educational development is needed?
              • What are the challenges of the role?
              • Is there potential for career advancement?

              A chat at a coffee shop with a mentor can change your mind about the desire for a career change.

              Find out how to pick a good mentor for yourself in this article: How to Find a Mentor That Will Help You Succeed

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              5. Research Salary

              Some people decide to change careers for a role that pays less or perks like benefits to make up for the difference in previous to potential salary.

              It can reveal the cities throughout the country that offer a higher salary for those that have an interest in relocating for work.

              6. Be Realistic

              If your goal is to move up into an executive position, it is time to be honest about where you are in your career.

              For example, if boardroom meetings, high-level discussions about financials or attending weekly networking events are boring, an executive role may not be right for you. If you are an introvert and working with people every day is nerve wrecking, you need to reconsider a job in sales.

              Ask yourself if you can work in this role for the next five years of your life. If other benefits that come with the role are enticing, other roles are fit that will make you happy.

              7. Volunteer First

              A person that wants to become a manager should take on volunteer opportunities to experience the reality of the position.

              Becoming a committee member to pursue a presidential opportunity can provide a perspective on leadership, maintaining a budget and public speaking.

              Volunteer in a role until you are certain that it is the right opportunity.

              8. Prepare Your Career Tools

              I recommend asking a boss, colleague or mentor for career tools. If you prefer professional assistance, you can seek out resume writing assistance. Here is a list of things to consider when preparing career tools:

              • Online search: Search your name online to see what shows up. I recommend searching images that are on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or other sites on a personal account. The last thing you want to realize is the job search is unsuccessful because there is unprofessional content you posted online.
              • Be LinkedIn ready: Recruiters conduct a LinkedIn search to see if the work experience is the same on a resume. Remember to change the wording on LinkedIn from the resume, or it will appear there was no effort put into creating the profile.
              • Portfolio: A portfolio of work is recommended for people that work in the arts, writing, graphic design and other fields. I recommend a portfolio online and one that is available in hand when attending job interviews or networking meetups.
              • Cover letter: A good cover writer will always impress your potential employers. Here’s how to write a killer cover letter that stands out from others.

              Bottom Line

              It takes time to move towards a new career. Pay attention to the physical and mental signs to maintain your health. You deserve to work in happiness and come home stress-free. If you avoid the common mistakes people make, you will find a job and discover the role in a career field that is the best fit with your skillsets.

              Master these action steps and changing career paths will be on your terms to make the best decision for your future.

              More About Career Change

              Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

              Reference

              [1] Mental Health America: The State of Mental Health in America
              [2] MIT Global Education & Career Development: Make a Career Plan
              [3] Creately: Personal SWOT Analysis to Assess and Improve Yourself

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