Ask Danny: Do I need a website in the window industry?

“I am a small retail installer, selling and fitting maybe three houses a month. Do I really need a website?”

- JB, Newcastle Upon Tyne

In this day and age JB for a businessman that’s like asking ‘Do I need oxygen?’ You must have a tidy little business to have gone on for so long without a website.

You really cannot do without a website; no business can that has any sort of sales activity. The first action of most potential customers will be to look for your website and if they don’t find one, the chances are that they will ask ‘why, what’s wrong?’

The vast majority of adults in the UK of all ages and all incomes use the Internet. And this has been compounded in recent years by the advent of smartphones, through which most Internet access now takes place, which is something to bear in mind when putting a website together.

Going back to basics, a decent website might cost a few hundred quid at a minimum (as with all things you get what you pay for) but that can easily reduce your advertising costs and reduce the cost of hard copy literature.

Consider these key points:

  1. Most customers with disposable income will find using a good website preferable and will usually begin their search for a supplier online
  2. You will save money on advertising. Because you are using a website to offer information your advertising can use a catchline and include your website address or ‘url’ and therefore smaller ads.
  3. You can continuously update your website, adding new offers and promotions and even use it as a blog (again, another day) or even just add more and more customer endorsements.
  4. You can offer TONS more information through a website and actually, make it more stimulating too though this sort of thing will depend upon who you get to build you website for you.
  5. It becomes a two way affair – happy customers will be pleased to tell others through your website
  6. Get your customers coming back. Brochures and cards get lost but your website should always be there for when they decide to buy something else.

Now you need to go and get someone good to create your website for you and that, actually, may be the most difficult part of the process. Just as the home improvement market was rife with cowboys then so too the sound of spurs jangling can be heard throughout the web-building industry. Try looking at the sites of small local companies that you admire and look for the website builder’s signature on their sites. Invariably it will be there somewhere usually at the lower edge of the home page.

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