It seems like a hallmark of the small business and nonprofit business owner: taking it upon yourself to design and develop the company website. These business owners recognize the need for an online presence, but sometimes fail to realize just how much work and expertise goes into creating a quality site. What begins as an earnest desire to save money by not hiring a developer, ends up as a time-consuming, frustrating undertaking on a site that won’t look as professional as it could have.
In addition to the frustration many of these small business owners face when trying to create their own sites, the huge investment of time poured into the task is often thought of as a no-cost aspect of the business. A more cost-effective perspective for owners and founders is to consider their time and expertise the most valuable aspect of the business. Everything else can and should be delegated to others who can provide quality and efficiency.
Finding Web developers who can be flexible with your schedule and work for competitive rates may involve a little bit of homework on your part, but the labors are worth the end result. Get a recommendation from someone you trust and ask about references and portfolio samples before you commit to a developer. It is generally considered a good idea to hire small firms of developers. Large firms might not be as reliable in sticking with the deadlines of your development schedule, and hiring a singular developer might mean taking a cut on professionalism.
Another valuable aspect a Web developer can bring to your business is the cultivation of ecommerce elements to your site. Having a well-designed, secure, and reliable online vendor presence can help generate more profits than a traditional storefront alone, and can help keep your business current and competitive. Many consumers nowadays do a great deal of shopping—especially comparison shopping—online before committing to a product from a retailer. And when customers do commit, they will often choose to purchase online for their own convenience, greater selection, and because online vendor portals can usually offer better deals than brick-and-mortar shops. Ecommerce also generally performs better, especially in a recession and when gas prices are highest.
Ignoring an online component to your business’s sales element severely limits your profit-earning potential because you are left out of a thriving market. Having a poor-quality ecommerce setup is often equivalent to not having one at all, as professionalism matters a great deal to your online audience. Additionally, creating a quality ecommerce site opens your business up to more opportunities to reach customers in other cities, states, and even countries.
Having a site with professional design elements, a sound ecommerce setup, and quality programming makes a world of difference with your online audience and in turn, your bottom line.
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