My experience in economics and recessions is limited. I do however watch the news and keep up with the headlines from across the world. Lately, I was watching Fox News and there was a bit about a guy who worked for a big automaker and was laid off after 28 years. This was no surprise and there are probably over 100 thousand job losses similar to this every month. The news story continued to interview the man about what his plan was and how he was going to provide for his family. This is where the story caught my attention. The man decided that instead of looking for another corporate job and answering to the usual 5 bosses watching his every move, he was going to become his own boss. He grew up fixing things around the house and working for his neighbors. He always loved working with his hands and the quietness of working alone. So his idea was this: I am going to do start a business doing the thing that I love: working on people's homes.
Now, I understand that this is a difficult economy to start a business. However, with proper planning and execution, this mom and pops small business could really take off. So what does he need to start his business? First I believe he needs a business plan. In that business plan, he should have outlined who his potential clients are and what his market is. He should also have an idea as to how he will advertise and market to these prospects. This is where we come in: he needs to develop a brand with a logo, marketing materials, business cards, and of course a sharp website that shows up in search engines. All of these things cost money, but they also produce money. And if they are not done well, his business will not do well. Make it Loud provides the perfect solution to the entrepreneur set on reinventing himself. No more corporate, hello small business.
After this long drawn out story, the point is this: I am proud to be in the business that I am right now. I love what we do. We provide great business solutions. But more than that, we provide opportunity for a 50 year old man who just got laid off to start his own business that will not only provide for his family, but it will PROSPER. Thousands of people are being laid off everyday. Where are they going to work? How are they going to provide for their families? I am not saying that this solution works for everyone, but it does work for many. We have been getting calls and e-mails from this same situation more and more frequently. "I got laid off, and I want to start my own business." I love the fact that we can work with this seamingly hopeless situation and turn it into a prosperous small business. We are enabling people to do what they love and be successful at it.
When you go and hear someone speak, it is said that if the speaker doesn't capture the audience in the first 2 minutes of his presentation, he never will. The same can be said of web design viewing-- only the time frame is MUCH shorter. To me, it's almost funny how people surf the web, and how very QUICKLY they actually move through a website. Statistically speaking, it is said that the average person, when viewing a website, spends only 6-10 seconds exploring a site, and makes their decision in those brief moments whether or not they want to go further. But what can you *actually absorb* in 10 seconds?
A few pictures?
A few bullets?
A tag line?
A link to your e-store?
Your telephone number?
My guess is that you are down to the bottom of my bulleted list above and you're right near 5 seconds. So what is it that actually gets someone to STAY at your website? I think some of the things that reflect on you or your business are less tangiable but are things a good web designer thinks of when they view your site. Here are some of the things we believe a good web designer must look at in order to make a website great and effective during those first 10 seconds. Viewers make judgments about these things immediately that reflect on you, your company, or your business:
Current, Up-to-Date Design. We're designing sites with different color schemes than two years ago. I saw an Avocado refrigerator in the store the other day, like back when the Brady Bunch was new. Design must be current, including color schemes and design elements. If these things are behind the times, during your first 10 seconds, people will think that you are behind the times as well. Note to self: if my website is still 1990's teal, it's time for an update. see Make It Loud immediately.
Relevant, Search Engine Friendly, Text. When I do public speaking the one thing I consider most often is this: is what I'm saying a rifle shot right through the center of the thought I'm trying to communicate, or is it a shotgun at the target, where I hit the center, but the target has shot all over it as well. When i was younger I worked in an aquarium store, and my old boss, Dennis Hare, had me change the sign on the front glass window regularly, with the clear plastic letters that stuck to the window glass. Inevitably, we found that we could put whatever we wanted on the front window, and no matter what information was there, the result was always the same-- someone would walk right in the door, and ask a question that could have been answered if they had just looked at the window glass. Our conclusion? PEOPLE DON'T READ. In fact, you're probably not reading all the way down to the bottom of this, but hey, we tried. In any event, keep your text to what you need to say and what is search engine friendly, and you'll keep your customers engaged. Note to self: If I have more than a couple of paragraphs of text on my home page, or a flash introm on my home page that takes a moment to load-- I'll actually lose the client I'm trying to engage.
Make It Loud, Inc. Phone: 678.325.4007 l 2828 Buford Dr., Suite 300 | Buford, GA 30519 | Lawrenceville, GA
| Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: 770.456.5957
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