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The official blog for iSaleswriter.com! Find out what happens behind the scenes at iSaleswriter. We use this blog to inform and entertain anyone interested in building an online business the right way.

How to use your website for business?

Anita Lowe - Tuesday, April 19, 2011
A friend of mine called me at the close of business yesterday to ask a favor.  He was responsible for managing the local Rotary Club meeting and needed to line up a quest speaker for an upcoming luncheon because his scheduled speaker had a conflict come up and couldn't make it.

The call went something like this...:
"Hey Joey, this is Wayne.  I've got a problem I need your help with."
 "Sure Wayne, what's up?"
"Have you ever given a speech in front of crowd before?"
"Uhhh, yeah!  Why?"
"Can you give a 15-20 minute speech to the Rotary Club?  My scheduled speaker canceled."

Now I know that Wayne would only make this request if he was truly in a pinch so I said sure.  Why not?  I asked Wayne when and where and he replied "Tomorrow, noon...at the steakhouse." (We live in a small town and there's only the one real steakhouse.)  Nothing like a little end of the day stress on a Monday afternoon, right?

So today is the day and I draft out a quick 5 minute speech and head over to the steakhouse at the appointed time.  I figured I could I speak for 5 minutes and then take questions.  About 30 minutes before the event, Wayne calls me and tells me that he can't make it because he has to handle a business situation.  Always, the optimist (wait, that's another club right), I take it all in stride and wait and watch.

Now, I want to assure my readers that the meeting went well.  The food was wonderful and the club members were the perfect hosts.  I felt right at home and it didn't hurt that many of the members had been to my home before.  So what does all of this have to do with using a website for a business?

The thing about most business websites is that they aren't really set up for business.  Yes, they look pretty and yes they tell visitors about what you do and where you are located.  Some of the more fancy sites even allow you to purchase services and products right online.  But when it comes to actually complimenting your business, most websites miss the mark.

It's far better to spend some time on the front end of things working out your systems.  For instance, as a business owner, what would you want a site visitor to do when they come to your site?  How are you going to accomplish that?  Then what?  I guess my point is that if you want to use a website for business, you had better come up with a viable reason as to why it will work for you.  Oh and the caveat is that if you do figure this out, you will be farther along than most of your competitors.

So what does all of this have to do with Wayne and my speaking at the Rotary Club?  Well for starters, I've recognized the importance of having a website that compliments my business so I was able to adjust my schedule on short notice to help a friend in need without doing my clients a disservice.  In fact, I bet my clients didn't even notice I was gone.

A great way to increase sales

Anita Lowe - Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Most people start a website for the purpose of making money.  Disappointment sets in when they finally have it finished and the sales don't roll in.  What's up?  What causes what seemed like a good idea to crash and burn?  The answer may surprise you!

One of the first things I look for when a client approaches me about marketing their site is if there is an easy to follow sales process in place.  Most times the answer is no.  I'm not talking about having a shopping cart.  That's the easy part.  I want to know how each page, each article, each image or graphic contributes to the sales process.  Some people call it a funnel or a pipeline.  It doesn't matter what you call it as long as you have one.

A good place to start is your home page.  What's on it and why is it there?  If someone visits your home page, what's the next logical step for them to take?  What steps are they taking?  This is good place to mention analytics.  If you aren't using them, you should be.  Otherwise, how will you ever know if your visitors are following the path you forged for them? 

Still confused about where to start?  Take it one step at a time.  Most websites follow a simple navigational process.  There are links to the home page, to the products and services page, an 'about us' page, maybe a contact page, and whatever else suits the fancy of the business owner.  Since we all know that a visitor can land on your site on just about any page, what is your process if a visitor lands on your 'about' page?  How do you move them from that page to your product page?  How do you get the visitor to take your bait and follow the yellow brick road?

Answer these questions and you will quickly and easily add new sales to your business today!

So I was on my way to work when a funny thing happened?

Anita Lowe - Monday, April 11, 2011
It's not every day that I get to blog about just anything.  Most of the time I'm writing about Internet marketing and small business solutions such as business systems.  Other times, I'm too busy to blog so I put it on the "get-around-to-it" list which I never seem to get around to.  Anyway this story is worth telling several times so here goes.

I was on my way to work this morning when I noticed the strangest thing.  I saw what looked like several animals blocking the street ahead of me so I slowed to a crawl to give them a chance to move.  They weren't moving out of the way.  As I got closer, I could clearly see a dog surrounded by 4 large alley cats.  The dog was decent sized too but appeared to be petrified.  The cats were all smaller than the dog but they clearly had their bluff in as they circled the dog with menacing glares and hisses.  I honked my horn a couple of times and they all took off.  The cats ran off in all directions, but the dog gave chase to one of the cats and I'm not sure if he caught the cat but I know he tried real hard too.

Later on it dawned on me the nature of events that I had witnessed.  The dog could be compared to a small business.  Superior in strength, focus and tenacity but paralyzed by smaller, more agile, competitors.  Anyone of the cats would have been no match for the dog and I have my doubts if 4 cats would have had success either.  It didn't matter though, because the 4 cats had accomplished what they came after.  While the 4 cats were busy distracting the dog, a fifth cat had managed to sneak away with the dog's recent kill, a small squirrel.  Of, before I forget, the cats are your competition.

I guess the moral of the story here is all about systems.  The cats managed to get what they wanted from the dog because of their organized systematic approach.  Are you letting others steal your leads away too?  Let me know!