The landscape of business owners has changed drastically over the years. The following infographic provides a historic snapshot of this change from 1960s to present day.

Key Trends:

  • 75% of America’s private sector workers is made up of small businesses
  • Business ownership is no longer confined to a specific  age group
  • While degree is not necessary to start a business, over 72% of small business owners have a college degree or higher.

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This Wednesday we present you with a well organized site that exemplifies how to effectively leverage the quality of your product/service. Rags to Riches Dog Spa is a professional mobile dog grooming service started by Kelly, an avid animal lover. Kelly felt that every dog client should have her UNDIVIDED attention, leaving clients feeling satisfied with the service she provides. Her passion for the business translates into the design and feel of the website.

Rags to Riches Dog Spa website clearly communicate its purpose. Furthermore, the color scheme of the website utilizes 2 primary colors that blend well creating a unique brand identity without distracting visitors from the main content. When it comes to the psychology of colors, purple means royalty and yellow tends to represent cheerfulness so what better color scheme to represent her slogan “Your Dog Is Treated Like Royalty”.

Another thing that the website owner does well is the ability to communicate her strong product knowledge and dedication to services offered.

Here are some tips that can help your small business website showcase your product/service superiority:

  • Theme Is Key – Make sure you take a look at the psychology of colors and find out what emotions and traits colors mean. Figure out which colors coordinate best with the subject of your website that run congruent with the personality of your business. Do not use more than three main colors as a color scheme; the key is to set the mood not to distract your visitors. Setting the mood is very important because it allows visitors to feel comfortable, which means they’ll stay on your website longer. Discover other design elements that impact the quality of your website.

Small business owners often encounter difficulties when it comes to creating interactive ways to bring new customers to discover their websites. An often overlooked marketing channel that small business owners can take advantage of quickly and inexpensively is by creating a how-to video for their website.

Just think, how many times have you gone online for questions on how to create or repair something? Would you rather read instructions on how to solve your issue or WATCH a tutorial that had easy to follow steps?

Here are a few tips that will help you reach YouTube success!

 #1 Optimize Your Channel

Before your business becomes a viral sensation, there are a few YouTube channel options you should check out:

  • Description Area – Make sure your description is clean, short and right to the point. Don’t forget to include all of your company’s social media sites, blog and website URLs. Keep in mind your channel description plays a big role in on how YouTube categorizes your channel and videos, so make sure to use keyword rich terms.

You have a small business and want to expand your reach and exposure. You want to enter the land of the Internet, but you don’t know how to make a website. When deciding to make a website for your small business, there are a number of aspects to consider in order to ensure that it is as successful as possible.

Here is a list of factors that will help guiding you in learning how to build a website.

A — “About Us” page. This is the area of your website where you provide in-depth information about your small business, like history, employees and contact information.

B — Blogging. A blog is an excellent means of providing fresh information for your customers, giving them a reason to make regular, return visits to your small business website.

C — Content. When making a website, content that is pertinent to its mission and engaging for the audience is of vital importance.

D — Design. The design of a small business website should be visually appealing, and at the same time, not so “busy” that it is off-putting, making it difficult to located wanted information.

When you are walking into a building for the first time, you automatically begin to think about your feelings about the establishment. Websites work in the same way, when visitors come to your site they are formulating an impression of you or your organization. In order to land a strong impression your website has to display a sense of pizzazz and style that can keep visitors interested in the main content of your website. This week’s Example Site Wednesday belongs to Scarab Pictures, a delightful website made by an artistically intuitive freelance photographer named Claire. Claire has created a website that not only showcases her talents, but does it in a way that is very innovational and original.

“I’ll make an image out of anything, everything can be beautiful if you look at it a little differently.”
– Claire

Claire has created a website that not only showcases her talents, but does it in a way that is very innovational and original.

The homepage message is clear and direct to the overall purpose of the website. The navigational links are personal and positioned neatly.

Smartphones, everywhere you go now, it seems like everyone has one! People aren’t just using the internet while at home or at the office anymore. These devices are also changing the way small business can attract new customers. Have you asked yourself recently if you could be missing out on potential customers because your mobile site isn’t up to par?

Your customers and potential customers aren’t just using their devices for Angry Birds and to Facebook. They are using them as mini computers. They browse the internet; they get directions, even conduct price comparisons right there in your aisles. Think about the potential you’re missing without a mobile friendly version of your website.

A mobile optimized version of your website allows customers and prospects to reach your web presence on their phones. Just last week, someone may have come by your store, remembering the name, but not the address. Today, they are back in your neighborhood, What’s the first thing they’ll do? Google your business-name. They’ll find you, but your site doesn’t render well on their smaller screen and takes forever to load. They can’t find your location, or a telephone number and you’ve just lost a potential sale. But if you optimize your site for mobile readers, it’s really easy for them to navigate and find you.

Luckily with a Webs website, your site is automatically converted to a mobile version. It’s a win/win situation for you and customers — your site stays up to date, and in sync with what is on your full-sized version and your customer can locate you easier.

So what does it really mean — having a mobile website?

Our weekly tradition dictates a showcase of another awesome Webs website. Today we are showcasing a fun website from the UK:  Pimp My Cakes with Mama Rhu. What makes this website stand out above the rest this week is the website owner’s dedication to not only showcasing their products, but also her letting her personality and enthusiasm for her business shine through on every single page on the website.

What can you take away from the creator of this website? As a small business it’s perfectly acceptable to showcase your personality to help you and your business stand out from the competition. For this site, “Mama Rhu” lets her site visitors know she’s serious (but has a good time) about her cake decorating business.

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This week we would like to showcase a website with clear calls to action: Building Repair Cost Consulting (BRCC).  Site owners also took into consideration a lot of design elements to ensure their website provides a simple way for visitors to browse.  Check it out for yourself:

Looking over this website, there is just a small suggestion we would like to offer to the owner of BRCC — try putting more emphasis on the benefits your services provide.  Adding benefit focused copy will answer the vital question all visitors seek: “What’s in it for me”.  Here are some suggestions on the type of statements BRCC could emphasize:

  • “With BRCC, you will not have to worry about overpaying contractors.”
  • “Using BRCC you will gain a piece of mind when it comes to major renovations”.

Looking to add benefits focused copy to your website? Here are a few tips you can utilize:

Getting Your Site in Shape for the Holidays There is no doubt that the holidays have started — there is the familiar scent of pine and cold in the air, office parties are gearing up, Black Friday has come and passed — but have you thought about the shape your site is in?

With everyone in the gift giving mood, customers and potential customers will be searching online for products and are likely to discover your site this holiday season. Here are some things you can do today to make sure your site (and you) is prepared for the holidays:

  • Holiday Messaging: Remember your manners. Your site is  the virtual storefront/representation of you and your business that can be seen worldwide. Thus when posting your holiday messages, keep in mind that all of your visitors don’t celebrate the same holidays. Using secular messaging like “Happy Holidays” and seasonal graphics go a lot further than “Merry Christmas” when speaking to all your visitors.
  • Timing: Don’t be the website that keeps the Christmas lights up all year long.  Because major retailers push the holiday season earlier and earlier every year, there seems to be no concrete holiday messaging start-date. But not removing the messaging in a timely manner can make it look like you don’t maintain your site and that it’s out of date. We all like the holidays, but if your logo is still covered in snow in June you’re probably really late or extremely early for the next holiday season.
  • Low Inventory: Yes we have no bananas. Nothing is more frustrating for shoppers who need that last gift to come to your website, place the order, pay for it, and then a week later get an email saying the item is sold out/back-ordered/no longer available. Take the time when setting up the offer to add “only 10 remain in stock” or “sold out” and “will be back in stock on…” messages. Using messaging like this works in your favor: first you communicate the uniqueness of the offer better; second you show a sense of urgency and finally if it’s out of stock but coming back you’ve almost guaranteed a return visit to purchase the item then.

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