Tag: small business

Will they Buy? Communicate the Purchase Process

stairs-to-nowhereDo you have any question about how to buy a towel when you go to Target?

No. The purchasing process is clear at most brick and mortar stores. Owners display a
price for an item. Shoppers select the item and take it to checkout. They pay and walk out with the item.

Make Your Purchase Process Crystal Clear

How do you know how to price your services?

Potential service customers stop if your purchasing process is too loosey-goosey. The “not knowing” about costs  and how payment and services will be exchanged is too big of an unknown for many.

For retail businesses, it’s important that online purchasing is seamless, from impulse to shipping. If a “Buy Now” button takes a buyer to a broken link, that button might as well say “Bye-Bye.”

But for service businesses, the unknowns reside more with the moving parts of services. It’s crucial that you know how you price your services. This requires a knowledge of your clients needs and quirks.

For an family photographer, for example, does the photo shoot cost more if the family has four kids versus two kids? What if they want to include the dog?

For an wedding planner, how does the price differ for a wedding of 200 guests versus 400 guests? What about a destination wedding? Or one where the bride’s sister is doing the flowers?

Try to imagine your client and how their needs arise. Streamline and price your services accordingly.

Decide How You Want to Be Paid, and Share That Info

Do you take checks, credit cards, senior discounts or Apple Pay? Is yours a contract and invoicing structure? Do you require partial payment up front?

Figure out and streamline how you get paid for your services. Then, put that information on the about page of your website. 

Do you offered tiered pricing?

If not, you may want to consider it. Offering tiered pricing structures widens your audience and has proven to increase a sense of value and control over the services.

If you offer different levels of service, promote this on your website and Facebook page as well.

Do you require a contract for your work?

If you are consulting, contracting (including providing renovating or repair services), or freelancing, chances are you need a contract for your work with a client.

A good contract is written in simple language and includes

  • the parties involved
  • dates and timelines
  • payment obligations
  • the scope of the work, its limits and how it will be executed
  • how disputes will be resolved
  • circumstances which will terminate the contract
  • the state to govern the contract
  • signatures of parties involved.

Sites online offer templates which can be used as a jumping off point for customizing a contract that works for you and protects both you and your client.

Why do businesses hesitate in the purchase process?

No one wants to under-charge for their services. Or “scare away” a potential client by quoting what seems, to them, to be an unreasonable price.

Do your research and price accordingly.

Incidentally, did you know that under-pricing can actually lead to a lack of ? Perception of your services plays a large part in how and what people feel they should pay. This is part of the bigger picture of of brand and value.

If you’d like more information about how to improve your brand and communicate wisely with your target audience, contact me.

 

Weekend Work for Small Business: Website Review

Website Review Weekend Work Marketing Strategy

 Task 1: Website Review.

Website Review Weekend Work Small business
Weekend Work is the weekly series of for business owners and creative entrepreneurs. Weekend Work is chunked tasks you can complete outside regular working hours.

 This Weekend’s Task: Website Review

Goal: Determine if you have a website, and how that website is working for your business, right now.


Do you have a website?
(If yes, skip ahead.)

No?

Ok.

You need to get a website.

Customers use a website to answer questions about you and your products or services when you are not there. It’s a must-have.

Not having a website is akin to not wearing pants.

But hey. There’s probably a reason you don’t have one.

The most common one is: I’m so confused and overwhelmed. 

Yes. yes. I hear you. 

Get on with it.

Here’s your “I-don’t-have-a-website-what-now” task list:

  • Decide the URL you want your website to have. Keep it simple to speak and spell. Try to claim a .com or .net (.org for NFPs) if you can. Pick One.
  • Register the domain(s) now. Use GoDaddy.com to search and find the best domain name. Pay for it now. Set it up to renew automatically. Register.
  • Determine your budget on website build. Consider your own willingness to learn graphic design, SEO tools, website hosting and more. Budget.
  • If you are determined to skip an investment in a professional design and build DIY (for now), start researching “free” website design tools such as Wordpress, Wix and Weebly. None of these are truly free but they will get you started. Choose one.
  • If you have a budget, put out feelers for a website designer and content creator. Start with your local Facebook groups or other area business owners whose websites you love. Ask them who they used and (more importantly) if they were happy with the service.  Contact them.
  • Make notes. Keep a notebook or Evernote log of what you think your customer wants when they come to your website. Add to it whenever you can. Organize.

Q. So you DO have a website?

Good.

Conduct your website review. Open an email draft and be ready to type notes to send to your website administrator.

  • Do you “Ask them to act”? That is, do you have a call-to-action button and/or text on your website where you ask your visitors to hire you or buy your service? Add it.
  • See any broken links or missing photos? Click them and fix them.
  • Read the website for errors and outdated info. Send corrections.
  • Social media links. If you have social media, these sites need to appear on your website. Link them. 
  • Is your contact form working? Test it.
  • Wait… Do you even have a contact form? If not, add one.
  • Do you have an About Page? Do you know what Mistake No. 1 on Copyblogger’s post “Are you making these 7 Mistakes on Your About Page?” is? Have a look. (So, yes: Add an “About” Page.)

Hey, I think that’s enough for this initial Website Review.

There’s more to think about  when it comes to marketing strategy and your website as the face of your business. Is it written for your target client or customer? That’s a topic for another week.


If you have questions or would like further information or support, feel free to reach out to me. I’m here to help.