U-C WEBS' founder Nardo KuitertBy Nardo Kuitert, U-C WEBS
[Published in Minding Our Business, March 2008 for the Centre Wellington Chamber of Commerce]

No Website?
A lot of local businesses do not have a website. When I ask them why not, they come with a wide variety of answers – or excuses. Many of these “excuses” come from ill-informed decisions. A large number of local business people are not as tech-savvy as they should be – considering that a growing number of their customers are!

What Is Your Excuse?
Is your “excuse” in the initial list below? Read through the commentaries, and you may come to the conclusion that you do need a website after all:

1. “I am already in the phone book”
More and more people prefer Internet search engines like Google to a paper phone book. Without a web presence you are invisible to the growing masses online.

2. “I only service the local community”
You will be amazed how many people are searching online for local information. “Fergus real estate”, “Elora raceway” or “Shoetopia Fergus” are just a few examples of frequently searched local phrases.

3. “I don’t want to sell online”
A website does not have to be about selling; the main goal is to be visible online. With your own website you can control whether it is visible in the search engines, and what you want people to see.

4. “I don’t know what to put on a website”
A good web developer can help you organizing and writing the content. You can also consider hiring a freelance copywriter. They are more affordable than you think.

5. “I don’t have the money”
Prices for websites have come down quite a bit. There are a lot of free templates available, which can cut down on design costs. Free Content Management Systems (CMS) like Joomla or WordPress* bring websites that you can update yourself within financial reach.

* WordPress is not just a blogging tool!

More Next Month!
OK, these are just 5 excuses… Because of my space limitations for this column I decided to split it up into two articles. So make sure that you pick up next month’s edition of Minding Our Business for the remaining 5 excuses. And in the meantime you can maybe start thinking about the structure and content of your very own website.

Nardo Kuitert is an Internet Consultant with Fergus Website Development and Optimization firm U-C WEBS (www.u-cwebs.com). U-C WEBS also offers Internet advertising opportunities on www.ferguspages.com. (link opens in a new window)

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