Talking with exhibitors at the local craft fair this weekend I was amazed at how few have websites and their perceptions of what’s involved in having a website.
Most didn’t have a site and most seemed to think that they couldn’t have one because their stock changed so much and so often that they couldn’t keep up with the images online. I can understand this concern because I’ve faced it with my work too.
The answer is that you don’t have to put all your work online. You can start with phase 1 having information like:
- calendar of shows for the year so customers know where to find you
- contact details so customers can easily contact you
- online email newsletter subscription so customers can give you their details so you can remind them about upcoming shows (newsletters can be monthly or just once a year, but building the database list of interested customers is vital for business growth and success)
- product range so customers know what you’ll have at the show
- some images of your goods so customers can see what you have to start to get ideas
For phase 2 of the business site development you can make a start with online shopping using PayPal or the equivalent:
- a small selection of regular stock items that are your basic bread and butter selling items – these are the ones that you have available regularly and don’t change very often as people need them
- make available patterns and instructions – some free and some for sale
- a manageable range of kits that are easy to put together and ship – this range can include regular ones and/or kits that you change once a year – nothing too high maintenance, just an easy quick way to start and build an online income
- regular email newsletters for your customers so they know where you are, what you’re doing, what they can buy from you and remember you
A website can back up and support a traditional mail order business, it doesn’t have to replace it. A website grows over the years and develops into a great resource for your business. Think of it in terms of building in phases that you can manage.
For more info about having a success website for your small business click here.
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