Allow us to put some necessary context on the subject of small business website design.
Point blank: Small businesses don’t always want to stay small forever. They might have small budgets today, but in many, if not most cases, they’d rather increase their profits.
If you can help them do that, then their ability to spend on your services will increase, too. This is extremely important to you, because small businesses are also the ones which will be the most loyal to a good service provider.
So, when you approach a small business web design project, you need to think first and foremost about helping them get maximum return on investment.
In this article, we’ll talk about a few things that help you do exactly that for your small business clients.
Projecting Small Business Values
As a small business, two of the key assets your client has are its character, and its values. We’ll start with values.
Small business owners work very hard. In order to be successful, they have to make decisions to remain focused on certain values. Those values are often things that play out in everyday operations, such as:
- A commitment to giving personal attention to every client and prospect.
- Guarantees like availability, customer satisfaction, or “we can get what you need.”
- Being up-to-date with industry best-practices, or a leader in ethical operation.
As a web designer working for a small business, you need to seize those aspects of the client’s character. Find ways to project those values in ways that are both subtle, and impossible to miss.
That guarantee would make a nice gold ribbon; that commitment to personal attention could play out as a direct contact form and prominent contact information including key extension numbers; etc. These are all things that larger businesses tend to shy away from, but smaller businesses tend to thrive on.
Although some small businesses want a web designer to create the impression that a basement office is really on the 33rd floor of a downtown address, most will appreciate the strength that comes with sticking to their roots and, frankly, milking their true identity for all it’s worth.
Revealing the Small Business’s Team
In any business, it’s helpful to have a directory of contacts, but with a small business, your client’s clients are going to want to know who they’re buying from in a more intimate way. This is why small business websites so often include a detailed page about the officers and key staff.
Give this page the full attention it deserves. Include plenty of character and personality, to whatever extent your clients like that sort of thing. Keep in mind that they’re familiar with what kinds of self-representation has worked for them in the past, and go with it.
Representing the Small Business’s Character
And now we come back to the character of the business. Small businesses are not stoic monoliths of impassive dominance, like a big corporation. They’re still carving out their space in their niche, and as such, they need to stand out more than the bigger competition.
In short, they’re going to be more quirky and interesting than bigger companies.
Don’t shy away from that character in your small business website design contracts. Weave it into the design, the copy writing, and in any other aspect you and your clients can agree on. They’re going to want any edge they can get to help them stand out. Small business web contracts are a great chance for you, the designer, to be more creative than usual. Enjoy it!