It is often said that the close links and relationships that small businesses can build with their customers provides a key advantage over their larger rivals.
Also, in the absence of huge advertising and PR budgets, this people element can define how small businesses are perceived by their customers and be a key factor in winning new business.
So it greatly surprises me that many small business owners don’t mention themselves or their people on their websites. It’s like walking into a shop and finding all the staff hiding behind the counter.
It’s particularly odd when the business is offering a personal, creative or craft service. Here potential customers would be buying directly into a business person’s particular personality, skills and talents.
Sometimes little hints are dropped, such as “we’re a family business” or “the founders have more than x years of experience”, but that information alone lacks substance and isn’t useful. Introduce this family, their roles and experience – profile these founders and their experience.
Think of it from a potential customer’s point of view. Unlike the big names, they might have never heard of you before, or have any idea of your reputation and what they can expect from dealing with you.
Their questions, doubts, hopes and fears would no doubt be answered if they engage with your business. However, if your website is the first point of contact that a potential customer has with your business, it might be the only chance you get to convince them to do business with you.
Why leave these people wondering? You don’t need to provide life histories – and should avoid self-praise – just give your audience a summary of who you are and why you’re good at what you do, so they have some idea of who they’re dealing with.
Although you might have put a great deal of effort into showcasing your products or services on your website, the people element of your business could well be the key to winning that new customer.
Don’t hide behind the counter….or website.