Certain regions have been especially hard hit by the recent economic downturn and Florida is very near the top of that list. Owning and running a small business is challenging even in the best of times, and today those challenges are exceptionally daunting for those of us in the Sunshine state.
While it may seem counter-intuitive to some, most veteran business owners know that it pays to advertise during difficult economic times, and there is no better way to leverage your advertising dollar than by having an effective website designed. You can spend your advertising budget on the old tried and true shotgun approach of direct mail or print advertising, or for a fraction of the cost you can build a permanent online presence that works day and night to attract new prospects and customers.
The truth is that the majority of business websites fail; meaning they generate very little business and get almost no traffic. In order for your website to be successful, it must be created in a way that encourages the search engines to show your site to prospects, and at the same time being compelling to those prospects once they arrive at your site. For this reason, selecting the right web designer is the single most important factor in determining whether a website will succeed or fail.
Several rules apply wherever you select a local designer in your hometown or a centralized law several states away. Of course there are benefits to finding a business minded designer in your local area. They'll know the nearby communities and neighborhoods. They'll probably even know your competitors and have a feel for the population's demographic makeup.
For example, if you run a business in Miami you might want your website to have that Magic City look and feel to it. At a minimum, you want your website to communicate that you are part of the local community. Getting a new web prospect to consider doing business with you is about building the potential for trust, and nothing does that more effectively than a sense of community. Often a local designer can help deliver that message.
Businesses with their own unique style, brand or hook usually want that attitude carried through to their website design. A definable brand should remain consistent so that your loyal repeat customers instantly know that they are in the right place as soon as they arrive at your website, and new prospects get a good preview of what to expect. Again, a really good local designer can often bring these elements together better than someone who is very far away.
Be cautious though because a local designer could be a wrong choice if they take no interest in your business. You want to know that your designer is not only focused on selling you a website, but instead is dedicated to helping you grow your business. While no one can guarantee success, you can and should ask your prospective designer a lot of open-ended questions about the results you can expect.
You'll quickly find out whether or not they understand how to market a business and what specific steps they will take to help you in achieving your goals. Ultimately, you want a designer that will immediately tell you how they plan to identify your market and how they'll incorporate that intelligence into your website – whether they stay across town or across the Country.
Find a local Florida designer who also has the right business sense and marketing know-how and you've hit the jackpot.