Our team are huge fans of CopyBlogger, and today an article up on their site really hit home. The Internet seems so *FREE* now. Free news, free entertainment, free email, free networking. What’s happening is the perceived value of these products, services, and information is being cheapened by the fact that they (can be) easy.
People, especially ones that are in charge of small to medium size businesses, have started to fall for the trap of FREE and GOOD ENOUGH. We’ve had business cards handed to us from owners of multiple car dealerships with the Vistaprint ad on the back. We’ve seen doctors offices with AOL email accounts. We’ve seen professional athlete sports training facilities with websites from Yellow Pages.
Is that really how you want to do business?
Fast / Good / Cheap – pick two. (But it will show…your customers can tell…)
#3: Looking like a cheapskate
It’s so easy to set up an online business these days — just whack up a WordPress.com or Blogger site and off you go.
Need graphics? Pick up some clip art. Logo and website header? $50 should take care of that if you outsource to the lowest bidder. Business cards? You can get freebies from Vistaprint, why pay money for a designer and printing? Newsletter list? Send that from your desktop with Outlook.
The only problem here is that your business looks cheap. And the overall impression visitors and potential clients get is that you’re (a) broke, (b) cheap and (c) unprofessional.
There are some things you can do free or low-cost and no one will notice. Your website is not one of them.
Don’t get me wrong here, you don’t have to go to the other extreme and mortgage your house to pay for the website. You do have to make sure that your site has a clean, professional look, that it’s easy to navigate, and that your web presence makes you look worth the prices you charge.