|Forum topic by pashley||posted 1482 days ago||872 views||2 times favorited||7 replies|
1482 days ago
I thought I might take the opportunity to (hopefully) help out some of you that may want, or have already started, a website for their woodworking business – or really any type of user-driven informational site (such as for a club, zoo, hobby, etc). I have been doing websites on the side, and would like to believe I can help out someone else.
First Rule: Don’t Make Me Think.
I’m sure you want a little explanation with that one, LOL. What I mean to say is, don’t make me (the user of your website) hunt for what I’m looking for. If I can’t find what I’m looking for in less than a minute, chances are, I’ll move on.
Here’s an example. My wife and I were going to take the kids to the local zoo one day. Of course, you want to know what time the zoo opens, right? Long story short – it took me about 5 minutes to finally find those times on their website. That’s information that should have been right there on the front page, along with the address and phone number. As it was, I had to go a couple of pages deep to find that simple – and often sought – information that should have been on the front page. I should not have had to go the “About the zoo” page, then jump off to “hours of operation” – yes, it makes sense, but in the internet world, people aren’t thinking that much – you have to do that for them.
This one covers a lot of territory, but the bottom line is this – when I come to your website, I want to feel that your business (club, association, etc) has a professional appeal. I don’t care how good your stuff is, if your website looks like it was done by a 12 year old, I’m moving on. Put it this way – would you buy insurance from a 20 year old kid with a wild pink Mohawk and a bolt thru his nose? I would think not. Fair or not, appearances matter. Would you go into a local restaurant that had a hand-painted sign and the shingles falling off the roof? Probably not – though the food could be awesome. Am I making my point? Most guys like us aren’t going to know how to design a great website – I’m not even entirely satisfied with mine, though I think it’s decent. I can get into how to get a great looking website another time.
Third Rule: Don’t stand in the way of the customer trying to buy.
That is to say, give them every opportunity to pay you. Cash, check, money order, credit cards, blood – whatever it takes to make the transaction happen. I see so many places that say they don’t want to take credit cards (both on the web and in real life) because they don’t want to pay the 3.5% fee to Paypal, the bank, or whomever. My reply is, “Do you have any idea how much business you’re losing because you don’t want to take credit cards?” I can practically guarantee you it’s way over the 3.5% you’re complaining about. If you’re that worried about the 3.5%, you can always add that much to the bottom line of your price, and give cash (check, money order) customers a 3.5% discount. I just think it’s bad practice to throw up a road block to someone that wants to give you money.
Besides paying you, don’t make the customer guess as to what the cost of the product (or service) is, if it can be helped at all. In all likelihood, they are going to guess high, decide it’s too much, and walk away. Real life scenario: locally, I have two lumber yards I go to. One guy has your standard rough cut stuff – sometimes planed two sides, but usually just rough cut. The other guy has many of his boards planed four sides, with the name of the product, the amount of board feet, and the price right there on the end. Something like, “Curly maple, 5.4BF, $35.40” – personally, I like that. Not only can I see the board, it’s already dimensioned, and I know the price right away. I know some guys like to take that rough board down themselves, but I don’t know many that like a surprise at the register – and with the first guy, I’ve been surprised a few times, on the expensive side.
Well, there’s a few things that I hope will be helpful…..
-- Have a blessed day!