“Craft” Businesses and the Web

September 15, 2009

There are millions of businesses classed as micro enterprises in our economy. And of those, many qualify as craft business.

Many of you will be solo entrepreneurs, perhaps with a home based business, for some of you there is a retail front, so you may have up to 10 staff assisting you.

One thing in common that you will probably not have, is a dedicated sales force!

In general your product or service is sold by word of mouth. People in your community know you, and often keep coming back.(And the more that they keep coming back, the better!)

However, one thing that many craft business owners overlook is the Web. And I think that is a mistake.

The Web is your 24 X 7 Sales person!

No salary, no weekends off, no holidays, your Web Site can be building awareness of you all day and all night. And adding newer ‘social media’ technologies such as blogs to your Web Site can also pay dividends in building community around your product or service.

An Example

There is a typical craft business in my area, in this case they sell a particular type of hard to find food preparation condiment. Their products are all in one category, and from pretty much everywhere in the world. As a bonus, you can also order their product and they will ship it to.

Basically, whatever taste you have for this type of product, they probably have it.

The Bad News

Yes, they have a Web Site. But it has not been modified in about 5 years. I hit Google trying to find them. No luck.

They are invisible to the search engines. So in their case – that 24 X 7 sales person web Site is not paying its keep!

How Could It Be Different?

Keeping the Web Site up to date will help Search engines such as Google find and index it, that is just for starters.

But for them, imagine if they added a Blog (or even built the Web Site using Blogging software such as WordPress .

As they sell a food preparation condiment, one thing that leaps quickly to mind is recipes for that condiment. You can imagine that you start publishing some recipes, that your customers can also start adding their own preferred recipes. Before you know it – people are buying new product to try out some of those new recipes.

And to fill a virtuous circle, as those recipes add up, the text and words used also get indexed and are searchable by Google and other search engines, so if people don’t know about your product, but were looking for that type of recipe – bingo! possibly new sales.

The Small Business Takeaway

Don’t neglect or dismiss the concept of Web Technologies. Properly setup and maintained, that 24 X 7 Sales person will be driving people to you.

And that is good news!

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