Small Business Resource Center

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How much should professional website design cost?

by John Habib
John Habib
March 15, 2017

Trying to determine how much to pay for a professionally designed website can be confusing for even the savviest among us. One of the first things you’ll discover when researching web design is that the price range is all over the map — from practically free to discouragingly expensive. This is because web design pricing is often subjective. There’s no fixed industry price, and you may be charged based on what your designer feels is fair.

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Simple changes to your website can provide big dividends

March 2, 2017

Ellens Bridal and Dress Boutique_Home PageIt is hard to believe, but in 2017, many small businesses are still without a website, or at least one that will help drive more sales. These days, a functioning website is, at a minimum, table stakes.

Today, 90 percent of Americans have access to the internet. A total of 70 percent of the population has a smart phone. Americans rely less on advertising and more on the ability to find what they want instantly than ever before. If you are a small business and your customers can’t find you? Well, chances are you won’t be in business very long.

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Small Business Stories: Ellen’s Bridal and Dress Boutique

December 21, 2016

Lisa Ellen Downs had the fashion expertise, the quaint small-town location and the willingness to go the extra mile to help clients plan for their special events.

What she didn’t have for her Wabash, Indiana, bridal and formalwear salon was the big-city panache needed to attract clients from outside the immediate area. That was before Deluxe stepped in with a comprehensive rebranding program featuring a more compelling website design, elegant new signage, eye-catching new collateral and effective new mail and social media marketing campaigns.

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Your Website, Written Perfectly

The first rule of writing for your website is easy: Think of your audience.

Who are they? Why did they come to your site? What should they do once they’re on it? 

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What’s a Widget, Anyway?

November 28, 2016

If you’re looking to upgrade your website, a widget is often a smart place to start. Widgets are small software tools you install on your website to execute specific tasks. Thousands of widgets are available across the internet. Depending on the specific widget, they do everything from display the current local weather to count down to an event to reserve an appointment slot at your business — and much, much more.

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The Perils of Free Shipping

by John Habib
John Habib

E-commerce is an ever more integral part of consumers’ lives. This year alone, e-commerce sales are expected to surpass $1.9 trillion, with an estimated $4 trillion spent on e-commerce by the year 2020.

As the number of online deal hunters grows, many e-commerce companies are offering shipping discounts to capture all of those sales. With its Prime program and enormous scale and reach, Amazon has probably done more than any other retailer to cement the concept of free shipping in customers’ minds. In fact, 88 percent of customers say that free shipping is what prompts them to make purchases online more frequently. Other large retailers like Target, Best Buy and Kohl’s have followed suit, using free shipping to tempt their customers during the holiday season, and sometimes all year long.

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Small Business Stories: EAT! @ Banning & 5th

November 21, 2016

Minnesota restaurateur Shawn Smith knows a thing or two about the power of local. It dates back to his roots on a farm in a rural community. “Growing up, the women in our church made the best food,” he remembers. “[This is] long before we had grocery stores that had 19 kinds of olive oil. Matter of fact, I don’t remember olive oil as a kid.”

But he remembers local connections and the importance of working with the people closest to you, and that’s carried over into his professional life. You see, Smith is still focused on food as well as the local people who make it a success.

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12 Signs Your Website Needs a Professional Redesign

Whether it’s your car’s transmission, your PC’s speed or the romance in a relationship — when something peters out, there are always warning signs before the big blowup occurs. If you want to salvage things, you need to pay attention to those warning signs and then take action. What’s more, successful intervention often requires a professional touch — a marriage counselor’s advice to save your relationship, a visit with a certified technician for your PC or a trip to the mechanic for your car.

Those same principles can apply to your company website. When warning signs tell you your site is no longer working as well as it could, having it refreshed by a professional could prevent a decline in traffic.

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Website Wizardry: How rookies can write their own copy

by Linzi Breckenridge
Linzi Breckenridge

Your website is your calling card, and you have a very short time to convince visitors that it’s worth perusing further. On average, in fact, you can expect 55 percent of your visitors to spend less than 15 seconds on your site.

That’s why it’s so crucial to feature website copy that’s crisp, clear, relevant and easy to view. Savvy content marketers are increasingly recognizing the importance of engaging content, which is probably why 72 percent of B2B players name copy creation as a top priority this year.

How do you make great copy happen?

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Ready to build your website? Answer these 3 questions first.

website-designAre you thinking about building a website?  Do you have an idea for what that might look like?  Is there a picture in your head?  Before you move forward, I would like to suggest stopping for a minute and thinking through a few things.

Your website is really an extension of you.  In many cases, it is your first exposure to your audience.  When they visit your site for the first time you get about 5 seconds to convince them that you are what they are looking for.  Given this short window of time, it is essential to make deliberate decisions to ensure that you are meeting the needs of your intended audience.

To do this, think through the following questions it is a good start to creating an experience that will resonate with your future customers.

1. Who is your audience?

Ask yourself:

  • Who are your current customers?
  • Who do you want them to be?
  • Who do you think will be visiting your website?

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