The internet is a great leveller, and it’s allowed many companies to burst onto the scene which would never have got off the ground 25 years ago. Even if you’re a one man band, you can have a company website, just like ExxonMobil, Apple or Toyota do. Indeed, your size, flexibility and lack of bureaucracy can mean that in some respects, you can have a better website than they do. Take personality, for example. People love to do business with people. For a large corporation, demonstrating to potential customers that they’ll get to deal with real people is quite hard, especially if they might be dealing with any one of 10,000 staff worldwide. But for smaller companies, it’s easy to talk about people. So why do so many businesses miss this open goal? Why has their “About Us” page been written in such a way that you can’t tell if it’s a 10-man business or one a thousand times that size?
Unless it’s really impossible to do so, you should take every opportunity to bring your business to life on your website. That means pictures of your staff, profiles, a photo of the office or factory …whatever you’ve got. If, for some reason, those images are going to dissuade customers, for how long did you think you were going to get away with the pretence? Far better to concentrate on the prospects who are going to be encouraged by seeing the people they’re going to be doing business with. And please, don’t use one of those pathetic stock photos of an unfeasibly pretty woman with a headset over the caption: “call us now”. Maybe your technical sales engineers really are all filling in time between school and that first modelling assignment, but, seriously, that doesn’t inspire much confidence that I’m going to get to deal with someone who’s spent a career getting their hands dirty, specifying and installing blue widgets.
(With apologies to all grizzled, time-served engineers who also happen to be 19, female and beautiful. I’m sorry to have judged you on your looks).