SmashingRed has been around for over a year and a half now and I have learned lots. I have worked with a number of clients to help meet their objectives and goals and continue to do so in the future.
Help Smart Small Business Get the Web Right
In the past few months, working on website projects and development of new systems and strategies for building better websites, faster, I realized I forgot why I started this company: To help smart small business get the web right by intelligently integrating it into their business and achieve their goals.
I am not sure that I know how to say what I want to say about the marketing information void that exists, but I see time-and-time-again, local and big businesses going under or struggling. You cannot just hang up your shingle in a competitive marketplace and expect to build a business.
Why Does a Website Developer Care About Small Business Marketing?
Websites are a facet of marketing. It doesn’t matter what they do—whether they educate people about your company, inform visitors about your products and services, sell things online and etcetera. And, just like good customer service or your beautiful sign, or your telephone directory ad, it must contribute to turning visitors into customers. Marketing is nothing more than leading people to choose something that you are offering.
Expand or Contract?
My conflict is deciding whether to expand the idea of SmashingRed into a marketing consultancy or sharpen my focus onto just building great websites.
The reason to even consider this is that unlike big business, small business don’t have marketing departments or marketing teams. To make matters worse, most adfirms-come-marketing consultancies, are more interested in winning awards than building actual measurable value for their clients.
Small Business Owners Search for the Starting Line
Many of my small business clients don’t know where or how to start actively marketing their business—they don’t know what segments make up their market, they don’t know what a segment is; they don’t know what emotion their customers are fulfilling by using or buying their product; they don’t know that people and business make decisions based on emotions; they don’t know how to write a compelling message for a campaign; they don’t know what a campaign is; they don’t know how to focus on prospects. How can I then expect my clients to write compelling copy to put onto their website if they don’t know these things? How can I even deliver the success that I promised if all the design and development of a great website is then filled with words and images focused on the wrong thing? The answer is I can’t.
Take Control or Change Vision
So, I either have to take control or let go of the idea of building websites for Small Business that get the web right. One thing is certain, I am passionate about helping Small Business achieve their goals. The question is how far do I take it?
What do you think? Stick to Websites or Take on the World?