The new approach to websites for small to medium size businesses
Date: July 27, 2019
Author: Manus Mentz

Anyone can build a website

By now all business owners will agree that one should have some sort of an online presence, i.e. a website, a Facebook page, etc. And certainly most business owners have already invested in setting this up. On the other side of the fence web development has become so easy that just about any Tom, Dick and Harry can now build you a website using some template (or theme) or "code builder" and get you up and running for just a few rand in no time.

Here in lies the problem. Once your site is up and what? You spend the money and within a year the photos are outdated, the site doesn't look modern anymore and you feel you've wasted money on something that no-one looks at anyway.

Your website must be a business tool

And yet what most business owners don't realise is that your website can be a great tool to improve your business, your customer experience and your sales drive. And I'm not even talking about paid ads (Facebook ads or Google ads). I'm talking about what you can actually DO with this piece of HTML code that floats in the cloud somewhere!

As an Industrial Engineer I started out in the consulting world implementing MRP systems (later on called ERP systems). A big part of my job was to match the functionality of these systems to the processes of the business OR to convince the client to change their processes so to better fit the best practices already embedded in the system.

Then I crossed the great divide into entrepreneurship and for about 10 years struggled with companies/suppliers who build and re-build our website at least 5 times. I got so frustrated with web-development-companies, big and small, who could so quickly build you a website (now better termed a "landing page") but could not keep up with changes, new ideas and more. I knew exactly what I wanted to do, but did not have the skills myself. So over a December holiday I decided to help my dad build a simple website to sell his book. And it hit my like a freight train. This stuff is not that difficult. In the few years after that I enrolled in more courses and took complete ownership of my own business-website.

Your business changes all the time, so should your website

Step by step my partner and I added more and more functionality to suite our demands. Better layout and information display of our products. Relevant information customers could download about each product (brochures, manuals, etc.). A login for all our franchisees where they could find loads of documents and our internal price structures - like an "intranet". I automated incoming queries from visitors into our CRM system and started using an email program to send out proper news letters. We build an email list of over 6000 prospect and clients in less than 2 years. More landing pages for adverts via Facebook and Google followed. All of sudden we were in control and my partner and I could talk about a new idea and implement it over a weekend and had the new features/form/etc. up and running by Monday.

Is your website a static billboard or a dynamic business tool?

I realised this is the way to make your website work for you. Not a static-billboard type website, but a dynamic powerful tool that improves your business on an ongoing basis.

The number of modules (plugins) one can buy and add to your website to achieve what you want to achieve are endless. The latest digital trends for small business websites are more than just interesting (read the article on the iol website - click here). What you need is not an IT company or HTML programmer to build your website, you need a business consultant with business skills to help you develop a tool that you can use and change as you go along. Your business changes all the time. New events, new ideas, new information, new products, new projects. You need a website with someone that understands business, not HTML. The latter is the easy part, it's the former that is not so easy.

This is where we come in. Contact us and lets talk about your business, the website will follow, don't worry about that!

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