Your small business online: What do you really need?


When it comes to your small business online presence, how big does it really need to be?

While I think it’s true that most small businesses would benefit from a decent-sized website that includes a blog and other elements to aid in marketing, frankly many small businesses can get by with a fairly minimal presence. (And it’s definitely better than no online presence at all!)

In fact, a one-page website may be enough to promote your small business online. (And, I would say that a single well-designed and informative page is better than a haphazardly designed multi-page small business website.)

Here’s a one-page website for a property used for events that looks great and serves a specific purpose. It’s pretty much intended just to supply guests with directions and give them a good feel about their upcoming experience.

Technically and artistically, the design of this site is fairly advanced; nonetheless, you can get some excellent “design clues” from it even if you’re planning something much more basic:

  • Its subject is completely clear: Malibu House and its address.
  • Its design is “airy.” It’s not jammed with type. The graphics are large and bold.
  • Visitors get the information they need in the “Directions” section. There’s no confusion.

Currently, this website isn’t being used for marketing. If it was – and there’s a good chance your website will be designed with some marketing intent – it should have a call to action. The CTA can be as simple as urging the visitor to call and having your phone number in clear type. Or you could provide a simple contact form to boost your small business online marketing.

I’ve seen other single-page websites that function well for their owners. Freelancers can sometimes get by with a single page. Small local businesses often can as well. But, just because you think you can accomplish your goals in a single web page, don’t think that you can get by with throwing anything up on the old Interweb.

In fact, the information and “feel” conveyed by your single webpage may be all a prospect ever knows about you. It has to be good.

I’ve given you some design tips above. In addition to those, you need to give serious thought to the colors you use, your logo, and your type faces. These will all be elements within your branding, so you need to get them right the first time.

You might find a WordPress theme that works for you or a template at one of the DIY website building services. But if you decide you need something more custom, you’ll want to find a good designer and you really can’t hire the first person who knocks at your door…or responds to your email. Andy Crestodina has written a good article that tells you what kinds of questions you need to ask any prospective website designer. Pay heed.

We know that as many as half of all small businesses don’t have a website. It could be that the task seems too big, so some small business owners decide not to deal with it. If that’s you, I hope that my “ode to a one-page website” will make the project seem less daunting and inspire you to finally establish your small business online presence.