Webmachines launched in 2016. Prior to this we created websites exclusively for government, companies and large organizations. It was great experience for us as designers to master the delivery of communication and technological projects onto the internet over the past two decades.
Over the years we were often asked if we developed websites for small business. Knowing the amount of work involved in our web developments and the ongoing nature of maintaining these developments we would kindly suggest they could not afford our developments. Too often we had seen a lot of small businesses burnt by paying for an expensive web development, only to be left high and dry with an out of date website months later.
By 2016, after turning down a lot of small business website requests we decided to develop a commercial website model specifically for small businesses.
Digital design evolved to the point where it became attainable for a bigger spectrum of commercial clients.
2. ONLINE SECURITY
2016 saw the biggest increase in cyber attacks in 10 years. Many small business had out of date websites that were vulnerable to hacking. Unsecure websites are still a problem today and many small business websites are not being regularly maintained to keep the sites secure. Hacking fears take businesses offline.
3. HIGH QUALITY OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE
The availability of world class open source software was at an all time high and continues to be widely supported today.
4. SCALES OF ECONOMY
Over the years we had developed systems that we were able to customize and reproduce to work for small scale business.
5. THE DECLINE OF PRINT
The Yellow Pages, once the standard way for small businesses to advertise lcoally had been overtaken by the Google search.
6. THE RISE OF SOCIAL MEDIA AND ECOMMERCE
People are now spending more time online finding out what's happening, interacting, spending and being entertained than ever before.
The way businesses advertise to customers has changed and will continue to evolve. It's our business to be across this. We talk to a lot of small business operators and the biggest issue they have is trying keep up with changes in the online environment to promote their business effectively. Paid print advertising just does not have the reach it once did. The way people find out about businesses has changed, it's online.
We have published an e-book 'Take your business online - Digital marketing strategies for small business' to help small business owners to prioritise their own digital marketing plan. The good news is there are lots of ways to build build your customer base online and it's cheaper than it's ever been. It's just a case of choosing a strategy that suits your business.
We'd love to hear what you think. What challenges do you struggle with as a small business?