The WEBMACHINES blog

News of interest to small businesses

TAKE YOUR BUSINESS ONLINE

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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seen a lot of small businesses burnt by paying for an expensive web development, only to be left high and dry with an out of date website months later.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.

What changed?

1. TECHNOLOGY

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 Many small business had out of date websites that were vulnerable to hacking.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.

Visit the homepage to subscribe to Webmachines and download your free copy today.

We'd love to hear what you think. What challenges do you struggle with as a small business?

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TRADIE BUSINESS ESSENTIALS

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A great impression is vital to make people want to connect with your business. But your specialty is your trade not graphic design, marketing or web development.

What are the business essentials for a successful tradie in Australia and what do they cost?

1. Branding: A logo and more. It's all the imagery, type and design elements used to communicate to your customers. It's all the digital files you need to apply to your business assets. Including your website, signage, vehicle, social media, stationary, email, print promotions, business cards.

2. Website: Responsive so customers can find you via Google, usually on a smartphone. Websites are essential. Once upon a time a customer would look for a business via yellow pages they now look via Google.

3. A professional URL (your website address on the internet). For example yourbusinessname.com.au

4. Business email addresses that correspond to your professional website credentials. For example  or

5. Google business listing: Anchor your brand to Google Map. Be found when people are searching via Google for your area.

6. Vehicle signage: A valuable way to make a lot of brand impressions in the real world.

Big businesses know the importance of well coordinated quality branding. It looks professional and builds trust with customers. The good news is, it's never been so affordable to market your business like the big boys.

For $1,050 Webmachines develops original high quality branding for businesses. Including your website, signage, vehicle, social media, stationary, email, print promotions, business cards. Or anything else your trade requires to do business.

For $1,200 Webmachines develops professional commercial websites that gets you business. This includes 12 months tech support, seo and security updates to ensure your business is online 24/7.

It's all tax deductable and essential for tradies doing business today. Contact us at Webmachines to find out more.

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THE VALUE OF THE BUSINESS EMAIL ADDRESS

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It may seem like a small detail but your business email address says a lot to potential clients. Securing an official business email address will benefit your business.

Make a professional first impression. Email is one of the most common forms of contact with clients. For example the email address does not look as professional as

Marketing impressions of your business name creates awareness. Your business via email correspondence creates valuable impressions with customers.

Most reputable businesses tend to have their own business email domains. It's good business practice and a lot more trustworthy than a hotmail or yahoo address.

Privacy of secure email data. Public free email providers scan your incoming and outgoing correspondence for advertising purposes. Storing business email correspondence on secure servers is a safer option.

Your own business email domain allows for the allocation of extra roles and email addresses within your business as it expands over time. For example , or .

Common public email addresses are more likely to be assessed as spam and end up in the junk mail bin. Many email filters look for numbers, underscores and superlative adjectives.

A business website and email address are essential communication mediums for customers today. If you want to know more contact us to learn how you can easily set up your business with these business tools.

 

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STAYING UP TO DATE

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Business owners are often not aware of why its crucial to keep their website maintained and the tasks involved in keeping a website secure and functioning on the internet.

SECURITY

Website software updates are required regularly. Software update releases are issued primarily for security reasons. Malicious internet users are out to exploit any known issues or software vulnerabilities in the environment constantly. Websites need to be monitored daily and have all updates applied as they are released to ensure it is running on the most secure version of software available. Check out this real time visual display of threats taking place in the world.

MAINTAINING OPTIMUM FUNCTIONALITY

Your website operates in an ecosystem of code in a state of constant flux and your website’s software needs to perform optimally 24/7. Website software updates often deliver functionality improvements from stability to speed enhancements.

TECHNOLOGY CHANGES

Changes in web browsers and hosting infrastructure can impact your website performance and functionality. Maintaining website software updates ensures your website keeps up with those changes to ensure your website loads correctly without any broken bits or functionality issues.

SECURING YOUR INVESTMENT

With so many software updates being issued it’s tempting to think your website may only need major updates applied, but it is crucial to be immune from all threats. Even minor software updates are important. If your website only has major updates performed you may still end up with a broken website. 

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THE FUTURE OF BUSINESS MARKETING IS ONLINE

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Once upon a time effective marketing strategies for businesses consisted of a Yellow Pages advertisement placement, a local paper advertisement and a printed flyer. This is no longer the case.

The value of directories businesses worldwide, particularly the ones desperate to hold on to print revenues, have fallen off a cliff as small and medium-sized companies with their small and medium-sized budgets spend more wisely, opting to go online through web content, Facebook and better search engine optimisation.

In Telstra's case it made a last-ditch attempt to stem the digital tide by signing a syndication deal with Google in 2009 to allow Yellow Pages listings to appear on Google searches.

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A SMART DIGITAL BUSINESS SOLUTION

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ONLY 41% OF SMALL BUSINESSES HAVE A WEBSITE

A majority of small businesses don’t have a website, according to a survey undertaken in 2015. Yet fifty five percent of these small businesses intend to launch an online presence for their business in the next two years.

Businesses cite cost and technical expertise as the key reasons for not having a website. What is the cost of not being accessible to potential customers? 

Businesses need a fully responsive website to effectively promote their business online. This requires a level of design and web development expertise that can be a significant investment. Add the cost of ongoing maintenance. Of course many time poor, cash strapped businesses find it all too hard.

WEBMACHINES is an internet business tool developed to address these two common concerns. WEBMACHINES are created by designers and developers aware that businesses today need a professional website. A development needs to fit their budget and attract new and existing customers. It needs to operate in an evolving technological environment with security hardening to operate 24/7.

WEBMACHINES offers professional business websites on a yearly lease basis. WEBMACHINES are supported by 12 months of software upgrades and security maintenance. To ensure maximum uptime without any hidden costs.

GoDaddy commissioned RedShift Research to conduct the study, for which it surveyed 4,009 small businesses (meaning with one to five employees) in June and July 2015. Businesses located in Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, Mexico, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States were part of the study.

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CONSUMERS ARE LOOKING FOR YOUR BUSINESS ONLINE

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97% OF CONSUMERS SEARCH FOR PRODUCTS AND SERVICES ONLINE

Businesses shying away from e-commerce and technology today are missing out on a lot of potential business. Consumers today search online before they do anything else. If your business does not have an up to date, professional, responsive website that presents your business on mobile, tablet and desktop you will you will not be found.

Consider the following findings from Google.

  • The multi screen world. Australia has more connected devices than ever, average number of connected devices per person 3.1
  • 26% of online researchers in Australia used the internet for early inspiration and 51% used it to compare products or services during their last purchase.
  • 53% of internet users in Australia have encountered difficulties on their smartphone when visiting websites.
  • 82% of online researchers found out about the product or service they last purchased while researching on a computer, whereas 29% found out about it on a smartphone and 16% on a tablet.
    Source: Google Consumer Barometer 2014 www.consumerbarometer.com

WEBMACHINES are fully responsive web appliances designed by experienced graphic designers and web developers using the latest software to produce one fully integrated internet business solution for mobile, tablet and desktop. Web machines are digital design solutions driven by contemporary consumer behaviour.

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