Dealing with Business Owners

Wow, long time no see, SitePoint Forums! I wasn’t really sure where I ought to put this question, but this seemed like the best fit.

Despite all my confidence in my abilities, I don’t know how to explain to someone WHY design is so important if they think it’s no big deal. It’s easy to explain good/proper design to someone who’s trying to have a commerce website, but this situation is a little different. The websites I want to work on are for sites that aren’t selling anything directly on their websites. They are information sites.

For example, let’s say a site is for an annual craft fair – the site would have a description of the event, a list of vendors from the previous year, a contact page, and a vendor request application. How do I explain to the person(s) who own the site that it would be in their best interest to have a 5000000x better looking site? I am planning on charging very little (not including hosting fees and what-not, though they obviously already have a host). I’m much better at articulating myself than I was 5 years ago, but this has got me stumped. I know where to start, but I would REALLY appreciate any ideas you have to offer.

Thank you for your time :slight_smile:

Okay, I just wanted to post what I came up with so far and if there’s any of you who has had successful experiences dealing with these kinds of issues, if you could point out something I’m missing.

How would you like to get more traffic to your site (or, people staying on your site longer)? More website traffic = more potential customers! More potential customers = more vendors wanting to sign up for your event = more money!

With a beautiful website, you convey not only that you are a professional, but that you’re someone worth doing business with. Both vendors and potential visitors will look at a well-designed site and think, “These people are serious about what they are offering.” Maybe not in those words, but some form of that phrase will be in their head.

A professional site will tell potential customers that you are serious about your event, and it will tell vendors that you’re not some fly-by-night company.

PS - maybe I should’ve put this in the copywriting forum?

Why would you be having this conversation in the first place? I assume it would be because the website owner thinks a professional design is too expensive. Otherwise, there aren’t many reasons to not have good design on your website.

Every website serves a purpose and has a goal even if it’s just an informational site. A design that is simple, easy to navigate, and not distracting is worth the time and expense. Thanks to premium themes and templates that are available, it’s easy to get great designs for an affordable price.

Haha, well, you’d be quite surprised by my community then! When I was still in school I sent out letters to all the local farms (as none of them had any kind of web presence), explained exactly what I wanted to do for the site (which was make it a sort of directory, with detailed information on the farms; explaining that it would help people locate them, get to know about them, be good advertisement when local people were searching for farms and butchers and what-not), and that I would be doing it free of charge since I was a student and I needed to build up a portfolio. At the time I had a site of my own, which I listed with my contact information in the letter.

Of the 30ish? (I’m pretty sure it was more than 30) letters I sent out (all with self-addressed, stamped envelopes enclosed; I even included a form for them to fill out the information so they didn’t have to figure out what to write out), I got one response. I am not making this story up (I have no reason to) – that is what happened. I was going through old boxes last month and found the folder relating to that project (I put it in with the burnables, so it’s gone now).

One of the reasons I hate living in such a small area is that business owners live in the stone-age and 99% of them have no interest in improvement. (In fact, I just talked to a shop owner today, and based on the conversation I had with her, her business is definitely NOT about making money… and it’s a retail shop!) I started this thread because I am trying to brainstorm on ways to convince them why a proper web presence is in their best interest.

Why not you try for ready template which are available on internet.Then change as per as the requirement.

Well, that’s not really the issue. The issue is making them realize that it’s 2013, not 1990 :confused:
I’m going to try contacting certain groups again, and I was thinking of maybe sending out a more detailed letter (not asking for their information, just explaining that by not making as much money as they could be, they are therefore losing money) – maybe that will speak to them.

It’s just frustrating, so I wanted to see if anyone else was having these kinds of issues and how they are dealing with them.

maybe try to do a case study then? Like Business A took the step and created a website, after several months their business prosper, while Business B didn’t do anything and their business is still the same.

List their goals, milestones and make sure you are doing the case study.

You can do it for free at first, then use it as a stepping stone to any business owners.

I did not think of that. Thank you! That’s a good idea! I’ll see what I can do to implement it.

Update us with your process bro! Newbies might need it, and it will add to your motivation :slight_smile:

it is pretty tough

first you to approach with your skills…

I have a client like that currently… I’m not going to lie to you… this is hard when they are set in their own ways! But, just explain to them that they are hiring you as an expert in the field of web development/design and this is what you recommend to update their profile for the 21st century. Keep in mind that they probably expect the cost to be in the 1990’s as well so a breakdown of the cost is better than giving them 1 big figure. If you look at how costings where done about 10 years ago it is very different than it is today (gives an idea of how to get them comfortable) and just make sure emphasis is on making them look, feel and operate better.

Everyone likes it if you make it personal to them :slight_smile:

I think its quite tough to deal with several Business Owners as its not easy to make them understand that how important the designing of their website can be for them. Every Individual have their own opinion about various things but to make the one understand how the designing can turn out to be a very beneficial for them and to their business as well.

You don’t sell the design, you sell idea, solution and experience.