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Wyoming Business Tips for Dec. 31-Jan. 6

December 21, 2017

A weekly look at issues facing Wyoming business owners and entrepreneurs from the Wyoming Small Business Development Center (WSBDC) Network, a collection of business assistance programs at the University of Wyoming.

By Sarah Hamlin, WSBDC Network regional director

“How does the way my website look affect my in-store sales?” Melanie, Riverton

Having the correct online presence can drive potential customers through the doors of local businesses. But, how do you know if your website is prioritizing the right information?

Building and maintaining a website can be a large undertaking for any small-business owner, and making sure it is set up to best appeal to your customers can be even more challenging. Having a well-organized and easy-to-navigate website lets visitors find what they are looking for so they can make a decision instead of abandoning your page.

The WSBDC Network can help evaluate your options and come up with a step-by-step plan to get an effective website started or to optimize your current layout.

Google reports that four out of five people are using the internet like they would a phonebook -- to find your business phone number, hours, contact information and a general sense of whether your products or services can meet their needs.

A 2016 study by PricewaterhouseCoopers found that consumers are researching products online, reading peer reviews and then, ultimately, purchasing in their local stores. These findings only underscore the importance of having the right information readily available to online consumers.

So, how do you get started creating the necessary online presence? Your local WSBDC adviser is always available to help create a plan of action and to offer guidance in evaluating different website options such as: optimizing directory listings on various search engines; creating a do-it-yourself site through an all-in-one platform, such as Wix or Squarespace; and hiring a web designer to create a site for you.

To get started, give me a call at (307) 851-2029 or email sarah.hamlin@uwyo.edu.

A blog version of this article and an opportunity to post comments are available at www.wyomingsbdc.org/blog1/.

The WSBDC is a partnership among the University of Wyoming, the Wyoming Business Council and the U.S. Small Business Administration, offering business expertise to help Wyoming residents think about, launch, grow, reinvent or exit their businesses.

To ask a question, call 1-800-348-5194, email wsbdc@uwyo.edu, or write 1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3922, Laramie, WY, 82071-3922.


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