Hot Lizard designs - the website design service for small business owners
Did you know that nearly 50% of small businesses do not have a website, despite the increasing numbers of people accessing the internet to research (and buy) products and services? Did you also know that websites now need to be mobile responsive so that visitors can access your site and services on tablets and smartphones; as well as have a SSL certificate* to increase Google search engine rankings and consumer confidence in your site?
Putting yourself in the mindset of your customer
Some small business owners can be put off getting a website, thinking it's too complicated to do themselves and they're not sure what they need, or that if they pay a professional design service, it could work out really expensive. Others feel that their Facebook page or business directory listing is enough to get new customers to come to them.
So let's switch places. Imagine you are the customer, new to town and want to find a local hairdresser (for example). What's the first thing you do? Go online and search via Google. Now, the search engine gives you a local map and displays three companies. Two have website links and directions, and one has directions only. Which one do you tap on first? One with a website. Why? Because you want to see the services they offer, the price list, opening hours, etc. And if you tap on a website link that displays a dated looking site that doesn't display well on a mobile? You click back out and look at another site. If you do this when searching for products and services, your existing and potential customers do the same.
Importance of a well designed website
Having a website is an extension of your business online. For some, it's about having a credible presence, for others, it's another way to promote their services outside trading hours. Done right, a website not only increases awareness about your business online, but can attract new customers through short forms and pop up chat boxes to encourage contact.
* to check to see if you have a SSL certificate, type in your website address, and a green padlock icon with Secure should display before your website address
Kati McKeon - Owner & Founder of Hot Lizard Designs
Kati first gained an interest in website design when tasked with the re-branding of the family business - a UK-based language centre and teacher training provider. She noticed that while the website developer was able to build the site, they required additional guidance when it came to design elements and how the content should be displayed.
Several years later, she re-designed the company website herself, using her marketing and business skills to create a website that not only looked great, but also met the company's requirements in terms of online student enrolments and payment systems, a more professional design that still matched the company branding, and the addition of a pop up chat box that visitors could use for quick queries before enrolling.
During her online MBA studies at the University of Liverpool, Kati was really interested in business psychology. After discovering that nearly 50% of small businesses worldwide did not have a website (despite increased internet access and use of smartphones), she decided to focus on this area for her final dissertation. Her research and findings have given her a deeper understanding of small business owners and their attitudes towards websites, and this forms her approach to website design - offering a value for money service, fast turnaround times, and designing a website that meets the needs of each individual business.
Kati’s initial website development attracted other small business owners to contact her about her work, and she now works with clients worldwide to develop visually stunning, yet functional websites that deliver!
MBA (Merit) - University of Liverpool, UK
BA (Hons) European Business Management with Languages - University of Abertay, Dundee, UK