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A Website Wonderland

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It still amazes me that as we stand on the threshold of 2014, I still encounter many businesses that do not have a website. Whether in my professional endeavors or simply as a consumer, I frequently find myself wanting to learn more about a company, hopping on the Web to do research, only to come up empty.

Christopher Lloyd

Christopher Lloyd

 

I might find a MapQuest listing or a Yellow Pages link that simply gives an address and phone number, perhaps a Facebook or Google+ holder page with no content, or possibly a user-generated write-up on Yelp or a similar site.

 

But there’s no actual dedicated site maintained by the business to showcase their products and/or services and invite visitors to learn more.

 

A front door for customers

What these Web-less companies don’t realize is they aren’t just behind the times, they’re automatically relegating themselves to second-tier status in the marketplace.

 

The harsh truth is a business without a website in 2013 is like a retail store without a front door for customers to walk through. People might eventually find their way in around back, but you’re forcing them to work harder to establish a connection with you.

 

Many potential customers simply won’t make the effort, preferring to turn to competitors who share a wealth of information about themselves online.

 

Missing out on potential business

But they’re out there. Google puts the number at 15 million businesses in the U.S. that still aren’t on the Web. According to various surveys, the percentage of small companies lacking a website tops 70 percent in some states.

 

In fact, there are so many companies without a website that an actual business model has emerged based upon helping people find them. MailingList.org’s Businesses Without Websites, for example, provides data to marketing/Web firms looking for potential clients to pitch.

 

Though there’s no way to quantify it, many of these businesses lack a Web presence because they feel they’re too small to need one. Of course, by maintaining an offline-only presence, they’re only helping preserve their tiny status.

 

A knock on credibility

On the flipside are successful companies that already have plenty of clients, so they don’t see the need to “advertise” for more clients with a website. That may hold true today, but what about in the future as consumers turn to the Web even more for shopping and selecting vendors?

 

YP Advertising Solutions has a good rundown of what you’re missing without a website. One of their key takeaways is nowadays people see a Web presence as a sign of legitimacy. Without that point of entry — the front door, so to speak — people have a tendency to walk away.

 

“Even if you rely entirely on word-of-mouth, a website is paramount to establishing your credibility,” according to YP.

 

If you’re a Web-less company looking to take the plunge, Coles Marketing offers full-service website design and maintenance, whether you’re upgrading an old blog or creating a new site from scratch. Make sure to check out our portfolio of custom Web design.

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Sing, Be Merry … and Reach Success!

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It’s that time to sing and be merry with family and friends! Did you know there might be some hidden tips for business success inside those holiday songs?

 

Tiffany Whisner

Tiffany Whisner

Check out these lessons from well-known, jolly jingles, courtesy of Hana Bieliauskas at CMA:

 

  • Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer: Give everyone in your organization a chance to shine by letting all join in the “reindeer games,” or brainstorming sessions. You never know who might come up with the next bright idea that saves the day.
  • Santa Claus is Coming to Town: Follow Santa’s lead when making your to-do list — check it twice. Missing deadlines or providing mediocre work due to lack of organization will put you on the naughty list.
  • Frosty the Snowman: Opportunities to prevent a crisis and take advantage of it may only exist for minutes before melting away. Have a potential problem? Hold that broomstick and take charge before the sun comes out and makes a puddle of your organization or client.
  • The Twelve Days of Christmas: Manage expectations so you don’t over-promise and under-deliver. Your clients or customers are going to be disappointed if they wanted 12 drummers drumming and only received one partridge in a pear tree.

 

Stress during the holidays is not an anomaly. And that stress can affect you at work as well as at home.

 

“If you are a manager, the most important thing you can do is look at your own situation,” said Elaine Varelas of Keystone Partners in an article in “The Boston Globe.” “You really can’t be helpful to employees if you are over-committed. Employees are watching you and feeling your stress.”

 

“If you aren’t a manager, talk with your boss to review priorities … and work on the projects that are urgent and important. Put what can wait off until the new year,” she added.

 

What are some tips for the “delightfully successful” for 2014? Dharmesh Shah of HubSpot promises more success if you commit to the following:

 

  1. Walk away from gossip. Gossip diminishes everyone involved. Talk to other people instead of talking about them — unless they’re saying great things.
  2. Spend five minutes in another person’s shoes. Spend some time thinking about what someone else really needs and help them get it, even if the effort required falls outside your job description or typical business as usual.
  3. Give one person unexpected praise. We all, at times, feel underappreciated. Go out of your way to recognize a person who did something well. Praise costs nothing to give but is priceless to the person who receives it.
  4. Do one thing no one else is willing to do. Every day, plow one row other people will not. Do a little extra research. Make one more phone call. Do one extra thing others won’t do.
  5. Shine the spotlight on one person. Find chances to publicly praise other people, and everyone will know you are one of those rare people who shines the spotlight on others.
  6. “Sell” one thing. The ability to sell is the key to business and personal success. Convince a co-worker to try something new. Convince your manager a new initiative will pay off. Learn how to sell, and you can do almost anything.
  7. Give one person an unexpected hand. Everyone, at some time, needs help. Offer to help in a way that feels collaborative instead of patronizing. And then actually help.
  8. Admit one feeling. Admit you aren’t perfect, and other people will like you better, not less. Good things always happen when other people like you — and just as importantly when you like yourself.
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Ho Ho Ho … It’s the Auto Show!

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What would be a great stocking stuffer for the holidays? FREE tickets to the Indianapolis Auto Show!

 

Just “Like” the Indy Auto Show on Facebook for a chance to win two tickets, and be the first person with the correct answer to a variety of show trivia questions posted on the Facebook page.

 

The 100th Annual Edition of the Indianapolis Auto Show takes place Thursday, Dec. 26, 2013-Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014, at the Indiana Convention Center, located at 100 South Capitol in Indianapolis.

stocking_stuffer2014

 

Sponsored by Huntington Bank, the show features more than 400,000 square feet of exhibit space for a variety of vehicles and automotive products, including new models of 35 different makes of domestic and import automobiles and trucks.

 

Jeep® is bringing back Camp Jeep®, a unique, interactive, off-road experience. Camp Jeep is the ultimate indoor off-road driving test. The 22,000-square foot exhibit will give auto show attendees a chance to experience the extreme off-road capabilities of Jeep vehicles without leaving the show floor.

 

Don’t miss the State Farm Garage, an interactive experience with two full-body driving pods. And take a blast into the past when you check out the Indy Auto Show History Photo Gallery.

 

In honor of the Indy Auto Show’s 100th anniversary, the first 1,000 attendees to the show each day will receive a FREE T-shirt, while supplies last!

 

And that’s not all — there’s even a giveaway for a brand-new Toyota Highlander!

 

Tickets are $7 for adults at the door; children under 12 are free when accompanied by an adult. Get a discount on tickets if you purchase them online here. Check out the website for show hours and additional details.

 

And don’t forget to gear up for the Indianapolis Auto Show, starting the day after Christmas!

Indianapolis Auto Show Old Pictures 012

Indianapolis Auto Show Old Pictures 044

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