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5/6/2010
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56% Of SMB Websites Don't Meet Businesses Needs

Every business needs a website, but developing a website that performs for your business takes careful planning and time.

Every business needs a website, but developing a website that performs for your business takes careful planning and time.In today's business world, a website is a requirement, the contemporary equivalent of a yellow pages listing, but with infinitely more reach, possibility,and power. Most smaller businesses have gotten the message about the importance of having a website by now. Putting up a website, however, and having a website that garners results for your business are two very different things though.

According to a study from Deluxe Corporation, 56% of small businesses believe that their website doesn't meet their needs. Drilling down on those findings 21% think their site needs more work on content and layout and 29% see a need for a total overhaul. The phone and online survey polled more than 200 small businesses.

"Having a solid online presence is critical to growing a business," said Joanne McGowan, segment leader, Small Business Services at Deluxe.

Using the survey as pretext, Deluxe also announced a contest designed to cure the online ills of these businesses with under-performing sites or at least one of them. The grand prize winner of the "I Hate My Website" contest will receive a site redesign, a year of hosting, and Gateway netbook. 59 other entrants will also receive prizes of some sort. The last day to enter is May 15.

Deluxe may well overwhelm the website woes for one small businesses, but that leaves a sea of others out there still flailing. Handing the keys to your site over to firm to overhaul can help -- make sure you vet the vendor -- but it's also important to understand some core principals.

One guy who's manged to do very well online is Samy Liechti, the founder of Blacksocks.com. If you can make a success of selling socks by subscription (among other things) you must be doing something right. Liechti recently offered up some advice for leading online businesses. He's talking about the big picture stuff, not where you put the navigation or if you have an RSS feed. Depending on what you're doing online these tips will apply to in varying degrees. Here's four of his tips:

  • Keep your Internet presence fresh.
  • Maintain a human connection with your customer.
  • Experiment with social media.
  • Invest in long-term success.

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Follow Benjamin Tomkins on Twitter @http://twitter.com/benjamintomkins Follow InformationWeek SMB on Twitter @http://twitter.com/infoweeksmb Get InformationWeek SMB on your mobile device @http://mobile.bmighty.com

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