Why you need a Website

Government grants for small business

Small business and government grants resources home
Small business and government grants resources home

Why you need a Website

We all know the Web is a resource for fun and information. Have you ever stopped to really think about WHY it's such a wonderful marketing tool? If you already use a Web site to market your business, or are considering doing so, the following concepts may give you something new to consider!

1. A Web site is a fun and creative way to express yourself.

The idea of "marketing" seems to make many of us a bit uncomfortable. Using a Web site as a marketing tool is a way of hanging up your virtual shingle, where you can really have fun and get creative in the process!

2. Anyone can have a Web site.

Financially speaking, the Web is "The Great Equalizer" of the marketing world. Whereas other forms of advertising and marketing, such as television, radio, and print media, are often prohibitively expensive for small companies or individuals, ANYONE can use the Web to advertise and market their products or services for approximately the same reasonable rates. While the cost of creating a Web site may vary (based on the size of the Web site, the nature and amount of graphic design used, and the experience level of the designer), the cost of running or maintaining a Web site over time is minimal as compared with other media. It is a means of advertising that is financially within reach of everyone!

3. Your Web site is a direct reflection of YOU.

As the "owner" of your own Web site, YOU control the message and image you want to portray. You get to decide what you want to say with it -- it's your own personal billboard! You have as much space to get your message across as you need, so use it well! Make it attractive, professional AND functional, make it well organized. Be sure the REAL you comes through on that screen! Imagine you are a potential client visiting your site for the first time -- as a new client, what are you looking for? How easy it is to find pertinent information about you and your business? What's in it for the client -- why should they not only do business with you, but repeatedly visit your site to enhance their experience of your product or services? [Tip: Think about Web sites you've visited that you either loved or hated -- and why -- and apply those standards to your own site.]

4. This is one time where it's considered OK to be a "work in progress".

With the Web, you're "virtually" unlimited (pun fully intended)! You can change it as often as you see fit -- and frequent Web site updates are, in fact, highly desirable! The more fresh and innovative the content, the more valuable it will be to others. It is critical that you periodically review your site to see if it's getting stale and outdated, and that you use your Web site to keep your target market informed. [Tip: Even if your site is more or less under construction, dump those "under construction" messages or graphics on your site -- a site is ALWAYS a work in progress, and using those messages marks you as an amateur!]

5. You'll have room to experiment freely -- the Web is a very "forgiving" medium of self-expression.

The great thing about the Web is that by its very nature, it is intended to be changeable and flexible. Don't worry about getting it "perfect" or that you are locked into a design or "look"








How to Craft a Compelling Mission Statement

Most individual or corporate mission statements contain industry buzzwords, are so complex that no one can recite them, and do nothing to inspire. The more elaborate it is, the less likely it is understood and remembered. Having a clear and concise mission statement for yourself and your Company becomes your guiding compass as you journey through life.

1. Your mission is larger than a job.

Ideally your job will align with your mission. For example, you could be employed as a teacher while your mission is education. To limit your personality and unique abilities to such boundaries causes a profound loss of identity when your job or career changes. The average person can expect to have seven employment changes in a lifetime.

2. Your mission is much more than your role.

We all have various roles we fulfill: spouse, parent, manager, friend...In our culture, men tend to define themselves by what they do professionally. Often, women define themselves by their roles or relationships. Linking your role to your mission places you in a vulnerable position because your role is likely to change--most notably through death or divorce. Who were you before your roles?

3. Your mission is not your To-Do List.

As Stephen Covey so masterfully points out in First Things First, there is a huge distinction between what is important and what is urgent. Most people fill their to-do lists with activities which appear to require immediate attention. When writing your mission statement, contemplate the big picture and focus on your core values. Develop your mission first, then list corresponding goals. Otherwise, you can be very busy following a to-do list without creating anything worthwhile.

4. You are already living your mission on some level.

Living your mission may not require massive changes. You can begin right where you are now. Increase your awareness daily of what's really important to you. What do you want to be known for? Increased focus allows you to receive, recognize and fully integrate your mission.

5. You are born with a purpose.

Everyone's life is important enough to warrent a mission. In the classic movie: It's a Wonderful Life, Jimmy Stewart portrays a suicidal businessman who experiences what the lives of his friends and loved ones would be like WITHOUT him. Mostly, we don't have this overview or the understanding of how interconnected we are. Every thought we have, word we speak and action we take affects the entire universe.

6. Your mission may not appear to be grand.

You don't have to be another Mother Theresa or significantly contribute to the Gross National Product. You've heard the saying: For want of a nail, the shoe was lost; for want of a shoe, the horse was lost; for want of a horse, the battle was lost. The blacksmith responsible for Paul Revere's horse's feet indirectly helped lead a nation to freedom. Positively affect one life and you can be considered successful.

7. Your mission is a perfect fit for you.

Your mission is not something you loathe doing. Years ago, I feared God would want me to be a missionary living in a grass hut and I wanted to postpone this event as long as possible. It was irrational. Think of this: what CEO in his/her right mind would have the sales team switch to accounting? When you are living your mission, you experience pure joy. It is not hard and does not involve suffering. Rather, it resonates with the essence of who you are 100%: at work, at home, at a party and alone. Accept a mission that fits you, not the needs or expectations of others.

8. Your mission is not the same as that of your peers.

While crafting your mission statement, temporarily disassociate yourself from your peers. We are often influenced by and take as our own the values and goals of those in our network, thus inhibiting self-discovery. This distancing will allow you to concentrate on what is important and unique to you.

9. Your mission is your true heart's desire.

You may be in a career that parallels your dream. I'd like to have a dollar for every magazine editor, advertising copywriter or reporter whose real dream is to be a full-time novelist. Go for the REAL THING. Ask yourself: Is this the highest thing I could do in my life?

10. Your mission inspires you to take action.

Great leaders can state their mission succinctly. Nelson Mandela's mission was to end apartheid; Mother Theresa 's mission is to show compassion to the dying. If you don't feel passionate about your mission, it isn't your mission. Choose action verbs that are meaningful to you. For example, my mission is to breathe, ignite and magnify personal power. Join the 1% of the people in the world who have a clear sense of who they are and where they are going.


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