The following list of things I don’t recommend doing are so minor, they’re easily overlooked by new business owners. To me, however, they’re the things that really set apart the businesses that pay attention to detail, and the ones that are just throwing up a website or social media page because they know they need one. The cumulative sum of ensuring you take all of these recommendations will be a more professional and cohesive brand experience for your potential client.
A few of the things that make me cringe when I see launching businesses do them are:
1. Not having a website
I’ve seen a number of mobile bar companies that push all links to their Facebook page, and it hard for me to get past it. Sure, Facebook has the necessary spaces for pictures, and updates, and phone number/address/email, but it still LOOKS like facebook. When people visit your page they should get an immediate feel for you, your brand, what you do, etc. Even if you just have a landing page and a contact form, you should be pushing clients to your own domain.
2. Using an @yahoo, @hotmail, @comcast.net, etc email
You’re building a brand, not setting your grandmother up an email. Brand your email! It’s $45 a year through google and it gives you access to google calendar, google docs, google sheets, and a whole list of other business resources. It’s the best deal in the SAAS space.
3. Not having a phone number posted front and center on your website, and social media for people to call you
This one is hotly contested with those who are annoyed by spam calls, or who want potential clients to input all their information into the contact form prior to talking to someone, but I’ve noticed that some of our clients just want to talk to a human from the get-go. Maybe they’re on a time crunch, or they’re a corporate client (I find corporate clients like the phone more than brides, for example). Even if you want to screen every single call, you should have a number. People like to know there is a way to reach a human.
4. Building their website with a bunch of copied copy from other mobile bar websites
Look. I get it. We’ve all been there when starting out. You don’t know what you don’t know, so doing research of other mobile bars and what they’ve deemed important enough to put on their site makes total sense, but DON’T COPY VERBEATUM. It’s important to have a consistent voice throughout your website, for one, but also it’s not nice, and people will notice, especially if they’re like me and peruse mobile bar sites like it’s my hobby (it is ;).
5. Forgetting to remove the “Site by Squarepace/Wix/Whatever” at the bottom of their website
These things can be easily deleted form the template footer, and should be. Why? Because they’re usually linked, which could tempt your visitor to click away from your site and be distracted from the task you want them to be doing, which is sending you an inquiry, and because it’s none of the visitors business where you built your website, especially if it’s a potential competitor trying to pick up tips 😉
6. Not building a mobile-responsive website
Squarespace is pretty good about doing this natively, and Wix is okay, but I’ve found you have to edit the mobile site and the desktop site separately with wix. There are lots of other website options out there that I’m not familiar with, but the point is, don’t just check your desktop site to see how it looks to visitors; you need to ensure the mobile site is just as sexy and usable.
7. Not uploading a branded favicon so the icon on the tab stays the squarespace grey box or the wix icon
Just like in #5, you don’t need to broadcast where your website is built. It just serves as free advertising for your website host. Use a secondary mark or icon for your brand and get that thing branded to your brand.