For family businesses to succeed across generations, they must evolve and adapt. But let’s face it, change is difficult. As family business leaders we are put into a position to sustain a legacy that has been passed down to us. We grow up and watch how the generation before us made their mark, we learn everything there is to know about our business and now it’s our turn to carry the torch. How do we change something that has been done a certain way for years? How do we stay relevant in today’s digital culture?
One of the best ways to ensure your products and services remain top-of-mind in an ever-changing marketplace is through your website. Successful business websites address two things: The needs of the user and the wants of the business. Striking the right balance between these two things requires focus, prioritization and compromise. Here’s how to make sure your website hits the perfect balance.
First, let’s talk about USER NEEDS…
The users visiting your website are aiming to solve a problem. That problem can be emotional, financial, psychological, or some combination of each. Users and their problems are integral to your business—you offer a solution in exchange for fair compensation—without them you wouldn’t get very far. This brings us to the first question your web site should answer:
What problem(s) does my business solve?
Humans are emotive creatures. Despite all the logic in the world, we tend to make decisions with our heart, based on what feels good. A business may be selling life insurance, but the user is buying peace of mind. Your web site copy must clearly and concisely tell customers how your business will solve their problem. That’s not to say technical details don’t have a place on your website—They do, just not as prominently as you might think. Here’s the second question your web site should answer:
Does your product or service connect users with the end result they seek?
Relationships are the foundation of every family business. Your ability—and willingness—to listen, empathize and address customer needs quickly, effectively and on a personal level is what sets you apart. The third question your website should answer:
What is the solution (and benefits) my business provides?
Next, let’s discuss BUSINESS WANTS…
Customers don’t necessarily want a new drill… but they need the hole it produces. On the other hand, businesses want, among other things, customers. We all know customers receive the solution you offer in exchange for something, typically money, but it’s not the solution alone that creates revenue. It’s these three things combined:
- The person with the problem
- The solution you provide
- The person’s willingness to exchange money to see it solved
A website that shows the first how to quickly and conveniently solve the second will ultimately lead to the third.
A website can help you play up one of your greatest strengths: Relationships. Help users envision life after solving their problem. What are they able to do, think or feel now that they couldn’t before? Describe (sell) your solution (product or service) by connecting them to what happens after.
Testimonials, reviews or success stories can instill buying confidence in both current and potential customers.
By nature, family businesses are more in touch with, more aware of, and more empathetic toward their customers. This creates loyalty, which is crucial for growth. Build on your advantage to offer personalized service by speaking to the dreams and desires of your customers.
- Speak to the dream: Use customer-centric language that connects users with their desired end-result.
- Play up your strengths: Build on the competitive advantage your customer relationships provide with “proof” (Testimonials, reviews, etc.).
- Paint a picture of success: Highlight the benefits your solution offers by showing the “after picture.”
With the entire Internet at their fingertips, users have decided to give you a chance. If your website doesn’t immediately tell them they’ve found what they’re looking for—solution, benefit, and result—they’re back to Google, never to be seen again. Don’t take that chance. Make these simple yet effective adjustments to your website instead.
Is your website working hard to keep you relevant? We’ll help you get it running on all cylinders.