You hear the experts telling you that you need a website for your pet business, but do you really? You’ve been living off of referrals and word of mouth since you started, and Facebook has been just fine for an online presence…
So, how do you know it’s ACTUALLY time to invest in a website?
In this blog, I’m walking you through 5 signs that it’s time to get a website, plus how getting a website can help you grow your business (even if referrals have been good enough thus far). As a website designer and systems strategist, I truly believe your website can take your business to the next level. I’ll also share a bit about our strategic pet business website templates, which allow new and experienced pet business owners to get a professionally-designed website at a fraction of the cost of a custom design (not to mention all the education that comes with it on SEO, copywriting, software, and onboarding).
Okay, let’s get to it and see if it’s time for you (aka all the pet sitters, dog walkers, dog trainers, pet photographers, groomers - I’m talking to you!) to get a website.
1. You spend multiple hours a week writing potential clients back and forth answering their questions and explaining things.
Imagine a world where you didn’t have to explain things to potential clients, and they could just get set up in the system without you having to email them back and forth! That’s possible with a strategic website.
2. You get a decent amount of leads from Yelp or through social media but several of them end up not working with you (or you just never hear back from them).
When you have a website that’s set up to work for you, it can allow you to get back to potential clients (leads) automatically. This means potential clients will be more likely to book with you as they’re already in the jive of reaching out to pet businesses and taking the next steps. If you wait 24 hours to respond to them, they’ll be gone and onto the next business!
3. You don’t feel confident and proud of your current online presence, and don’t particularly feel like you’re presenting yourself as a successful business owner (vs. a hobbyist).
I don’t know how many times we’ve heard this from our clients, but it’s a lot! You should be 100% proud of the legitimate business that you have, and one crucial way to make that happen is with a professional website that you can point interested people to.
4. You feel like you need to prove yourself to interested potential clients, and explain to them why what you do is worth the money.
Let your website do the talking (and selling) for you! With proper branding and copywriting, your website can demonstrate your expertise, legitimacy, professionalism, protocols, standards - all of it! That way, you don’t need to sit there and feel like you need to convince people to work with you. Not only will this reduce leads that aren’t the right fit, but it will also result in more people who reach out already knowing they want to work with you (and most importantly, WHY they want to work with you)!
5. You feel a bit burnt out, and wish you had someone to help you bring on new clients.
Your website has the power to act as an almost ‘business virtual assistant.’
It can be your:
Salesperson and customer service representative - Your website can build trust, speak directly to your ideal audience, and allow people to know they want to work with your business. It can also help them take the first steps to working together while you’re away from your desk
Your data tracker, analyzer, and marketer - Imagine the information you can collect from your website activity. You can track… where your leads are coming from, who visits your website, what marketing efforts are working the best, and so much more!
Your onboarding specialist (and business cheerleader!) - Think of your website as the face and voice of your company. It’s an outward-facing role, so by answering potential client questions, and telling them exactly what you do and who you do it for, it allows people to decide whether they want to work with you and will allow them to get started using the information outlined on your site.
If you resonated with any of the above signs, then it’s time for a website for your pet business.
Then begs the question…
Where do I get a website?
What platform do I use?
Do I have to hire a designer?
How much do I need to save?
A couple of tips for ya…
Find a website and/or a designer who specializes in your industry. Yes, most designers or website templates can be ‘pretty’ but are they strategic? Are they built by someone who has knowledge of what it is that you do?
There are typically 3 ways to get a website:
1. You DIY it yourself
2. You purchase and customize a website template
3. You hire a designer to custom design a website for your business
The option you choose depends on your budget, time, and/or your personal preferences. If you’re just getting started, you like to be involved in the design process, and/or you want to learn how to maintain your website moving forward (or train a staff member to), then a website template might be the way to go! If you’re ready to invest in a custom design, you know you want something fully customized to your branding, and you just don’t want to be involved in the actual design process, then a custom design may be a better fit.
Regardless, you are going to want a website that is easy to maintain moving forward because an ever-evolving website is one that ranks better on search engines. Here are some of our favorite blog posts on the topic of website platforms that you might find helpful:
About our Wix Website Templates
Our fully-customizable Wix website templates are built strategically to help you release burnout and find extra time in your day. The best part? No coding or ‘tech’ experience is needed. All you have to do is follow our training videos, customize your site as little or as much as you’d like, and hit publish!
We have website templates for…
Included with our website templates is the Unleashed Website Academy, which goes step-by-step over the entire process from customizing your template and learning copywriting and SEO to mapping out your onboarding strategy and marketing your site launch! It’s not a purchase and then get ‘left in the dust’ sort of deal either. We’ll be there with you every step of the way - Our template students get access to a private FB community for personalized feed and support (It’s like having a professional designer in your back pocket)!
These website templates are for you if:
You want a website that reflects EVERYTHING your business is all about so when potential clients reach out, they’ll be the ones who VALUE WHAT YOU DO (NOT the ones who ask for discounts or question your worth).
You’re TIRED of getting messages on Yelp or your current website asking about your services and then NEVER HEARING BACK once you respond to them with more information.
You want a more EFFICIENT business. One where you can be IN CONTROL OF YOUR TIME without feeling like being away from your desk or work means you’re sacrificing more money or growth.
To learn more about our website templates for dog walkers, pet sitters, dog trainers, and pet photographers, head here or click below.