Being a small business owner is tough. I know… I’ve done it. And, every day it gets tougher. As a Website Designer in Seattle, I see it all the time. A small business owner comes to me looking completely overwhelmed asking me questions about custom websites, CMS, web hosting, SEO (everyone knows that term now, but few people know what it actually entails. SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the difference between being found and being buried. If your business depends on being found online, you definitely need a web designer who knows what they’re doing with SEO).

As I see it, that’s the great paradox of the technology boom and the small business owner. On the one hand, there have never been more opportunities to reach your client, right? It used to be that you only had a few ways to get your business out there: print ads, including magazines, newspapers and the yellow pages (remember them?). Maybe you advertised on the radio or TV (if you had a really big budget). That was it. Now, we have websites, Facebook, Email marketing and Twitter, to name a few. They’re not optional; they’re mandatory. And make no mistake, your website is your new storefront.

An Effective Business Website

Here’s the problem: today’s small business owner is just expected to command all of these of these technologies himself, in addition to running his business. Software companies would love to have you believe that you can buy their software and just build the website yourself. Why not? You’ve probably figured out that building a great business website isn’t that easy. It really does take time and expertise to get an effective website and even if you do put something out there yourself, no one will ever find it on the web. At the other extreme, web designers would have you believe that we sit in a dark room stirring a cauldron of technologies that you’ll never come close to understanding so forget about the idea of updating anything yourself… ever. Oh, and by the way, it’s going to cost A LOT!

Here’s the truth. You don’t have to spend a fortune to get a great brand identity package, a great, functional, eye-catching, professional website (that will be found on search engines!!) and all the accessories to go with it. That’s why I’m here. – Anamaria Baralt