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Web Smart!

by Cynthia Fazekas

A web page is a must!

In today's business world it has become increasingly more important to have a web presence. Even if you do not actually sell products, people frequently do online searches to find information about a business before they go. Sometimes all they need is business hours, address or a phone number, but it creates a great opportunity to grab their attention, let them know what you offer and what they can expect when they visit.

Basics

Your website should provide the same basic feel as your business. Whether you can afford to get an upscale web designer to do the work for you or your nephew who happens to be a computer whiz, make sure the site is professional but exemplifies the style and atmosphere of your shop or tearoom. Say a little something about yourself - it is always nice to know whom you are doing business with. A little introduction is also a nice way to welcome your potential clients. Talk about your staff! If you have a well-trained, tea-educated staff this is a big bonus and you should mention it and any special things about your business! Don't forget your phone number and email address if you use one for business!

Kind of Fare

Food is a sensitive issue for many people - quantity and quality. If you are serving traditional tea fare, it is good to let readers know, as bigger appetites might not be satiated with dainty finger sandwiches and scones. If you have more filling options let it be known. Do you offer soups, sandwiches, full meals, different cuisines from the usual high tea offering? Let potential clients know all you have to offer! Also include if you can accommodate special diets.

Tea, the Beverage

If you a have a tearoom make it clear what kind of tea you will be serving. Let your tea menu sing loud and proud for you. Be sure to mention how many varieties and if you also serve iced tea or coffee.

Atmosphere

Victorian? Cafe-like? Do you have comfy couches in a casual setting or well-lit modern tea-bar decor? Be descriptive so your potential client can decide if your place suits their needs and desires. Walking into a "proper" setting when you just want a cozy place to have a good cup of tea can be intimidating and uncomfortable.

Special Policies

Gratuity included for parties over six? Reservation required for "high tea?" All things of this nature should be listed to avoid disagreements and misunderstandings. If someone calls for information be sure to refer them to the site for all polices people should be aware of.

Payment options

Easy enough, just list what you will accept - no surprises!

Where?

List the business address someplace obvious on the web site and include basic directions. Make it as easy as possible to be found. Don't forget your phone number. It is so easy to overlook these basics.

Expectations

The best way to ensure your customers have a positive experience is to let them know in advance what they can expect when they patronize your business. Avoiding disappointment is key and clear communication is the way to achieve a successful relationship with your client. Fully describing a typical experience will provide both information they need and create a desire to visit!

Social Media

Your website should list your social media presence with badge icons and vice versa. Be sure all your services have links to your website, contact info and a plethora of pithy content to entice visitors. These services offer scheduled update options so you can plan in advance and focus on the day-to-day customer contact through these portals. If you are unsure which social media service to focus on, ask your visitors which they use most. They will surely be happy to help!