As with any ambitious business, manage my website is always on the lookout for new sales opportunities.
With that in mind, our good friend Dan recently put me in touch with Derek Milner, owner of a hugely successful Wiltshire removals company called Intransit Removals & Storage.
As soon as Derek told me he'd designed and maintained his website himself, I expected the worst, but then I took a good look at it.
On first impressions, the Intransit site looks rather amateur. No slick layout, no well ordered templates or corporate, generic "removals" images. Any professional web designer would no doubt be itching to rebrand the company and create an amazing, all singing, all dancing website with all the latest bells and whistles that most people expect.
But, somewhat controversially considering my line of work, I think the Intransit website should be left exactly as it is. Have a browse around it, and the passion behind it is obvious. It's rare these days to actually see that there's a human being behind a website. Someone who loves his business and wants the world to know about it in his own inimitable way. You couldn't possibly inject any more enthusiasm and personality into a website - the copy, images and general tone of it shout "we're your local removals company and we love our work." Take a look at their piano removals page and tell me whether you'd hesitate to use them to shift your expensive grand piano. I know I wouldn't (if I had one!).
Derek told me "I've run this company a while, from ground zero in 1997. Loads of water under the bridge and we'll still here stronger than ever. It's a self built site from years back that I update myself, strangely though, its hugely popular!"
To me, that says it all. In this day and age, websites are an essential marketing tool for any business, but they don't always have to be perfect, and they don't always have to cost the earth. In fact sometimes it reassures potential customers when the opposite is true.