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If you’re a small business owner, then you know in today’s digital age you need to have a presence on the internet. There is no getting around it; you need to have a website that lets people know who you are, where to find, you and most importantly what you can offer them.
A website is your new business card, another marketing tool to retain present customers and gather new ones.
The big question now is how you can get a great looking website without having to break your advertising budget. You want to try and do it yourself, but that funny looking internet code called HTML looks like more than you can handle. You have thought about hiring someone, getting a professional to help you, but you’re not sure where to start or what it’s going to cost.
In this business spotlight we sit down with local web designer Kurt Bunch. He gives us some professional insight into getting your business on the web. Kurt will also tell us about the new emerging mobile web market and how you can optimize your website for mobile devices.
This is a must read for any small business owner who is ready to bring their business into the digital age.
EastlakeTimes.com (ELT): How long have you been in the San Diego’s South Bay area?
Kurt Bunch (Kurt): I moved to the Chula Vista area in 1989 from Temecula. Chula Vista was a lot smaller then. I graduated from Hilltop High School in 1990 and went to Southwestern College for 4 years to get my AA degree. I love living here in Chula Vista, seeing the city grow into what it is today.
ELT: How did you get involved in web design?
Kurt: After Southwestern College I went to the Advertising Arts College, presently known now as the Art Institute of California, for 4 years. I have always been interested in design and art, so this was a perfect way for me to do what I loved as a career choice. The internet was so new when I was going to school so I tried to learn as much as I could on how to create these cool looking sites I was seeing on the web.
ELT: Tell our readers about what you do.
Kurt: Currently I’m a freelance web and graphic designer. I help companies look good in whatever media they want to target. If they want a four color ad I can help them set it up so that it looks good when printed. If they want a website then I sit down with them and go over what they would like to have on the site about their business. I also do internet advertising and currently I have been getting into mobile web design.
ELT: What is mobile web design?
Kurt: More and more people are getting a smart phone and they are using that phone to find out information about businesses or to shop online and connect with friends. There is a whole new market of advertising now and what I do is show businesses how to create a mobile presence. For example a site that is designed for a desktop computer will look clunky or slow on a mobile phone. With a website designed for a mobile device their site can run faster and look a lot better. They can also use the technology to help their customers to find them when they are out and about. There are so many possibilities with mobile.
ELT: Do you help businesses with those funny looking barcodes that people can scan?
Kurt: QR codes, short for Quick Response codes, allows the user to use their smart phone and scan this code and be directed to any type of media. I can show them how they can add these QR codes to their print advertising and give people the ability to find out more about their business. You can send them to your mobile website or even get them to sign up for a newsletter or coupon. The QR code is great for generating leads and in business we all know new leads are the key to success.
ELT: What are some of the pitfalls businesses fall into when getting a website.
Kurt: The one thing I tell all business owners, no matter what purchase the domain name of your business. Even if you have no plans on getting a website right away, secure that domain name before someone else does. One of the biggest questions I get is, “Someone has my domain name, and how can I get it back?” Unless you have a copyright to the name, not just a business license, the only way you can get the domain name back is to pay the owners asking price. Spend the $10-$15 and secure the domain name right after you buy your business license. Another issue is, “My son knows that internet stuff, and I’ll just have him do the website.” So if your son knows how to do math, are you going to let him balance your books? I see so many sites that are built incorrectly or using outdated code. Hire a professional to do your site; you want to put your best foot forward when a potential customer comes to your website.
ELT: What makes your service different?
Kurt: I love to give that local touch to all of my customers. If you have a project that you want done, then let’s sit down and talk about what you want. If it’s a website, then let’s find out what we need to add to make your business grow. I also like to give advice on every aspect of the site. I can help you with going mobile or optimizing your site for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) traffic. Also, after the site is done, I don’t just hand it over to you and go away. If you need to update the site or maybe remove some content, then I will be glad to help you out. It’s rewarding to see a small business feel good about the work I have done for them.
ELT: What services do you offer?
Kurt: I’m like the jack of all trades when it comes to web or graphic design. I can build you a website using the latest technology, and I can also create the printed marketing tools to advertise. If you have anything that you want done give me a call and we can discuss all of the options.
ELT: Where can our readers get more information?
Kurt: If they want to check out my latest work they can always check out my online portfolio at www.KurtBunch.com. There they can see my work, my skills, and how to reach me. I’m based right here in Chula Vista so any time they want to sit down and get a quote on design work, I’m ready.
Thank you so much Kurt for sitting down with us and going over web design. We have been extremely satisfied with the work you have done for us and we would like to recommend you to all of the small business owners out there. So many businesses are thinking about how they can grow their business in 2012, and a great looking website is an essential key to success.