I had an interesting discussion with friends over lunch today, it centered around whether or not small businesses and/or sales people should have a custom domain and email address.

What we concluded amongst our forum of 3 was that we would personally choose a business or person with a personal homepage and matching custom email address. We felt that having these 2 things gave the business a more finished look and could enhance their sales. There were a few example that came up today:

  1. An auto mechanic
    Typically you would find a mechanic by word of mouth or yellow pages. If you found this person by word or mouth it is sure nice to communicate to tell your friend go check out ‘FranksExampleAuto.com’. vs Telling a friend you should use the mechanic in the red building up the road. On the other hand if you find a mechanic in the yellow pages(or other search engine), it is nice to review their skills prior to calling. I believe you would definitely rather not waste time if the mechanic you find can’t fix your problem.
  2. The second example was a Real Estate Agent. We concluded much like the auto mechanic, this Website could have many things like which area of town they specialize in or what price range.

Both of these examples are also candidates for having a utility on your website for asking questions, requesting quotes, or appointment setup. Having these utilities in addition to a basic contact form would enhance your business and engage your customer base. After all, these business are of a personal nature and many people would prefer to have a relationship with the person they choose to do business with.

Leave a comment and tell me your thoughts on these two questions:

Do you think that a small business is more credible when they have their own domain?

If all things were equal would you pick a real estate agent with their own domain vs not?

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(Disclaimer: Some of the links contained in this post are affliate links. See the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”)