I was speaking to someone who is involved in the profession of selling second hand cars. It is a family business. Basically each day he would set a target to complete certain posting of cars for sale in Facebook, Instagram and sites like Mudah.my.
The company does not have an official website. It does not have even a Facebook page. He was asking me for advice on how to set up a Facebook page. I explained to him but told him that setting up a Facebook page is not enough for the business because unless you are paying for advertising, your page generally does not show up in the newsfeed of your followers or anyone else who have liked your page.
I advised him that the company has a lot to lose if they do not consider setting up at least a basic website. The cost to set up a simple website is really not that expensive. You can outsource the work to a freelancer or even a blogger for non ecommerce sites.
Actually nowadays you can utilize existing ecommerce marketplace like Lazada, Shopify, Mudah and Carousell to sell your items. Such sites have everything all set up and it is easier to ride on such platform for smaller business. Alternatively you may engage a media agency to help build your site but my understanding that a full fledged ecommerce site would cost minimum RM15k.
But you still need a website to call your own. Something that belonged to you which you can link all your social media profiles, name card, merchandize, signboard abd marketing materials to.
What to include in your company website:
1. Your company name and logo
2. About your company and the owners
3. Mission and vision statement or the value that your company stands for (you know, the nice marketing lingo words)
3. Contact details- address, telephone, email and social media. Also include an embedded Google map of your business (it is advisable to claim your business under Google Maps Business so that you can make alterations).
4. Products and services sold by your company
5. Clients testimonials (if any)
6. Some knowledge based articles that are related to what your company is selling (more on this below).
Establishing credibility and trust through articles published in your site
Most likely your site would be build using WordPress platform. For items 1 to 5 above, use static Page format. For item 6, use Post format but in your settings, remember to set the url to be based on the title without the dates.
Now, published articles offering helpful tips would be what that makes your site stand out. This person told me that second hand car sales get a bad reputation so usually people do not trust such business.
It is not necessarily so. You can change the general perception through putting a lot of practical and honest advice on your site. Back to the example of the second hand car shop- write honest articles related to second hand car ownership that people can relate to. Put in answers to what you consider as stupid questions. The question may be something so easy to you but is a struggle to many person who are not well versed in this field.
For example these are the questions that I have no knowledge about when it comes to selling and buying cars. Here are some of the questions and short answers.
- If I wish to sell my car, is it compulsory for me to be present to the JPJ office? What if I am overseas? (Answer: yes, in Malaysia you must be present for thumb print. Settle it when you come back from overseas)
- What happens if I do not pay for summons? (Answer: Some summon would not get you blacklisted. But some would. Summons in Malaysia are tagged to your NRIC which is based on the owner of the car that you are driving. For blacklisted summons that are not cleared, then you would not be able to renew your road tax)
- Can I just send my old car to be scrapped. (Answer: You can but notify JPJ and surrender your car registration car so that there are documentation in place)
The best part is that the guy answered all the questions I have effortlessly and in a very conversational way. All he needed to do is to just compile the most common questions that people have, and write down the answers. If he can’t write well, then no worries- just hire a writer to write down what he is saying and put in proper grammar.
Malaysia is a multiracial country. If you wish to target a particular ethnic group, please ensure you have translation in that language aside from English. And please, don’t use from Google Translate as sometimes the sentences come out sounding so comical that it makes your site look very unprofessional. Again if you are not well verse in it, pay a writer or freelancer to do it for you.
If you wish to hire someone to help you write content, there is a Malaysian blogger I would like to recommend: Suraya from ringgitohringgit.com. Even though I do not know her personally, but I enjoy reading her blog. She writes honestly and from the heart. And she does provide freelance writing services.
Otherwise, if you know of any friends who have their own blogs or website (again, Facebook page is not considered a website), you may commision your friend to help you build your company’s site and outsource some of the writing.
Finally, let your website be your 24 hours a day, 7 days a week of free advertising for your company. In long term, the upfront investment would translate to a very low and insignificant overhead cost for your business with worthwhile results.