Traditionally, when small business owners and entrepreneurs wanted to start selling their goods or services, they bought some retail space and setup shop. Over the years many businesses have started entirely online, but many traditional business owners haven’t really considered getting online in a meaningful way.

Take a pizza shop, for instance. A pizza shop that does carryout and delivery-only relies on people knowing of their existence and being able to order a pizza by phone. Or, one may suppose a person could come in, order a pizza and come back later to get it.

If this business has been around for a few decades, the shop owner never thought they’d have to compete online for business. They picked a good location, took out an ad in the newspaper and Yellow Pages and waited for calls. If the food was great, word would spread by word-of-mouth.

Now, this business owner has to take serious consideration about his website, but probably doesn’t. If the shop has a site, it’s probably done for informational purposes only. You can go there and find a few photos, maybe a menu that never changes and the phone number in some oft-begotten place on the page.

It’s also not unlikely that the site looks bad, functions poorly and isn’t very interesting. This goes for a lot of businesses and a lot more don’t make good use of their sites by investing a few hundred dollars more at a time when they really need to.

In the case of our pizza shop owner, it wouldn’t be difficult for a form to be included on a single page to let people choose their pizza size, crust, toppings and sides like breadsticks or sodas. That page doesn’t have to be really fancy with animations of toppings sliding onto the pizza like national chains, but it just has to get people to click ‘submit’. An email could shoot off to the store’s computer and the owner could print it, fulfill the order and be on their way.

Anyone who sells tangible goods online is in a position to sell items online, and it doesn’t have to cost tens of thousands of dollars, but does require a conscious investment from the start to do things right and do things well with a professional.

Justin Harter is a professional web developer and founder of Justify Studios, an Indianapolis web design and media studio. Justify Studios is igniting the personal and business website industry in the midwest with a complete media experience under one roof. Justify provides website design, development, print, consulting, video and media production for all budgets and industries. Visit us at