I belong to the small business forum in Linkedin. There is one question that gets asked quite often.
“I need a website for my business. How do I go about it?”. There will be numerous answers all the time. Usually there are two categories of answers.
- The ones that say my company is the best. I can do the website for you for X amount
- Then there will the tech suggestions. Use X software, use Y hosting etc.
I rarely find anyone giving some good input to help the owner.
When they come to me I usually ask them have they done the following?
- Get your business model right
- Decide how you are going to make a profit (get your marketing right)
- Time-frame to achieve this (how you will measure)
- Define your promotion channels
- Decide the role of your website in the plan (what goals you want your website to achieve)
- look at your competition to see how their website works. (Pick one you feel works well)
- Decide the structure of your website. ( I have an article about small business website structure here)
- Set a budget
- Then look for a developer/designer
- Look at testimonials, their work etc. Decide if they will be a good fit for you
- It can be a costly mistake to decide just on price. Many cheap websites just don’t deliver
A website is just one piece of the big picture in making a profit for your business. Use it as a marketing tool and make it work for you.