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?

  1. Get your business model right
  2. Decide how you are going to make a profit (get your marketing right)
  3. Time-frame to achieve this (how you will measure)
  4. Define your promotion channels
  5. Decide the role of your website in the plan (what goals you want your website to achieve)
  6. look at your competition to see how their website works. (Pick one you feel works well)
  7. Decide the structure of your website. ( I have an article about small business website structure here)
  8. Set a budget
  9. Then look for a developer/designer
  10. Look at testimonials, their work etc. Decide if they will be a good fit for you
  11. 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.