There are several different approaches you can take in getting a website. But whatever way you choose, the most important thing is that you start with the end in mind.
And what is the end?
If you are in business, the end is that you have a website that is generating leads, is helping to convert those leads into orders, and is ultimately making you far more profit than was the case before the website arrived. Otherwise, what is the point of all the time, expense and effort?
For managers of medium and large companies, the model is well established. You hire in all the expertise you need to establish a great online presence – designers, developers, SEO experts and promotional staff. You then allocate a part of your marketing budget to maintain it.
Advice for SME's
However, if you are the owner or manager of a small, growing business, the chances are you will have insufficient funds available to establish a profitable website. Many SME’s, following the model described above, run out of budget and energy long before they reach the stage at which their website is working for them.
The website becomes an expense – not an investment.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. You have a choice.
There are great tools now available that empower the non-technical business person to build and control their own web presence. Instead of spending a lot of cash on buying in services, you can spend a little cash on acquiring knowledge. You then use that knowledge to decide what you will do yourself, in-house, and what you choose to outsource to people with specialist expertise.
Every month, I gather together a group of (non-technical) business people and over the course of just 3 days, they build their own websites. I teach them how to write content, how to use one of the excellent self-build website platforms that are now widely available, and how to build a website that can be developed into a business generating machine.
I call the websites built this way Workshop Websites.
The beauty of this method is that the business owner now has a website, one they can control and develop themselves, and they haven’t blown the budget.
Is it a real website
And don’t think for a moment that you will have some sort of second rate website. The software ‘below the hood’ is very powerful and the most modern available. It is simply that some very clever designers and engineers have created a suite of tools that anyone can use and layered them on top of the software.
Your website will be modern and mobile-friendly i.e. it will look great on a smart phone.
The next stage is to publicise your website. Because you have saved most of your budget by investing in knowledge, rather than buying a website, you can afford to spend some cash on hiring an expert to help with the more technical areas, such as Search Engine Optimisation.
The SEO expert can work with you as a mentor, rather than an outside agent, looking after the technical end of things while you handle the content development end. In this way, the budget stretches and can last until you reach the stage that you have a profitable, business generating website.
But it all starts with you.
If you don’t have a website, or you have one that isn’t making you money, you need to take action.
If you are based in Ireland, get in touch and we can have a chat over a cup of coffee. I’ll listen to your plans and let you know what I think - with no obligation.