After hours of working on my website, paying a lot of money to maintain it, and then paying someone to regularly assist me with it, I have discovered a gap. The “you need to get a website” advice given to me in a coaching program 3 years ago was not the best suggestion as a way to begin building my online business.
And yet so many people do it. In today’s world, with sites like GoDaddy promoting the Danica Patrick type personas, even with vital information embedded in the video (like the importance of branding, the importance of planning, teamwork and diversifying your brand), it still leaves the impression anyone can just whip up a website and have a successful business.
And that is so wrong!
The missing information is in the planning stage, before you put the site up.
And in the budgeting, which should come first!
How I wish someone had told me that.
And the light bulb turns on here.
Decisions to make before the site is created:
What’s your budget like? In this post I talk about creating a business plan.
How are your finances set up?
This post has some good starting information.
What do your business need?
This post has some key questions to ask.
What is the purpose of the website?
What they don’t tell you as a new online business owner is that websites are created for different reasons. Each site serves a specific purpose for each business. Your business will grow depending upon how you create the site itself, what information you put up on the site and how you choose to utilize it as a business tool to grow your business. Some have shopping carts, some are lead generation tools, some work to solely build affiliate links. Others promote a brand.
Will it simply be a way for customers to find you? Do you want to build a customer base? Is it a means to keep customers up to date on your products and services?
Need to build a mailing list? Or build an online presence? Or run advertising campaigns and actively market online? Use it as a lead generation tool? Or as a way to increase sales?
Tip: Do a business plan before you invest money into the site to keep your budget on track and balanced! To learn more about creating a business plan, check out my previous post.
3 Questions to Answer:
1. How Technical are you?
How technical are you? DIY or outsource the back-end projects and maintenance?
2. What is your Budget for this?
how much you want to spend on your website? To set it up? On a monthly basis?
Many sites have an annual fee and/or monthly fees for additional things.
How much do you want to do DIY style or outsource?
For resources related to finance and starting a business, look at my previous post.
3. What are you going to Outsource and what are you going to do yourself?
Things business owners outsource related to a website:
Social Media management: running regular Instagram posts, Pinterest pin campaigns, FB ads etc.
Answer these questions and then add them into your business plan to start off the right way! A good business plan is also a guide post.