Why you should always PLAN your website
It helps to know what you’re doing before you build your website. Today I want to give you a heads up as to the what and the why of your website in terms of saving you time and money as well as making sure you end up with a website that works for you.
Before I do that I want to share a story with you about websites that blew me away and not in a good way. So about a year ago I was following a training video from a 3 day event that cost 10,000 dollars to attend. It was a fantastic event that concentrated on advanced online business and marketing strategies and there were about 2,000 women present, it was a huge event.
During the event the coach was speaking to a lady in the audience who began to cry because her husband was holding her back and stopping her from realising her dreams. By the way this story is not about the husband holding her back.
So after the coach worked with her on changing her mind set, a piece she dramatically entitled who needs to die for you to live she eventually asked the lady what she did for a living and it turned out she was a website designer and by way of giving her a helping hand, the coach asked the audience: does anyone need a web designer?
I could not believe the response. At least 50 per cent of the audience raised their hands. Now you might think that’s a good thing…… it certainly was for the web designer but what struck me was this: There were 2000 women in that room who’d paid 10, 000 dollars each to go on an advanced online business training course and half of them didn’t have a website.
This news wasn’t lost on the coach either because she asked those who’d raised their hands “ do any of you know anything about websites” to which lots of them replied no!
So my question was WHY were they there? The event had nothing to do with website creation or business start-up in fact it was way beyond anything that basic.
The point I make is whether they knew it or not, everything those women learned and paid for at the 3 day event would have to go on the back burner once they realised there was no way they could implement it.
They’d have to circle back and start again this time with the basics because as long as they didn’t understand how a website works, how important it is to their business or how it is the number one tool you should have as a service based online business owner; they could not progress in a linear fashion and they certainly could not tell the web designer in that room what they needed.
Just to be clear they’re called web designers for a reason, they design websites, they don’t design your business; YOU do that BEFORE you hire a web designer or build your own website. A web designer can’t give you what need until you’ve figured out what that is.
Before I go further let me say that not all web designers are the same! Some are fantastic but some are absolutely not especially when it comes to openness and transparency so be sure to do your homework just as you would when you’re looking to buy other services.
Now I get that it might be your intention to pay someone to build a website for you and that’s fine but without knowing what you want your website to do you’ll be leaving yourself wide open to fail. As a new business owner you don’t have to learn the deep guts and technical aspects of website design that’s not the case, but what you do need to understand ( if you want to avoid the pitfalls) is the basic functionality of a website and how that can be tailored to meet the needs of your specific business.
This process is not difficult but it’s often overlooked by new business owners because it isn’t sexy nor is it the latest news in the online world and the reason it’s not is because it’s been around for years as one of the fundamental building blocks of your business and as such it should come into play very early on.
Without planning your website first, you will at some point have to circle back and sort this out whether you want to or not and that usually happens after A. You’ve spent a lot of money with a web designer for a website that’s not meeting your needs or B. You’ve spent hours, days and months trying to build a website yourself without knowing what you’re doing.
Many new business owners are forced to start again after a fall out with their web designer because not all designers will give you a heads up on how to plan your website properly. While that may surprise you it’s true. Some designers simply don’t know what your specific business requires while others will give you what you ask for and that’s not necessarily the same as what you need.
What you think you need and what you actually need can be entirely different things!
Moving forward you can be forgiven for saying well I had a consultation and they were lovely to me, so helpful and they really got my vision.Of course they did and they were definitely delighted to meet you because if you haven’t done your homework, they’ll recognise you’re uninformed and to some web designers the unprepared and the uniformed equals a cash cow they can milk over and over again. So please do your research before you spend a penny.
So now let’s look at the top 7 reasons you should have a website
#1 Visibility; with a website your online business is visible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year. Potential customers can browse your products and services from the comfort of their own home. If you’re selling digital products like eBooks and training courses then your website can make money for you while you sleep or are away from your desk. Remember we’re all on different time zones across the world and just because you’re in bed doesn’t mean everyone else is.
#2 Customer Reach More than 2.4 billion people use the internet every day, and some 90% of those have purchased something, or contacted a company online in the last 12 months. So by not having a website you will be missing out on a big piece of that.
#3Credibility with a well-designed website, you can gain instant credibility by providing ultimate proof that you are the real deal.
#4 Business Value without a website, the perceived value of your business will be lower in everyone’s eyes – especially your customers.
#5 Social Presence by adding your social media links and a live feed to your website customers can stay updated with your latest news and offers.
#6 it’s personal with a website you can have your own personalised email address. This is more professional and easier to remember. You might love your firstname.lastname@example.org but that won’t hold water with your customers.
#7 Low Cost Entry with some of the free website providers around, you can launch your new website for a small monthly hosting fee. Or you can determine an overall budget depending on how much you want to spend, how you want your website to look and what you want it to do; this could cost you anything from 100 pounds to multiple thousands of pounds (or dollars)
So as a beginner those are your top 7 reasons for having a website
Think about it unless you only want to serve people in your own back yard, how else will you reach your customers? Remember they’ll be looking for what they need online and if you’re not there they’ll go elsewhere.Even if you do have business premises they’ll still go online to check that you have a professional presence and if you don’t then the mistrust sets in and your potential customer backs off. That’s what you do isn’t it?
Of course it is……. we all go online to find what we want particularly with a personal service. We want to know about the person behind that service and your customers will be no different. For a service based business owner your website is the shop window that tells your story. These days everything to do with your business either begins ends or intersects at your website.
No matter how a prospect hears about or discovers you, they will ultimately look for your website before deciding to work with or buy from you. Even if all you need to do is display is a one page website to prove your existence, then it’s best to do it and do it well.
By the way I created todays blog based on actual feedback from a survey I carried out and according the responses the #1 pain on your list of technical fears is; where to start with your website? and as someone who wasted 5 thousand pounds on my first ever website (OMG) I know exactly where you’re coming from.
You know what they say; if you knew better you’d do better – so here’s your chance
When thinking about the design of your site each area requires some thought. None of this is difficult per say although having an understanding along with a written plan will make it much easier for you and if you’re hiring a designer it’ll be much easier for them too.They will ask you about your design requirements anyway and if you don’t know, then you’re both off to a bad start. This is where relationships between designer and customer breaks down and this is definitely how and why the cost to you can go up and up and up.
Good website design includes both functionality and aesthetics. An ugly website will drive away visitors, as will a website that’s difficult to navigate or understand.
Lets’ wrap this up in 3 simple steps
#1.Before you hire a web designer first of all find out what you need for your site in relation to your specific business. (Generic won’t do it) Once you’re clear and you’ve written it down then you can present this to the designer.
#2.If you’re going to build your own website find out what you need .Plan it, learn it then implement what you’ve learned. Give yourself plenty of time though. As a beginner you can’t build a functioning website in five minutes and the next time you see a TV advert that says you can, ignore it. All you can hope to achieve in five minutes is a mess and along with that you’ll be sending out a message that says your service is as poor as your website. So please don’t fall for that.
#3.Alternatively you can work with someone who’s already made all of those mistakes so you don’t have to. Avoiding mistakes saves you lots of time and plenty of money. Using my smart cuts you can learn how to get your online business out the gate in less time and planning your website is one of the modules covered in my 5 Step – 1 Day – Fast Class.
You can find out more about this at: http://deecoxon.com/fast-class/
From my heart to yours
Thank you for taking the time today
If your business is not the internet your business will be soon be out of business – Bill Gates – Microsoft