Hey there and welcome back!
If you fail to plan for your business’ new website, you’re just planning on failing with this new website. That’s the simple fact of the matter.
Without a plan, you’re not going to know what to do to create the website. For example, maybe you create an online store when your business doesn’t need one or isn’t ready for one just yet. That ends up being a waste of time and money.
And as you’ll see here shortly, you don’t need to create a fancy plan or any of that. Simple pen and paper will work. What’s important is that you give yourself a roadmap and an idea of what you want and need this website to do.
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Now let’s get started.
Why you need to create a plan ahead of time
So first things first: why should you create a plan for your new website?
While websites might seem like simple things at first (after all, the ads for Wix and Squarespace say that it’s easy), the truth is that a website that’s going to help your business grow is more complicated than that.
And you need to create a plan for this website so that you know what you’re doing and that the website ends up being a success.
If you start without a plan, you’re going to end up failing. You won’t know what you really need for your website to help your business be successful.
This plan is going to tell you what the goal for the website is going to be and how you can create the website so that it accomplishes this goal. For example, if you decide that the goal of your website is to sell products online, you know that you need to create an online store.
And even if you’re just starting out with a simple, online brochure type website, it’s a good idea to create a plan for how the site is going to help people discover that your business exists.
Plus, it can really give you a near exact roadmap for how you should build this new website.
This can make it all so much easier for you and whoever you hire (if you hire an agency or developer) to create that perfect website since they’ll have a much better idea of what you want and need for this website.
Trust me, as someone in that position, it’s great to work with clients that have a really good idea for what they need for their website. It makes every other part of the process so much easier.
And don’t worry about needing to create the perfect plan that covers absolutely everything, especially if it feels daunting right now. There are some things you just don’t know right now, and that’s okay. If you hire an agency or developer, they can help you finish creating that plan for the website.
But creating a plan can give you a clear path towards creating a website that will help your business grow.
Figure out where your business is
One thing you should also do right now is to take stock of where your business is right now and where you want it to be in the future. This can be a big help in planning for your new small business website.
So take some time to figure out where your business is. Are you just starting out or are you an established business in the community or somewhere in between?
Are you doing pretty well and want to make it even better or are you in dire need of something to get back on track? We’ll talk about this in a second, but can you afford something fancier or do you need something quick and relatively cheap?
Finally, do you feel good about where your business is?
Figuring out these things now can help you for the next section when we really dive into your business and your wants and needs for this new website.
Questions you should ask yourself for the website plan
Okay, now comes the hard part of this process: asking questions of yourself and your business and answering them honestly. It can be a bit of a challenge, especially if you don’t feel the business is where it can be. But being as honest as possible can help you create a plan for your website that’s going to work.
So first off, do you need a new website? In some cases, all you actually need is a few smaller changes to your existing website and not a completely new one. You can use a blog post I wrote on this exact thing to help you come to an answer.
Next, what are the goals for your business? Are you looking for more leads or to sell more products? Are you at a stage where you just need to raise awareness that your business exists? Figuring out your business goals will help with the next question.
And that is how is your website going to help you reach those goals? If you’re looking to sell more products, should you sell those products on your website? Should your website have lead generation forms if you want more leads for your service? And what information should be on your website if you just need an online brochure?
Finally, we have three more quicker questions that hopefully should be a bit easier to answer.
First, what is your budget for the website? Can you spend a bit more for a bigger site or do you need something simpler?
Second, when do you need the website to be live? Is it a quick turnaround or can you take your time on it.
And finally, what experience do you have with websites? The answer to this question can help you figure out if you should create the website yourself or if you should hire someone to do it for you.
Once you have the answers to these questions, it’s time to create the plan for your small business website.
Turning those questions into a plan
So now you need to turn those questions into an actual plan that you can follow to create your small business website.
And if you’re worried that this plan should be super fancy and look legal and all of that, don’t worry. How it looks doesn’t matter. You could use a basic text editor or Google Docs.
What really matters is the substance of the plan itself. And to make sure that you write it down so that you don’t forget it.
So what should the plan include?
Well based off your answers from the previous section, the plan needs to include the following:
- Whether you’re looking at creating an entirely new website or just making changes to your current site.
- What the end goal of the website is going to be. Will this website just be to raise awareness that your business exists or will it need to sell products or generate leads for your services? Those sort of things.
- You should also take note of how this website is going to help your business’ goals.
- The type of website that you’re going to build. It could be a simple online brochure, online store, one-page website, etc.
- The budget you have to spend on the website.
- When you need the website to be ready by.
- Whether you’re going to hire an agency or web developer to build the website or if you’re going to build it yourself.
- And anything else that you can think of that’s important for this website.
And that’s it. Once you have all of those things covered, you have yourself a great plan for your small business website. See, it wasn’t that hard.
Okay, so you’ve created this plan for your new small business website. Now what do you do?
Well, now you use this plan as a road map to create the new website.
If you decide to hire an agency or a developer to create the website for you, this plan can help them get in your mindset for what you want with your website. This will make the discovery step in the process — when they learn more about your business and what you want and need for the website — go a whole lot smoother.
As I mentioned before, having a client that has a plan ready to go is a big help for me in quickly designing and creating a website that’s going to meet their needs. So taking the time now to create the plan will make a lot of future steps so much easier for everyone involved.
Finally, if you’re building the website yourself, this plan is how you’re going to check what you’re doing to make sure you’re going down the right path. From what content you need on your website to what images you should have on the website, it’ll keep you on track with creating a website your business needs to be successful.
So take the time now to think about what you want and need for your website and create that plan that’s going to make your life (and other’s) so much easier in the long run.
So that’s it for today! What questions do you have about creating a plan for your business’ new website? Is there anything you’re excited about or nervous about? Be sure to leave them all down in the comments section below.
If you’re looking to get started on creating a website for your business right now, check out one of the Small Business Website Starter Kits. You’ll get a website built using WordPress with a design to match your business that will give you a great digital foundation that can help your business grow. And your website will be live in less than two weeks and for a price that will fit your budget. Check out the Small Business Website Starter Kit at the link down in the description below.
Next week we’ll discuss whether you should build this new website yourself or not.
To see that video and more videos on web design, WordPress, ecommerce, digital marketing and other website-related topics, be sure to hit the subscribe button and to ring the bell for notifications.
But until then, I wish you and your business the best of luck.