Small Business Planning
August 31, 2019
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Are you thinking about building an website for your business? Before you do anything, you need to figure out if you really need a new website.
Failing to plan is planning to fail. It’s a phrase I use a lot, especially with website building, because it’s important. Really, it’s important in a lot of aspects of life. So you should do it for your business’ website.
After all, you probably created a plan for starting your business. So why wouldn’t you do the same for your website?
So the first step in that process is asking questions about you and your business.
By asking and answering those questions, you’re going to put a plan for this new website together almost on its own. You’ll see that it really isn’t as hard as you think it is.
I’m going to break this process into two videos, since the first question we’re going to ask really is the big one: do you even need a new website? Then next time I’ll ask some more questions that will help you figure out what you want and need from this website.
So let’s get started.
So step one in planning is figuring out if you really need a new website. Now in some instances, this is really easy to spot. But sometimes the answer isn’t as clear as you might think it is. So let’s go through some of these other questions underneath this one question that can help you figure out if you really need a new website.
Do you currently have a website?
So the first question is do you currently have a website? And conversely, does your website look like was built in the 90s or early 2000s? If the answer to the first question is no and the answer to the second question is yes, then yeah, you need a new website.
If you’re not on the internet today, you don’t really exist as a business. People are increasingly looking online to find the things they want, even if they are eventually going to buy the product or service in person. So you need to get a website so that Google and potential customers can find you.
If your website looks old and outdated, then yeah, you’re also probably in the market for a new website. Try taking a look at the website on your phone. Do the elements adjust to the new screensize? Or do visitors have to zoom in and move around horizontally as well to view and read your content?
If the answer is yes, you really do need a new website. More people are looking at websites on their phones and making decisions on the go. Responsive web design, the practice of making websites look just as good on mobile as well as they do on desktop, is no longer just a feature. It’s a requirement. Your website has to be responsive and it has to load quickly on mobile. If it’s not currently that, then yeah, you’re in the market for a new website.
Now if you answered no to both of these questions, let’s move on to some other questions to help figure out if you really need a new website.
Is the website helping your business?
If you currently have a website and it’s up to these modern-day standards, then you need to ask really ask yourself is this website helping your business.
Now, this is where things can be a bit tricky to figure out because it can be hard to get good, hard data to make a good, sound decision, if you can get it at all the data. If you have a google analytics account and can keep track of the number of visitors to your website over time and your customers over that same period, you might be able to make an educated guess.
But more often than not, you probably don’t have the good hard, numerical and scientific data, and instead you have to rely on what customers tell you. Did they first find you online and when they went to your website, did they like what they saw and that’s what helped them make the decision to come in and purchase your product?
This will likely be more of a gut decision. If you really think that your website is helping your business, maybe it’s better to stay put and just kind of relax and not spend the money you would need to build a new website. But if you don’t think it’s helping, then maybe it is worth going down the path at least a little bit to see if it’s worth building a new website and can you really do it.
Do you want to expand your website/digital outreach?
Also, another factor that you’ll want to take into account is whether or not you want to expand your business outreach. By this I mean, are you wanting to add an online store, a vlog, a blog or a more digital marketing prescences?
Each of those will likely require a new extension to the website, and if you’re building a new extension, maybe why not build a new website itself.
If that’s the case, then yeah, a new website might be in the future.
Do you have the resources to take on this project?
Finally, you need to take stock of what resources you have for your business and if that’s enough to build a new website. Websites can cost a lot of money, especially if you want something custom, the ability to sell online and something that’s going to last a long time. You need to know what you can afford, from whether it’s someone taking a pre-built WordPress template and putting it on a website to something completely custom or not being able to afford it at all.
But I’m not just talking about money. Websites also take a lot time. Even if you’re not building it yourself, you’re still going to have to take time to meet with the developer, look over designs, look over the new website and get the content together. Can you afford to take that time away from your business?
If the answer is yes, then you’re ready to continue down this path towards a new website.
What’s next and where to find information
Alright, now I want you to take a minute or two and sit down and really think about these questions and your answers to them. Before you begin any part of this process, you need to figure out whether or not you need and can afford a new website. In addition answering that question, it can also help you narrow your focus on what you want and need for this website.
If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in comments or you can find me on social media. You can also learn more about creating a website for your business on my website. I have a bevy of resources and blog posts that can help you make informed decisions during the entire process.
So, do you need a new website? Once you have the answer to that question, I’ll see you in the next video.
Do you need a new website?