So you’ve determined that your business does need a new website. That’s great. But we’re definitely not done with our initial planning. We still have more questions to ask.

As a journalist, I always asked a lot of questions to my interviewees. I wanted to get the whole story so I could tell it the best that I could.

In that same vein, you need to ask yourself and your business a lot of questions so that you can get the whole story of your business and figure out where you want to be in the future. And then from there, you can plot the path to get you to that future.

So what are the questions you need to be asking? Well, here are a few good ones to get you started down that path.

Let’s get started.

Where is your business currently at?

So once you’ve decided that you do need a new website for your business, you need to take stock of where your business is currently at. In order to figure out where you need to go, you first need to figure out where the heck you are on the map.

So, how is your business currently doing? Are things looking good? Are they okay? Could they be better? Are you just starting out? Or are you somewhere in between?

Be truthful and honest with these answers. I know it can be tough to admit that things aren’t looking so hot for your business right now, but being honest with yourself will help you better determine the path you need to take to get things moving in the right direction.

What are your goals for the future?

Along those same lines, what are your goals for your business, both in the short and long term future? Knowing where you currently are is good, but knowing where you want to be in the future can give you drive to grow your business to get to that future.

Be realistic with your answers and goals here. The odds of you going viral overnight are slim to none. Instead, focus on smaller, short-term, more attainable goals and then add in maybe one large, long-term goal. Then you can just go from there.

So if you’re just starting out, maybe your goal is to get a hundred customers per month or maybe five-digit monthly sales. If you’re more established, maybe the goal is getting your name out in the community more or expanding where you actually sell.

By creating the point B for your point A, you can figure out where a website will fit in all of it.

What is the purpose of this new website?

This question helps marry the first and second questions we just asked: how is a website going to fit from you getting from point A to point B, if it’s going to help at all. You need to figure out the exact purpose of this website before you continue down this path.

Obviously, if you’re just starting out or you don’t have a website at all, the website is going to help get your name out there online. And if you’re looking to expand where you can sell, you’re probably wanting to add an online store so you can sell practically anywhere.

And if you can’t figure out the purpose of this new website, then maybe you don’t need a new one at all. If you can’t justify why you need to build one, then just don’t do it.

This can also help you hone in on what exactly you need with a new website. By figuring out its purpose, you’ll determine if you need an online store or a blog, a portfolio section, and so on and so forth. And then it’ll be easier to communicate those wants and needs with the developer, which saves time.

But take some time to figure out what exactly the purpose of this new website will be. You’ll either determine exactly want you need with the new website, which will help everything else in the process, or you’ll determine that you don’t need one at all, and that can save you a lot of time and headaches.

If you’re selling online, can you support it?

Also, if you’re planning to add an online store, you really need to think about whether you can do it or not. While selling online seems like a really cool move to make, the more you sit down and think about it, the more moving parts there are that you have to support.

I’ll probably go into more on this in an ecommerce video series down the line, but there are a lot of things that go into selling online. You need a process for taking online payments. Then there’s processing the orders and shipping them out. Finally, there’s the support needed in case something goes wrong along the way.

Can you support all of that? And is it going to be worth it too? Taking some time to think about that now can save you time and headaches down the line.

What can you commit to the new website?

Finally, you need to determine out what you can actually commit to the new website. Again, this website is going to take time and money, so can you afford to do it?

If you’re just starting out, you probably don’t have a budget for a large website. And that’s just fine. You probably don’t need one of those right now anyway. Having someone install and skin something like a pre-built WordPress theme will do because it gives you a modern-looking website and your business is out there for people and search engines to find.

And again, I’m not just talking about money. Websites take time and they take your time away from running your business. There’s meetings, looking over designs, getting the content together and looking over everything to make sure everything is just what you want.

So again, if you’re doing a lot of work because you’re trying to get your business off the ground, then a pre-built theme isn’t the worst thing your can do. Trust me. Just make sure you know what you can commit to this project.

Next steps

So now I want you to take some time to answer these questions, and to answer them honestly. The answers will help you build a plan for this website that set you up for success. You can save a lot of future time and headaches at this stage.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in comments below or reach out on social media. You can also learn more about creating a website for your business over on my website. I have a bevy of resources and blog posts that can help you make informed decisions during this entire process.

Once you have the answer to these questions, I’ll see you in the next video.

Links