Should my Business have it's own Website?

Am I putting my foot in my mouth when I say this? I understand the confusion. As a web designer, I should be persuading you by telling you 1,000 reasons why you need a website. Web designs are great to create, fun to get into and useful if necessary. But don't get it twisted; you don't need a website right away.

Web designers are good at trying to sell people on spending beucoup bucks on a web design right as they step their foot into the small business arena. The truth is, it's a waste of investment capital if you're just starting. A web design should never be your top priority when going into business. Its not pertinent in the early stages and 9 times out of 10 will be redesigned within a couple months.

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Focus on what's important

If you're anything like me, you go from one idea to the next, often leaving the last idea alone to die. About 2 years ago I had an idea to start giving away freebie PSD templates for business owners. They we're going to be so good and so super high quality that you loved them so much and you'd just go ahead and ask me to design your website. It sounded good and I stressed over the name for weeks before I went ahead and bought the domain name.

I spent about a solid month creating freebie PSDs and promoting my site before I realized that wasnt really what I wanted to do. Aside from the crazy competition, I just didn't have a business plan other than to create, post it on my site and try to link people to the content. I had no real focus and let that go soon after.

The good part is I'm a designer so I only lost $13 on a domain name and $50 on hosting. But for a business owner, that could be hundreds of dollars you waste on something you don't even really know you want to do. I couldve used different outlets to give away freebies or even signed up for a free website to test it out and see what works.

Its easy to get caught up in what looks right, but you have to figure out of your idea is even worth pursuing before you invest in it and that goes for web designs, business cards or whatever else. Spend time testing out your ideas and making sure it's something you want to do. Focus on your business plan, not your web design. We have ideas that sound good in our head but when we act on them, they probably suck. Do you really want to waste money on a stupid idea or on a proven one?

Prove it with alternatives

As much as I hate to look at them, there are so many avenues out there for free websites. I typically don't point people in the direction of those drag and drop website builders, but I do tell them to set up shop on social media. Why not? Youre going to end up using it anyway right? Its free and it's an acceptable form of communication for many.

If you are a business, you can easily set up shop on Facebook or whatever free websites are out there. You want to make t-shirts? Theres a site for that. You want to sell handmade items? Theres a site for that. You want to sell your music? Theres a site for that, too. The purpose of using these sites is to make sure people even want your products.

Im an advocate of the Just Do It mindset. If you have an idea, there's no need to mull over it forever and line your ducks up in a row until you have the perfect business plan. Thats impossible. Most times you have to work through it. So it makes more sense to work on your business plan, while possibly selling your item or service (for free), rather than spending a ton of money and not selling anything or not doing anything at all.

Now, most of the free sites have all types of features you need. Even Facebook has different add-ons and plugins for their business pages to help you sell and make an impact on your audience. The idea is to experiment with those things and connect with your customers so that you know what you need when it is time to create your own website.

When do you need a website?

If you follow the business plan techniques I use, I'd peg it at about two or three months in. By this time, you know whether or not you want to do it, and you have some ideas about your strengths and weaknesses as well as what works and what doesn't work. You also have a better understanding of who you're selling to. Now you have a reason for a website.

After you've tested your business plans and strategies out, it's time. Once your demand has outgrown it's free website, it's time to make your own. Once you've started developing a BRAND it's probably time to create your own home on the Internet. It may take you many months to figure it all out, but the idea here is to focus on what's really important. Is the success of your business dependent on a great web design or a great business plan?

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Posted in Landscaping Post Date 08/01/2020


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