No matter what kind of business you have, it’s important to have a web site. It can be a simple site that just tells who you are, what you do, and provide a way for customers to contact you, or it can be a more complex site with online sales, appointment booking, a customer portal, and so on.
The question of when to have your web site built isn’t as simple as one might think. Too early and you won’t have everything you need to make it representative of your brand and you find you’ll need to redo it. Too late and you’ve already started missing out on sales because people don’t know about you or how to get a hold of you.
It starts with a business plan. That’s one of those things that sounds really obvious but it isn’t. It’s easy to think that having a service or product plus a willingness to sell it is all you need to start a business. It’s not.
One first needs to identify their target audience. Who will actually buy your product? Are they younger? Older? What kind of work do they do? Are they local? National? International?
The best way to do this is to build your avatar.
Avatar is the marketing term for the model of your your ideal customer. Get specific. Maybe your ideal customer is a millennial woman who works as a teacher, loves Disney, and has a toy poodle. Or they might be an oilfield contractor in his 60s with a jacked up F150 and a love for BBQ and cats. It seems silly but once you know what that customer looks like, It’s much easier to build your marketing and business plan.
When you have that avatar you can start thinking about branding. This is a pretty comprehensive area but we’ll simplify it here to mean the overall look and feel of your company. This is evident in your photos, your colours, even the fonts you use. It’s the way you word things. What would appeal to your avatar? How would you talk to that person that would make them feel comfortable? Some colours can be perceived as soft, others rough. Script fonts seem more elegant while bolder fonts are more aggressive. These little details can help you target your ideal customers while potentially deterring those you don’t want to work with. The latter can be just is important.
Once you’ve got your avatar sorted you can start working on how you want to sell your services. It may be brick and mortar, over the phone, or online. Even if you don’t plan to sell your products or services online, it’s important to have a web site to establish credibility and to provide an easy way for customers to learn about you and your business and get a hold of you.
Next is figuring out your pricing and logistics. How much money do you need to make on each sale to make it worth your time? How much time are you willing to put in to make that sale? Once the sale is made, how will you deliver the product or service to the client? Are there things you can do to streamline the process?
There’s even more than this that goes into building a business plan and you don’t need to have all of these details figured out before you start building your web site. It is however very important to have started thinking about them. Our team can help you figure these things out as well as put you in touch with different vendors who can round out your branding and business plan. If you haven’t at least started considering these things, having a web site built will quickly overwhelm you.
Your web site should be a proper representation of you and your brand. If you don’t know what that looks like, you’re not ready for a web site.
Building a web site is a partnership. Our team will make it look great, easy to navigate, and even write the content to be clear, concise and targeted to your avatar but in order to do that we need to have a clear idea of your branding and your sales process. We can help guide you but we can’t make those decisions for you.
If you’ve had your business for a while and still don’t have a web site yet, that’s okay too.
There’s an old Chinese proverb. “The best time to plant an oak tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”
Businesses grow and change. Even for myself, my business model is very different today than it was three years ago. I’ve had to change and adapt and I’ve adjusted my own marketing and sales process to match including my web site. If you don’t yet have a web site it just means that you’ve had more time to figure that out. Now is a great time to put that into a site.
So when should you have your web site built? When you know who your customer is and how to sell to them. Once you have all the puzzle pieces, we’ll help you put them together.