When it comes to making decisions that affect your business, it’s important to ask the right questions. Most of us are probably familiar with the 5-W’s and an H rule (and no we’re not referring to the infamous Who’s on First, What’s on Second bit from Abbott and Costello). Even though sometimes as business owners and entrepreneurs, we certainly feel like we’re spinning in that infinite loop when it comes to answering important questions… No we’re talking about answers to the Who? What? Where? When? Why? and How? about every important decision we face. Specifically… your business marketing and more specifically, a website…
#1 - a website is NOT optional. It's one of the most important marketing strategies for your business. WHY? Because 78% of Internet users conduct product research online. So your business website may very well be a prospect's first impression of you. Plus if you don’t have a website, you’ve lost a customer, or two or three…HOW many can you afford to lose?
#2 - a website is NOT a computer program – so don't let an IT guy create it for you! In fact, it is actually better to have NO website than to have one that makes your business look bad. And let’s face it… when was the last time you understood anything your IT guy said? His job is to keep your hardware and software running, not communicate your brand and messaging, and since a website is that first impression, it speaks volumes about your business. WHO should you talk to about designing a website? Call on a website designer, a true marketing expert who knows how to communicate a message, instill a desire to buy, and bring it all together with a call to action. We also strongly recommend you don’t go it alone… DIY template based site builders are just bad for business…
#3 - a website is NOT permanent It's something that needs to live and breathe and be updated and added to enhanced regularly. WHEN do you need to update your website, and HOW will that be accomplished affordably? Well, we recommend that you update and add content to a search engine optimized website at least twice a month. The best way to do this is to have a Content Management System as your site’s basis or as an addition to a static site. For small businesses, a Wordpress solution is often sufficient, for medium businesses, non-profits, and companies that have more interactive features, we recommend Joomla CMS.
#4 - a website does NOT exist in a vacuum – so, WHERE does a website fit into your grander scheme? It’s one part of what should be a broad marketing plan for your business. It can be an online brochure, but with all the capabilities, WHY not make it even more! Your website needs to be the hub for your content strategy, social media strategy, search engine strategy, mobile marketing strategy, and email marketing strategy. It’s also WHERE you send people for more information via your traditional marketing efforts.
#5 - a website is NOT an expense– it's an asset. Your website is the virtual extension of your business that works for you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. WHAT costs are generally incurred?
- Design/development including SEO, mobile, blog…
You should check with your accountant to learn HOW to enter this info in QuickBooks, but figure that your initial website design or redesign will cost $1,200-$2,500, and a well-planned, well-designed website will last at least 5 years, so it's a capital asset, not an expense. However the domain, hosting and maintenance costs incurred are a direct cost of doing business and therefore would be considered expenses. Your website is truly an investment in your business, if done well, will work to grow your business for many, many years to come.
#6 - WHAT’S the next step? Find a partner with the right tools for your website. Before you can launch your site, you need a domain name (the address), a hosting provider (to store the content), and a website design company. If you are looking for help with any or all of these needs, please Contact Us. I2D can help you with everything you need to build, maintain, update, and improve your business website.
Who? What? Where? When? Why? How?
Six words that when applied correctly, have the power to help you succeed in business.