Start Your Website Right

Remember last week I promised to share with you some ideas on how to build a better business website?

Building a business website takes planning and this planning happens before you even source a web designer or a web design firm.

Without planning, your business website is not going to work the way you want it to.

First, what are your objectives for the website?

*Do you want to get more prospects?

*Do you want to get more sales?

*Do you want to promote your services, if you are not selling products?

*What type of customers are you targeting?

*How would you measure the success of your website?

*What does a successful website look like to you?

*How does this website integrate into your overall business strategy?

*Do you have a dedicated team/staff to reply emails promptly?

*Do you have an ongoing interest in building an online extension of your offline and existing brick-and-mortar business?

These are just some questions you need to ask yourself BEFORE you pick up the phone to talk to a web design firm.

Once you have these answered, and know how you are going to utilise your website, you can start talking to a designer or a design firm.

A key point to note: do not say that you want a website because your business rivals have theirs. It won’t work if you want a website for the wrong reasons.

You must want a website for the right reasons, example:

* to create more awareness about your business

* to sell your products/services as a complementary stream of income to your brick-and-mortar business

* to reach out to businesses/distributors in other places such as Europe and US

* to cut through the middlemen and go straight to your pool of customers etc.

Getting a serious business website forces you to think about your business in a way you’ve never thought of before.

A website is not an add-on to your business; it is not just a website address on your business card. If designed with proper business objectives in mind, it can be a rewarding business tool with much more potential than you could have ever imagined.

With a brick-and-mortar or physical store, you are limited to your area of business. Say you have a shop in Georgetown, Penang. Your customers come from the surrounding areas, and perhaps, from Seberang Perai, Kulim, Sungai Petani, Bukit Mertajam and Ipoh, if you’re really famous.

With a website, you have the world in your hands! You are now literally ‘opening’ your shop in every continent, every place where the Internet is available. You are not limited by geography, by the high seas, or by the availability of shop space or price of retail space.

Your website is always on. It is always there, working for you, ushering prospects and customers into your ‘shop’ even if you’re on holiday or asleep.

That’s the incredible magic of having a well-designed website. It filters out those who truly want to buy from those who are just looking or browsing.

And of course, the faster you get a piece of the Internet ‘real estate’ of a website, the better off you will be. After all, this is the age of the World Wide Web.

But all these can only happen IF you start your website right, right from the beginning.

Next week, I’ll provide you a checklist of what makes a good business website.

Have a fabulous week and of course, enjoy the Malaysia-wide public holiday this Thursday! It is, after all, the installation the 13th Yang Dipertuan Agong, His Majesty Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin.

To your web success,

Nic

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