Should you create your own website and the reasons behind it?
Is it time to establish your new or established business online to gain more sales and leads?
Lucky, I am happy to share my knowledge and experience I have gained through doing this process many times for various successful businesses over the last ten years. What I will be covering in this article will hopefully outline the benefits and disadvantages of hiring a website design agency or creating your business website yourself.
Through my experiences, I have learned something worth doing is worth doing correctly, so let’s begin on outlining what you need to do to establish your business online.
1. Business research & plan, is it necessary?
I happy you are reading this article; it tells me you are in a great position to grow your business by establishing your business online. I would now hope you have a business plan and functioning business strategy in place. As you know, it’s important not to jump the gun and research your target market and have a definite unique selling point. I would recommend you have this in place before beginning your website design journey. We have found studies that show businesses who plan grow 30 percent faster than companies without planning. Along with another study showing that of companies who had 92 percent growth in sales year on year usually had a business plan and strategy in place.
When is the correct time to establish your business online?
You are probably currently asking yourself this question which I hope to answer for you. You may not be aware, but to establish a successful online business, it takes time. If anyone tells you otherwise, trust me, they are lying. Don’t be fooled by all of the “Get rich quick” ads you see around the internet these days. They are all scams. Think of it this way, if it was that simple everyone would be doing it and we would all be rich, which isn’t the case, is it? Creating a brand for your business online does take time, but for good reasons. Google is exceptionally advanced and had learned how to highlight a website using unethical methods to attempt to rank well in Google. Therefore they do not work anymore. That’s why the only sustainable and reliable practices are the correct time-consuming ones.
Let me break it down for you, making your own website or hiring a reputable website design agency is not the time-consuming aspect of creating a successful online presence. The time-consuming element is the online marketing of your business website. This is, of course, if you have completed the website correctly to Google best practises. Which there are many, which is why I don’t believe it’s worth scrimping and saving creating your website. Yes, there are many cheap online “Do it yourself” website builders these days. Still, they only scratch the surface to what a well-designed website should entail in the eyes of Google.
Good website design isn’t just the visual aspects of a website. The code and structure of the website need to be correct to Google best practises as an example. If you have the time to research and learn all of the various aspects to quality website design, then sure I recommend you use this time to create your website. From this process, you will learn many excellent skills which will help you be more self-sufficient within the online aspect of your business. Best of all, it will keep costs down and allow you to make website adjustments and additions along the way quickly. But, let’s be honest to do you see yourself having the time to be consumed on staying up to date with all the best digital practises for the foreseeable future. This is in itself a fulltime job. If your business becomes a success online, I am sure your time will be taken up running other aspects of your business.
When you have decided which route is more suitable for your business, and you have a solid business strategy and marketing plan in place. Now is the time for you to start your journey by establishing your business online. Apart from having these critical elements in place, it is never to early to start your journey. As I hope you are now aware it’s a long road to success online so who not begin as early as possible?
2. What are the benefits of establishing your business online?
I plan to explain all the benefits and disadvantage of establishing your business online, so you have all the information to decide if it’s right for your business. Spoiler alert, I can guarantee it will be so let’s get started with the pros:
What business wouldn’t benefit from a broader audience? The answer is none. Every company like yours wants to increase its reach by having the ability to display your products or services to more people. Having an excellent online presence worldwide, nationally or locally online will provide you with this advantage. Best of all, if done correctly, it will offer you the chance to covert and gain more revenue for your business than you currently have.
Like me, I am sure you are one who is all about purchasing what you want as easily and quickly as possible. The same takes place for finding information. We all achieve this by going online and discovering what we are looking for easily and quickly. You want your business to be there when someone is searching for your products or services. This is why it’s essential to get your business online correctly and efficiently. The sky is the limit which online business. You aren’t limited by foot traffic of your shop in your local town or city or maybe the local population who will need your services. It gives you the ability to widen your net of potential customers or clients.
I am sure you double-check or read up about a business you are looking to purchase a service or product online as I do. We all do it. It builds trust when we can dive a little deeper into the business we are looking to purchase from. That is why you need to visible online to reassure potential buyer and build the trust which many of us are looking for before making a decision. In fact, while almost half of us trust firefights and doctors, only 3% of us trust salespeople & marketer as you can see below. This data is sourced from HubSpot Global Jobs Poll.
If you are looking to grow your business by making an online presence building your brand awareness will be at the top of your list. At the end of the day, you are trying to make more people aware of the products or services you offer. Having a well-designed website which will provide your business with better brand awareness. Which, in turn, will give you more sales and enquiries to allow your business to grow.
Now it’s time for me to highlight the negative aspects of you having a business website and having a substantial online presence.
We all get it, I know I do, and it is the most frustrating time-consuming task to decipher through genuine and spam emails/leads. It is I’m afraid something you will have to deal with when you create an online presence for your business. It’s a natural byproduct you will experience from having an online presence. The good thing to this disadvantage is companies such as Google are putting up a good fight towards spam with solutions such as ReCAPTCHA. I strongly recommend using this tool on your website to stop spam bots and people being able to submit forms through your online contact page.
Showcasing your business online can be unforgiving. Suppose you make the step forward to make an online presence for your business. In that case, it’s critical to minimise the chances of receiving bad reviews. Bad reviews online are there forever and don’t disappear; it’s the equivalent of walking around with a ball and chain around your neck. It worth doing everything within your power to ensure you do not give a customer the reason to provide you with a negative review. The knock-on effect can be devesting for any business and has the ability to holt and company moving forward before the ball gets rolling in the correct direction.
Naturally, when you showcase your business online, you have the ability to have a sizeable potential audience. Still, the same rule applies to the amount of direct competition your business will have. This is the nature of the digital world we live in; in fact, as I write this article, there are 1,817,142,767 websites in the world growing every second. So as you would expect, some of them will become your competition.
3. Should you hire a website design agency?
Let’s talk about some of the advantages and disadvantage of using a website design agency. I will also provide you with some essential information to ensure you find the right agency for your business.
Most companies find having a professional website design agency create their business website produces more results. As I have previously explained, website design standards are changes regularly, so it is a fulltime job keeping up with all the latest trends and requirements for good website design. You may have the time to do this yourself, but many businesses without a dedicated member of staff can’t commit this time out of their busy schedule running a business. If you are one of these people, the following tips will help you have a good experience in getting a website design agency to create your website.
4. Review their portfolio
One of the easiest and most reliable ways to see the standards of work a website design agency offers is reviewing their portfolio. This is a quick but straightforward way to reduce the list of potential agencies to partner up with to work on your project. By examining their portfolio, you will possibly see different design aspects you like. I would suggest taking notes during this process. It’s a good idea to highlight this to the agency you decide to proceed with.
5. Discuss pricing
The bottom line cost will vary massively between different website design agency, so you need to find a trusted one to suit your budget. If you have a small budget, I would suggest looking at website design agencies which offer Pay Monthly Website Design. There are many out there, but I highly recommend looking into what you receive for your money. Plus how long the contract duration lasts. Because in turn, you are committing to them for a period of time to give you the ability to spread the cost over a monthly payment basis.
6. Outline your requirements
The design agency you choose must take the time to understand your business and what your aims are. Some agency sees you no more than a number and is only interested in completing the project as soon as possible. I recommend staying away from these agencies. Try and find an agency who is happy to spend the time on the phone with you to understand your business. After you have found the right agency for you, make sure you inform them about your business Unique Selling Points. Doing so will allow the designer to incorporate your Unique Selling Point at the centre of your website. It also will have a significant effect on website design. The designers should locate “Call To Actions” strategically throughout the website. It’s an excellent chance to provide links to the websites to have seen which you like and dislike. There is no harm in trying your best to paint the best picture of what you want the end result to look and function like. Suppose you find a quality website design agency. In that case, they should also highlight good and bad user experience designs and functions in the websites you have provided. It’s all about you pulling the good aspects from different websites and putting them all together on your end website.
7. Reviewing the finished product
Reviewing the finished website is an essential part of taking your time on. I would strongly suggest you put some time aside in your schedule to focus on this stage solely. It’s crucial you review the website for the looks and feel of the finished result but also spelling mistakes and functionality. The last thing you want to do is publish a business website which is riddled with spelling mistakes, and certain aspects don’t function correctly. Ensure you document any findings and submit them to the developer. Also, make sure you double-check each point you have highlighted when the correction work is completed.
8. Ongoing support
I believe you need to use a website design agency which offers ongoing support and alterations. A website should never be static, and the additions of your past completed work or maybe blog posts need to be added to the website. A right design agency should offer a support solution to ensure your website is secure and update all the time.
9. How can you build your own business website?
Content Management Systems
WordPress – Great for smaller businesses which do not require a shop functionally. WordPress can handle an online store, but if you have an extensive product library, there are better CMS systems you can use.
Magento – Magento is an enormous CMS system which can handle anything. But in turn, you need to have a high level of programming skills you use the system sufficiently.
Shopify – Shopify is a great out of the box online store solution. It can get costly when you are looking to customise the website design and functionality with specific knowledge required to complete these tasks.
Fasthosts: One of the market leaders and offer a significant discount on UK domain name purchases.
Krystal Hosting – They provide some excellent value for money hosting packages with no hidden fees. They also offer WordPress optimised hosting, which can decrease your website load time which is great for Google search engine ranking.
If you are looking for website themes, there is only one place I would recommend. Finding the correct one for your business and desired CMS platform. That is, of course, the market leader for website themes ThemeForest.
Throughout this article, I have tried to highlight the benefits and disadvantage of establishing your business online. Online with information on the advantage and disadvantage of hiring a website design agency along with highlighting key steps to ensure the result is profitable for your business. Following these steps, you will be able to find a reputable website design agency to create your businesses website. But if you think the correct way forward for your business is making your website yourself, I have also outlined, some top tips to help you along the way. If there is one thing I hope you take from reading this article is it’s imperative to do website design correctly the first time around. The last thing you want your business to do is wasting money revisiting the whole process a year later. Hopeful if done correctly, you will start to gain more online sales & inquiries for your business. Which at the end of the day is what we all trying to achieve, isn’t it?