Make absolutely sure that you’ve got the best website you can have. Before you Facebook, before you jump into Twitter, before you invest in the program of the local theatre/concert venue/stadium/school.
A well constructed and functional website that captures the core of what your business and organization is about is what matters most for any sort of advertising, marketing, and business tool. It’s replaced the hard copy published Yellow (and White) Pages of times past.
Please get past the “I have a neighbor/student/friend who is doing my website.” Really?! And what are you *hoping* for with that arrangement? You get what you pay for – and what you don’t pay for can bite you in a very uncomfortable physical location. Are you willing to allow this key ingredient in your success to be farmed out simply due to a relation? How about when things turn sour in the development? What then? Do you want people to hire you and buy your goods, professionally made? Then invest in the professionalism of others who specialize where you don’t.
A professional is who you want. Interview a few companies that are capable, preferably based on referrals of people you trust, know and are successful. Choose one – of if none fit, then interview more till you find the fit. Yes, budgets vary greatly – I understand that. All the same, if you aren’t willing to budget for a site to begin with, what does the rest of your plan look like?
A well designed, thought out and executed website will be one of thee most important pieces to your business. Keeping in mind you may not think so. If you don’t think so, you need to get your head out of the sand and pay attention to your business as a potential customer would. I’ve actually had business owners tell me that their customers don’t really want a website; business is fine the way it is.
Wow – I feel sorry for the owner/manager. I feel even more sorry for the customers. How selfish to assume for them. Remember you are not your customer. They are the customer. And you must always look at your business and pursuits with them in mind, if you truly want to serve them.
That’s an extremely ignorant and arrogant way to think about your customers: to assume you know what they want without even asking them.
Do this instead: ask them how they want to be able to find you, learn more about you, share you forward with friends, and get the information they need about you to engage. That’s smart, big picture thinking, wise, and correct. It’s also respectful of the customers who help you buy your groceries and pay your bills.
Putting the horse (FB, Twitter, other online business tools) before the cart (website) will unquestionably confuse the horse (business strategy and staff) as well as those looking for the cart (customers and suppliers).
Keep the horse happy, keep the cart where it should be and start with a website first.