7 Questions to ask yourself before building a new website
- Why Do I Need a Website?
Lots of small business owners jump into getting a website built simply because others say they should have one. They are probably right but it’s important to know what a website can do for your business…and why it would be advantageous for your customers and clients. Make a quick bullet-point list of why you think you need a website and discuss this with your developer…it will help to provide some questions and answers for other things you need to ask.
- Will I build it myself or hire a developer?
Do I have the time to build it myself? Do I have the skills to build it myself? Also think about how much your time is worth. For example if your time is worth $50 an hour and it will take you 100 hours to build your site then it has effectively cost you $5,000. What seemed the ‘cheap’ option often isn’t as it seems. Also think about the stress and anxiety that may come with building it yourself.
- How much time do I have to commit to a new website project?
Even if you decide that you want to hire a developer you need to commit some time to the project. No-one will ever know your business better than you so you need to provide, content, images etc to populate the website with information and content. It won’t take as much time as if you built the whole thing yourself but there will need to be some input from you.
- What is my budget?
You need to realise that building a GOOD website that will work for your business costs money. It’s important to always look at this cost as an INVESTMENT in your business and not a dead-cost. It is tax-deductible but more importantly it will actually MAKE you money by providing more sales and leads for your business. Over time your website should provide what any investment does – ROI (Return on Investment). Your website should be able to ‘pay for itself’ within a set timeframe thus making it cost-neutral and a very sensible and logical investment into your business.
- What is the purpose of my new website?
Next, you will need to ask yourself – what do I want to use my new website for? Will it be for?
- Providing information
- Selling products
- Promoting your service-based business
- Are you trying to educate your audience which in turn will sell more of your products or services
- Do you want to entice people to come to your shopfront store, your restaurant, your dental practice etc
- Maybe it’s a mixture of all of these things – or something different
Whatever the purpose of your website – you need to understand what that is to achieve the best result.
- Who will visit my new website?
Or probably an even better question is…who do I WANT to visit my new website?
This is probably more of a marketing-type question…but one you should be asking NOW. Who is my audience, who are my target customers and clients? What sort of person is most likely to buy my products or services? If we know that upfront then we can build a new website that will be more compelling to the people who are your ultimate targets.
- What do I want my website visitors to do – once they find me online?
You will want them to love your new website for its appearance, ease-of-use, great functionality etc BUT what do you actually want them to do on there? This will be called your ‘Call-To-Action’. There may be one or many. Do you want them to purchase online? Do you want them to subscribe to your newsletter? Do you want them to fill out an enquiry form? This is a very important step in building your new website.
- Who will I hire to build my new website?
Depending on your answer to question 2…and most business owners will opt to hire a developer…it’s important to find the right one. I will cover this topic in a separate blog post but for now just think about the type of person / developer / agency that you would feel most comfortable partnering with to build your new website. That is exactly what it is – a partnership! Search for someone that you can talk freely with, someone who is compassionate and understanding to your needs and someone who just doesn’t see you and your business as an endless money-pit for them to profit from.