Business Owner: I need a web site.
We ALWAYS ask why, because too often businesses decide that they need a web site, but don’t have a detailed business case for it. They often don’t know what they want or why. Working out what it will cost is easy – just read the big number at the bottom of the quote. However, working out how long until your investment will take to be returned is usually unknown. How will this new site make you money? How will it make you more efficient? Why do you need a web site at all?
Building a quality web site of any kind is not a quick or inexpensive undertaking. Your web developer needs to know and understand your business intimately if you want them to build you a web site that actually grows your business.
I don’t know any CEO that would trust his company’s finances to his 18-year-old nephew because he is in his first year of a Bachelor of Accounting and works cheap. The same goes for a company web site. If it looks amateur, so do you. If it doesn’t reach the required audience, neither do you. If it doesn’t make you money … you can see where I am going with this.
There are thousands of ‘bedroom web designers’ who will design you a cheap site or slap together a Content Management System (CMS), but is that what you really want? Will it actively grow your business? Or will it sit stagnant in the enormous fetid swamp of cyberspace?
Often, a quick 3-4 page brochure site is all a business needs in order to give yellow pages prospects somewhere to validate that you are a real company before they call. A ‘bedroom web designer’ would be perfect in this situation, provided the site reflects the quality of your business. There are thousands of highly skilled self-employed web designers working out of their home office. And, if you find the right one, you can get a great site at a very cheap price.
But, if you want to build a site that becomes an active marketing tool by ranking well in search engines, collects valuable marketing data or manages other aspects of your business, then you should really find a developer that understands the intricacies of running a business and has a proven track record. A company that has project management and business systems in place is far more likely to get the job done well and on time and ensure your return on investment than a guy whose Mum answers the phone.Posted by Chris Garrett on 7 September 2006