Starting a new company from the ground up can be incredibly exhilarating and brings the potential for huge personal and financial rewards. At the same time, however, it can also be stressful and time-intensive and require lots of tough decision-making and weighing of different priorities.
It's that last part of the equation that we want to focus on today, since entrepreneurs and business startup clients often have a hard time formulating a good web strategy. On the one hand, they have no customers or market reputation to start with, so it's natural for them to want to begin with an online marketing blitz. On the other hand, they have limited resources to work with and little margin for error.
How can you start bringing those two sides of the same coin together and come up with a business website that's sharp, efficient and cost-effective? Here are five great pieces of advice, based on our years of experience, for new entrepreneurs:
1. Invest in quality. By far, the biggest web design mistake new businesses make is going for the cheapest option, instead of the one that represents the right long-term value. You only get one chance to launch your company and make the right public impression, so it's important to concentrate on quality, credibility and marketing impact. In other words, while it's hard to do start strong on paper-thin budgets, your website is a critical investment affecting the future chances of your business’s success.
2. Focus your efforts and energy. It's understandable that new business owners want to do everything at once, but a better strategy is to figure out which parts of your website and Internet marketing plan are most likely to work right away, and then focus your energy on those pieces. You can always add more elements to your site or plan later, but you don't want to spread your budget and other resources too thin in the first few months or years.
3. Look before you leap. Some of the most important business web design and marketing work is done before a website is ever launched, or even outlined. That's because research into your customers, competition and overall market can pay huge dividends later. The more you know about other sites, important search phrases, etc., the easier it's going to be to build a winning site and Internet marketing plan.
4. Use the right time perspective. Waiting for Internet marketing results can be tricky; you shouldn't expect people to rush to your site and start opening accounts or placing orders from the first moment, but you don't want to keep pushing a losing campaign forward month after month either. Expect to see incremental improvement from one month to the next, and keep your focus on the long term.
5. Get good advice. Because entrepreneurs tend to be busy and overwhelmed and are typically "big picture" types of thinkers, it's important that they have experienced marketing partners on their side. Remember that when choosing your creative team. Don’t just find someone with good design skills, but look for people with the experience and perspective you need.
For most companies, and especially brand-new ones, a strong business website is the cornerstone of a successful marketing and public relations effort. So, follow these tips to get the most from your money, and you'll stand the best chance of making an immediate and profitable impact on the market.
Want advice for your particular startup company? Call or email a member of our team today and ask for a free consultation.