Over time I have worked with folks who insisted on my building them a website before they had a clear action plan and goals for their business. The felt they needed a website “to get started” on their business, as if a website would generate income without figuring out ahead how people would find the site and what they would do when they got there.

I recently took two of those sites down.

Rich Ray Art Dolphins Sea & Sky
Photo credit: Rich Ray Art

If you are thinking of starting a new business, I recommend that you take the following steps prior to building your website:

First of all, a website is a marketing tool the same way a business card is. It won’t bring you business unless you work it. And “how to work your business” is what a business plan is all about. If you outline your business strategy ahead of time, you’ll have all your content ready to go when it’s time to build your site and start your social media accounts.

Write down your goals

What is the primary goal of your business? Write out your mission and why are you doing it? Describe your short and long term goals

Jot down for yourself why you’ll be successful in this business. What is your experience and background. What is different about your business than others in the same line of work. This will be helpful in writing your website content.

Who will you sell to?

Who is your ideal client? What is your target market? IS there a market for this product, or is it a great idea, but possibly not realistic?

Where will you find clients? Do you already have clients? Is anyone already paying you for the service/product/idea that you need a website for?

How will customers find you?

How will you drive traffic to the site? Will you be posting regularly to social media? Are you on social media now? Have you thought about an email marketing strategy and what content you could deliver?

What written content will be on the website? Describe your business and the key selling points. What are the calls-to-action? What do you want the users to do on your site?

Describe your product or service

If you are selling a product, what are the features and benefits? Has the product been manufactured or is it in the prototype phase?

If you are selling a service, how much will you charge? How much do you need to make to break even. At what point will you be making a profit? Run the numbers.

Check out the competition

Who is your competition? What makes you different? Why should a client or customer buy from you and not the competition? What does their website look like? What marketing are they doing? How will you compete and differentiate.

Do the research first

I’m excited you are starting a new business. I hope you will spend time doing the recommended research first to make sure you have a roadmap for success with a plan to help you accomplish your goals.

For more information on writing your business plan, check out:

https://www.score.org/resource/business-plan-template-startup-business

Quicksprout: How to write a Business Plan for your Startup

https://www.sba.gov/tools/business-plan/1

If you need coaching on any of the above, please get in touch. We can work together to set your goals, plan action steps, write content, and position you to have an awesome website and marketing platform for when your launch your new venture!