I hear this a lot.
In the past, I’ve worked with folks who insisted on my building them website before they had a clear action plan and goals for their business.
I recently took two of those sites down.
If you are thinking of starting a new business, I recommend that you take time to do the following prior to spending money on a website
First of all, your 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.
I don’t recommend you build a website until you’ve done at least some (or most) of the following footwork.
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. This will be helpful in writing your about page.
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 do their website look like? What marketing do they do? 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: