What comes first: my business or my website?

February 7, 2018

What comes first? If you are reading this, you likely already have a business or business idea. And among the millions of things you need to do to be an entrepreneur, getting online is one of them.

So at what point do you decide to build your website?

Do you need to be in business first? Or do you need the website to open/grow your business?

The answer is not always so straightforward. It really depends. Every business is different.

When you should focus on your business first

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither should your website. Implementing a website is easy, but planning for it is harder. You really need to know what it is that you offer, who you serve, and what is it in for your client. You must clearly state the benefit of working with you – and you need to be clear on that yourself.

You can hire anyone to build your website (or do it yourself). But that investment would be better spent actually getting clear about your value proposition, building your business, and attracting your first client.

You might not be ready for a website (yet), if:

  • You are unsure of your ideal client (and you don’t have a niche)
    • If you don’t know who you are speaking to, how can you expect them to buy from you?
    • How do you know what their needs are? How will you communicate the value?
  • You haven’t determined your packages and pricing.
    • If you don’t quite know what you are selling, you will spin your wheels constantly revising your website.
  • You don’t have a plan to promote your business website.
    • No matter how fantastic your website looks, if you are not consistently promoting your business, no one will visit your website. You might get some traffic, but you’ll miss out on getting your ideal clients to your website.
    • Promoting your website consists of: including it on your printed materials, driving traffic to it from social media, producing high-quality blog posts and content, and having other websites link to it.

When you should build your website now

Social media can only take you so far. So when do you know it’s time to actually get a website?

I like to say: When you are fully committed to the business, not the idea of being in business. This means when you have an ideal client and have definitive products and services to offer. The level of time and monetary investment is wasted by the ‘wantrepreneur’. You might not have made a single sale, but if you are now willing to work every day on your business, you are definitely ready for a website.

Here are some of the criteria I look for when I take on new clients:

  • You are ambitious and motivated to make your business successful. (Quitting is not an option)
  • You have an active and engaged presence on social media.
  • You have a real market for your service.
  • People are already interested in buying from you, but you want your website to facilitate you in getting more leads.
  • You have a plan to actively promote your website.

… and if you already have a website …

Your website is never ‘finished’. Your website will need to grow and evolve with your business. The website that you started out with may no longer serve you now.

So how do you know when it’s time to uplevel? It’s simple: When you are getting fewer visitors to your website. When you’ve stopped promoting it due to irrelevancy. When it no longer represents your business in its current state.

This might be a project that you take on yourself as a busy entrepreneur, or this might be a project that you delegate to a professional. When determining your next step online, you need to decide how much time or money you want to invest and really consider your desired result.

In my next blog post, I’m going to talk about the pros and cons of building your own website.

As always, I’m here to talk to you about your next steps.  If you are still stuck trying to figure out what to do, contact me for a strategy call. Let’s spend 30 minutes together talking about your website, your online presence, and even your business goals.

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