The contents of a business plan changes with time and technological advances. The to-do list used to contain items that ranged from establish budget to design a logo, with quite standard items in-between. A new addition today has to be “develop website.” This addition potentially re-orientates things quite a bit.
The advent of the website has caused some businesses to completely change the way they do business, or can be pointed to as the reason an establishment had to go out of business. A stark example is found in comparing Amazon.com and Borders Book Store. So while previously the plan to design a logo was the most technologically oriented concern with creating brand recognition, the website has given it a whole new meaning. Obviously then, delving into every aspect of website development is very necessary, especially if you are in a competitive business.
As the Amazon-Borders example demonstrates, understanding how to get the most from the website you develop is key to business survival. There is no getting around the fact that people everywhere depend more and more on the Web in some way in practically every aspect of life. Here then are just a few thoughts on considerations in making that website the indispensable lifeline between the outer world and the entity behind that business plan you propose.
Assess the potential:
Consider having a professional assess the best uses of a website for your business. If not at the top at least keep it on the list of things to do. Meanwhile, look at websites of businesses that offer services or products similar to yours. Of course, you want to be at least on par with what you find. Successfully exceeding in your business starts with a vision. If you see a way to provide a better, more satisfying experience to potential converts to your business, you’d better at least check out the feasibility of it. It is the equivalent of being in a game where every player is constantly aiming to score, and ultimately to be crowned victorious over all others. Compare this to moving conceptually from designing a logo, to designing a website, which has a “zoom out” effect as opposed to moving to the next step. Since it carries that kind of weight, great consideration must be given to the level of expertise involved with every phase of its development.
DIY web design or custom?
Expertise ranges from a team of web professionals to an out of the box, do-it-yourself software. The ability to confidently do it yourself is to be applauded. Note the word expertise. Very careful thought should be given to taking the learn-by-doing approach where establishing a web presence is concerned. There would be much to learn, even for the simplest project, at much risk to the reputation, or very success of the business. So if you are at the “blog publishing” level of expertise, consider a jump start to your online presence with an active blog that conveys the very essence of your business. Then watch with pride as your website branches out from this root you have created.