by Renee Kennedy
First, determine if a website will be a successful marketing tool.
If you are managing an off-line business (a construction company, a bookstore, a restaurant, or any company in the business of producing a product or service in real time) then trying to maintain and promote your own website is going to be a very difficult task.
Your energies must be concentrated on the day to day functions of making your business run. Marketing your business must be handled quickly and cost-effectively, usually by paying someone else to advertise (newspapers, phonebook, radio, magazine ads, brochures, etc.).
However, there are reasons why you would set up a website:
- If you have flexible resources, either an employee that you can dedicate to maintaining your website or an advertising budget to pay someone to promote and maintain your site, then setting up your own site could pay off.
- Also, if you are interested in a unique way to present information to perspective clients, a website may be an option. This type of website would not necessarily require online promotion. You could begin by promoting your site in your offline advertising. Eventually, you could start promoting online, as well. Basically, you start small and work your way to an effective online presentation.
Two types of online business:
- You are considering starting a business or have a business at present which deals in any way with the internet (computers or internet services such as hosting and web design).
- You are in the business of marketing other people’s products and services, then a website can be a cost-effective method of promoting your business.
In either of these “offline” instances – a website could be the primary way for you to market your products or services.
Developing and maintaining a website is a time consuming venture:
Whatever type of business you are in – you must realize that developing, maintaining, and promoting a website takes a lot of time and energy. In most cases, it’s not going to happen overnight. Think carefully before you venture to spend money on a website.
Ask yourself these questions:
- What is the main goal of my website? Am I trying to get sales or am I trying for a unique way to present my company?
- Do I have 20 hours a week to spend updating and promoting my site?
- Do I have the time to learn HTML or should I buy a program to help me develop my site?
- Do I have the money to spend on the tools that I will need to maintain and track my site?
- Do I have the knowledge to create graphics that will make my site look professional? Should I try to stay away from graphics if I don’t have that knowledge?
- Do I have an organized plan to promote my site? How much time will it take me to develop an organized plan?
These are only a few of the questions you should be asking yourself. Simply – sit down and think about it before you even attempt to develop a website.