No, you don’t need an amazing website when you first set up in business!
There I said it. I can almost feel the collective sharp intake of breath! How dare a self-taught techie say you don’t have to have a website for your start-up business!
How many thousands of website designers have I now managed to antagonise with those 3 little words?!
Reasons for not Needing a Website
Here are my reasons why you don’t need a website when you are first starting up in business, and then a couple of reasons why you do need a website once you get going.
You’re starting up and:
- You don’t know what comes first, product/service, business plan, survival income plan, logo, business cards, website, social media accounts, and social media pages/groups, or flyers or something else for your marketing
- You have no real idea of the cost of your website and what you want and need on it in order to sell your service or product
- You are transitioning from offering services/products to friends and family and as you are transitioning to a business they are still expecting freebies, and they offer those to their friends so now all of a sudden to be in business is you’re giving stuff away for free without realising it happened and now you need to get onto the path of payment!
- You are caught up in the idea of all the new online shiny objects that your business apparently needs, so you’re haring off looking for the best tools and who the best website designer might be and so spending little time on your service and product or those who might be interested in it.
- Or you head straight to the ready-made website builders and think this is enough, only to discover that they start charging higher fees for their add-ons that you need sooner than you think
- You’re persuaded to invest in things that when you get into your new business you realise that actually it’s not essential for your start-up and establishing yourself.
- The communication between your new website designer and you and your business needs is nebulous so you’re paying for things you either don’t need yet or are not fit for purpose
- Tech gives you the hebegeebies and it’s safer to give it all to someone else than get involved, and you’re paying out loads each month, but you’re not getting visibility or traction but you daren’t stop paying out as it means nothing will happen but you’re wondering what the tech person actually does and what progress you’re making or how to actually measure the results of any progress
- Tech feels like it needs to come with a plain English dictionary so that you can understand what is meant by many of the terms wafted about
So that’s why you don’t need a website just yet.
Now that’s not to say that you’ll never have a website, it just means that you need to really get your foundations in place first then you can begin to create a structure around your business that supports you rather than drains you.
When you have things in place for establishing your business and you’ve gained some momentum from friends and family as to your services and products, and you’ve seen some success perhaps on your social media, or other platforms like Etsy, or Udemy, or Thinkific, then that’s the time to get your website created.
Plus two of the most under-rated but super important aspects to your website are not your products or services. It’s not your lovely-looking pages or online booking system. It’s not your considerable skills and talents and letters after your name that you’ve highlighted to your reader.
No, it’s none of those.
Number 1 -it’s your client/customer. It’s who they are and why they’d come to you. It’s their pain point and how you solve it. Exactly who is your client/customer and how do you serve them? And when you create your website you have to talk to your clients and demonstrate how you know, understand and solve their pain points, not give them a resume of you across all of your website.
Number 2 – it’s good SEO for your new website. If you don’t know who you’re serving then you can’t identify who you want to target and show to them that you can help them. And if you don’t SEO your website then kiss goodbye to any visitors to your website. They will simply be unable to find you unless you take on the mammoth task of trying to outwit social media algorithms that change like the weather.
Then there are some other reasons:
3. You look professional and credible.
4. You are able to showcase how you serve your client and cement this with testimonials to show your authority and knowledge of what you.
5. You move through the ‘know, like, trust’ customer journey as they have a virtual space to locate what you offer, how, and what your policies and practices are.
6. It’s a long-term game of success as your clients are used to seeing your website and it’s your space – your island- to develop, showcase, build and interact. It also means your business is more sustainable, especially so in this Post-Covid climate and what we saw for small businesses during lockdowns.
7. Unlike social media, you actually own the content on your website!
And there are even more reasons -just have a read here!
When a No Becomes a Yes
So if you’re starting up in business I’d suggest you begin at the very beginning. Get out and about, show up online and face to face networking. Find out exactly your clients’ pain points and how you solve this for them.
Think about what language they use to describe their pain points and see how you can weave this into your website then start thinking and creating the copywriting. Then think about one thing you can show up for consistently and nurture it, test out that language and see if you get people responding. Once you’ve got people asking about where to get your services/products then is time to think about your website. And don’t be fooled into thinking that just because it looks pretty people will flock to it. You have to give them a reason to visit! So that blog you were thinking of writing? Do it. That video you were thinking of creating? Do it.
Get great value on your website that people love and want to return to. But remember to focus it to who your customers are- better ‘few and frequent’ than ‘wide and nice but not interested’!
And don’t get side-tracked by the shiny objects- chart a path and stick to it. Get advice from those who are a few steps ahead and have done the hard work creating the path. Get confident and start carving out your own path.
And then go get your website!