My Dad is an old school entrepreneur. He doesn’t even own a computer. He runs his transport business from the front of his truck, with his phone and his invoice book. He doesn’t believe he needs a website.
When we think about it, my dad is right. A website wouldn’t contribute to big improvements in his business. For the past eight years he built a great business without a website or even a business card. And for the next eight years, I cannot see why he would drastically need one.
When he has to spend his money on marketing, there are more effective ways to spend his hard earned marketing budget. An ad in the local newspaper or a banner at a livestock auction would give much better ROI than a website. In fact, his clients are farmers. Most of them spend their days in the veld, not on Facebook.
A web developer discouraging people to get a website? By reading this far, the question might have popped into your head, “Why do you, a web developer and website teacher, encourage people not to have websites?”
That is a valid question and there are a couple of reasons.
First of all, there are lots of frustrations surrounding the Internet. If you determine beforehand that your business will be okay without a website, then you made a wise choice. You immediately saved some frustrations. You also will spend your money on marketing methods that worked in the past.
Another reason is that a website is not the silver bullet that will solve all your marketing problems. It is one more tool in your toolbox to attract new clients or to serve your existing clients.
By telling people that they won’t greatly benefit from a website, is adding more value than to sell them something that won’t help them.
This brings us to the point where you can start thinking about it, before you make an expensive and frustrating decision.
Determine your situation
How did your business grow until now? What did you do for marketing? How did it work for you?
What is your target market’s decision making process? What actions (steps) do they take before they buy your product or service? Do they do intensive research to find the best suitable product and the most trustworthy supplier or do they buy on impulse?
Where do your clients take out their wallet – at retail till points, in their living room, in your office?
Do your business plan shows you that going online is the next step in growing your business?
Would the information on your website send more people or better qualified people to you? Would you make things easier for your sales people or your client support desk? Would you like to sell your products over the internet? Do you own intellectual property that you can sell and distribute over the internet, instead of in hardcopies?
Evaluate your strategy
I know it’s a lot of questions. These questions are designed to get you thinking, before you buy a website you don’t want or won’t use.
Don’t phone the guy around the corner or around the world just yet. Rather get clarity about your particular situation. Make sure that getting a website is the absolute best way to spend your marketing budget. Only then can you start the process to get a website.
My Dad’s stubbornness paid off. By being a little thick headed, he knew better than me about what is good for his business and what won’t pay off. This way he saved the frustrations of working with a nerdish guy like me.