One of the first questions that we ask our new clients is what is your average customer worth in profit to your business?
That helps us to frame the value of increased sales, usability, services offered or automated functions, etc. At least to some extent, to the business owner.
We humans tend to think that cheaper = better. Or, at least better for our pocketbooks. Certainly better for the short term.
And when buying every day items this can often be true.
But when it comes to building a website for your business there are several other considerations that need to factor into the decision.
This website will be serving the needs of multiple groups of people and unlike other items you might buy for your business, your web presence is going to have more of an effect on your bottom line than almost anything else.
After all, this is not a toaster, so we need to think of the site in terms of it’s usefulness, ability to generate or secure sales, streamline customer support, etc. But at the same time you want to make sure you are getting real value for what spend.
So, let’s break down the components of the website itself into three very important categories. Once you have the answers to these questions and a little clearer vision it should help in how you determine a budget for a website development project.
Want Versus Need
Are you on a really super-tight budget? If so, this is the most important one. Hands down.
Quality copywriting. Don’t underestimate the importance of this one. You need to have in place, first and foremost – The absolute best presentation/explanation/demonstration of your core business and its products or services.
Visitors to your site make decisions and form impressions in seconds. They need to see and understand your value proposition and they need to trust you.
Because when they leave – they rarely come back, so do not underestimate this part.
Do you have good photos?
When selling a physical product, the larger, higher resolution and the more photos that you have the better.
Even if you are not selling a physical product, great photos of your office, staff or a portfolio of work are a must.
With modern smart phones and a steady hand with good light – this is an easy one.
So, assuming you have covered the items above and not missed them first, then you can begin to explore the wishlist items.
Without a great presentation of what you offer from the start you are already in trouble.
Value To Your Business
At the end of the day focusing on things that will solve the biggest problem for your business or lead to increased revenue for your business have to be kept top of mind.
Those are typically fall into one of these general categories.
- Directly selling from the website
- Any engagement with your company (phone calls, newsletter subscriptions, facebook likes, emails, comments on your blog etc.)
- Enabling the support of existing customers
The items above consolidate potentially hundreds of different methods and strategies as to how they are achieved into three small bullet points, but take the time to think through the various ways that you can add value to the customer experience.
Because that almost always leads to increased revenue.
Return On Investment
Considering some of the items above you should be thinking more at this point of the website as a strategic investment as opposed to an expense.
As I asked earlier – what is your average customer worth in profit to your business?
Keep this in mind because depending on the value of one customer to your businesses bottom line can often negate any savings achieved on the initial cost of the website development.
The team that is building your site needs to be not just great web designers, but marketers too. The goal of the site is not a shiny brochure but a strategic component of structured sales process.
Thinking through this process from a user perspective will help you develop a well built, user-structured, scalable and responsive website will easily pay for itself over and over again.