Need A Website For Small Business? Where Should You Start
Posted by Sandeep Sharma
When you have a fantastic business idea in your mind, you’re enthusiastic to implement it as soon as possible. In order to sell your products/services online, the first thing you’ll need is a professionally designed website that can reach to target customers and bring potential traffic almost instantly.
Whether you need an online store or a restaurant website, there is countless number of small businesses on the web to take ideas from.Even if you don’t know anything about the web, coding or design, you can always establish a small online business by consulting a full-service digital agency that can help you with everything from custom website design to development, digital marketing to ecommerce solutions and conversion optimization to analytics.
Keeping in mind that it’s your first time and you might be confused where you should start from, we’ve put together this blog to let you know how you can begin with developing an online brand from scratch without wasting time, money and efforts in all the unnecessary stuff. For your convenience, we’ve listed all the important things in a sequence as we know that an effective website is the cornerstone of a small business
Analyse the market, strategise your business idea and formulate a detailed business plan around your goals
As a small business entrepreneur, you need to first carry out a thorough competition analysis so as to clearly define the market you’re targeting and accordingly position your website strategy to make it garner the desired ROI as soon as you launch it. Become familiar with all the aspects of the market you’re in and strategise your business idea in sync with what your customers/clients are seeking out. This will make sure that you already have a ready market for the products/services you’re going to offer and thus you’ll be pretty much confident that you’re going in the right direction right from the start.
Next, you need to formulate a detailed business plan around your goals – both short term and long term while estimating the budget that you’re going to invest.
Below, I’ve defined 4 aspects of creating a successful business plan that you must keep in mind while formulating a business plan for your website.
- Identify the need your business fulfils by rethinking the purpose of your website before launching.
- Recognize how your business is unique and outline a website model that showcases the exceptional services you offer and unparalleled products you have to sell. It is important that you distinguish yourself from the rest of the crowd before your audience does.
- Know the size of your market so as to estimate your profit potential aka ROI
- Estimate budget for ideal promotional strategies beforehand and breakdown your revenue streams.
Choose the right domain name to complement your business idea
Your name is your unique identity and hence choosing the right domain name is the next big step while setting up your business website. This is because if you figure out that later you’re running your website with a domain name that fails to complement your business idea, you’ll encounter difficulties in transferring your website to new URLs(considering the potential SEO losses along with the brand reputation). You might wonder that most of the small to medium business site, especially those who are in the top 10 in SERPs achieve topmost placements on search engines because of the branded keywords and the reason that their domain name syncs with their brand.
Below I’ve shared some tips that might help you while choosing a domain name for your business –
- Make a list of multiple domain names that might match your brand keeping in mind the business you’re in and the products/services you have to offer.
- Always choose a domain name that is self-explanatory so that people are not confused while relating your brand value with your name.
- Make sure you’re not infringing copyrights
- Always register your domain name for the maximum period and also buy related domain names to avoid any issues with someone else stealing your business idea.
- Extensions (.com, .org,.net) also matter. Analyse the purpose of your business and then choose a domain name accordingly. Don’t just rush while booking a domain.
Design like a PRO – Communicate your brand message with a professional logo that syncs with your brand’s value proposition
Logo is your opportunity to earn brand recognition and represent your corporate identity. Make sure you don’t end up going in wrong direction while designing a logo. In this phase, we strongly recommend availing services from a creative web design agency where design & usability experts also understand your business goals and believes in syncing your brand’s value proposition with the logo design.
An effective logo design is the one that aims to make your brand recognizable and perceives a company’s commercial brand or economic entity in the same market niche. With an eye-catching logo design, you’ll also need a distinctive tagline that reflects your corporate identity.
Here are some tips to get you going in the right direction and come up with a professional logo-
- Examine what your business offers and what all logos your competitors are using in the same business niche.
- Decide what your logo needs to represent and explain the idea to your designer
- Think about the customer’s perception while deciding font, color and image.
- Create a few different logos and compare samples of your desired logo before finalizing with one.
Keep an eye on future needs –Select and implement a flexible & stable Content Management System
After setting up a professional logo, your topmost priority should be to think about choosing a flexible & stable content management system. If you’re running a service based business, you can opt amongst some of best open source content management systems including WordPress, Drupal or Joomla. But in case you’re running an ecommerce business or any other product based business, you can opt for hosted as well as non-hosted CMS like Magento CE, Magento EE, Prestashop, Shopify, BigCommerce and other popular CMS available in the market, depending upon the size of your business.
But, remember before you proceed with implementing a CMS, you should know what features you need to look for in a Content Management system. Here are some characteristics your CMS must possess for effective content management –
- Single Source Functionality for maximum content reuse
- Bi-directional Link Management for automated tracking of content
- Multichannel Publishing in multiple media formats
- Easily Flexible, Configurable and Extensible CMS for smooth customization
- Authorized access control
While deploying a content management system, you may require extending the functionality of the CMS you’re using. If you’re not sure how your CMS can support a wide array of plugins/extensions, I recommend you must avail content management services from a focused digital agency that can help you in implementing a CMS power packed with all the essential features & functionalities your business website needs. Try your hands on every platform before you set up a CMS to update your site. Don’t forget to keep in mind the maintenance costs and evaluate the additional time and efforts required when you’re planning to do everything in-house.
After you set up your business website and go live with it, you’ll need customizations for the following three things that are extremely crucial especially when you’re just starting out.
1.Leads–Generating leads is the topmost priority when you establish your online entity for the first time. Make sure your website is appealing enough to draw attention to the CTAs you’ve used at the unique selling points of your website.
2.Traffic–The biggest concern for small business websites is gaining potential traffic that can convert to customers. For this we recommend you to add social sharing buttons and spend on Google Ad platform. Once you start getting traffic, you may or may not need to spend on PPC ads. But initially, it is important to figure out some tactics that can bring traffic to your website.
3.Sales–Whether you’re selling a product or a service through your small business website, try to put everything front and center while deciding CTAs and unique selling points apart from “add to cart” buttons and social integration buttons.
With all the above things in mind, be sure you’ve accurately evaluated your business’s needs before you take a final decision, may it be for CMS, plugins, features or additional services; don’t be just limited to who builds your site and which platform is used to customize the look and functionality. Right level of support will help you sale through your projects easily and quickly. Good luck with implementing your fantastic business idea.