Small Business Decision – Building the First Website or Getting Help
The debate of making a starter website for your small business or hiring someone often boils down to how confident a person feels about pulling off the task personally. Most startups and early small businesses don’t have the resident staff involved to do the work. If lucky, one of the initial partners involved has the web-building experience and takes on the task directly. However, what everyone realizes pretty quickly, regardless of being a café table bootstrap operation or a corporate design office, running a website competently can become a full-time job in itself.
Website Essence – You Need One
Very few businesses can operate successfully today without an online presence. Even those folks who function by word of mouth and reference still have to have some kind of online presence for people to reach them, especially new contacts out of the blue. Despite all the other new tools coming online, the Internet website continues to be one of the primary bread and butter presences on the Internet for a new business. The first place people go to find a business when they hear about it is online; the expectation is that there will be a corresponding website when they trigger the search. Having a reference on Facebook or similar doesn’t cut it.
DIY or Bring in a Contractor?
Arriving at the conclusion that a site is needed, then the question is, who’s going to do the work? It’s very easy to slip into the mode of just figuring it out. After all, how hard can it be to write a simple web page and install it with the thousands of templates available? In fact, a very basic, rudimentary page is not hard at all. Most folks can build one within about two to three hours. However, if your business wants to put a professional foot forward and not look like an amateur hour in web design class, then you’re going to need a lot more skill involved. Even folks who are well-versed in the matter will be the first to admit that a proper website takes work. It involves planning, message, and content design, structure, scripting, and maintenance. If your small business team is not adept at these components, there will be a learning curve that takes time.
Alternatively, a contractor who already understands how to produce professional websites is very doable. Many small businesses have gotten up and running in a few days with the same. But that takes capital and spending. It’s rare to find a professional outfit that will provide their service pro bono for a startup or small business breaking even. So, folks really have to consider the work as a long-term investment. Spend a bit now, borrow if need be, and put the right help into place to produce a professional website that produces results. The business then grows accordingly because 1) the company focuses on what it does best instead of trying to learn web design, and 2) it appears like a professional operation from the get-go with an initial impression.
Pick the Path to Your Advantage
Small business web design is a marketing tool at the end of the day, similar to placing advertising in newspapers and paying fees to have a table at industry conventions. Looking at it from this perspective, a website design should be taken care of in a similar fashion; hire the skill to do it right, and focus on what makes the business profitable overall. Unless you’re in the business of web design itself, most small businesses are better off focusing on what makes them successful with customers than trying to figure out how to layout a wireframe site and make PHP coding work properly. Go with your talent and use web design skills when you need them externally.