When to Build a Website for a New Business

The answer to when you should build a website is simple. Now.

You’re going to want to have your website up far in advance of opening your doors. You can use your website to generate interest in your grand opening which will put you at a strong advantage when you do open your doors for business. Also, when you open your doors, you’re going to be focused on a lot of things that go into running a new business. Anything you can prepare ahead of time is helpful so that you can focus your attention on the most important areas of running your new business.

Before You Open

Before you open your business, you should have a solid website and branding in place. This is going to help you promote who you are and give you credibility in the eyes of the people you want to be doing business with. You’re going to want to have a professional email address (yourname@yourdomainname.com), a logo, and a website up. You can direct people to these assets to build interest and promote an opening, or a launch of a new service.

You’ll most likely want to start looking around for a designer to link up with. They’ll be able to walk you through your brand design, web design, and perhaps print design (business cards, letterhead, package design, etc). You could try to do these things on your own (We have a guide for how to build a website on your own if you want to give it a shot – The No Bull$#*! Guide to Building a Website on Your Own), but it will probably show through in your work, and customers might not take you as seriously.

Depending on the designer, the process to design a brand and a website could take anywhere from two weeks to two or three months. You’ll want to ask your designer what their timeline looks like. If you want to launch two months before you open and your designer is going to need two months to create everything for you, you’ll want to start at least four months before you plan to open your doors for business.

2-3 Months before Open

Your website and branding should definitely be wrapped up a couple months before opening. This will leave you plenty of time to network, gearing up for the open. You can make connections, show you’re legitimate, and start generating that interest and on-boarding new clients and customers. Your branding and website will be crucial components in how people perceive your business. How well your brand is aligned with your audience and how well your website outlines and describes what you do will help shape the opinion of how credible your customers think you are.

Opening Time

When your business opens, you’ll primarily be focused on making sales and delivering the product or service. Your time will be spent getting deals in place and delivering on those deals. Your time will be very precious, and you’ll probably not want to spare a lot of time working on creative like your brand and website, because you’ll be focused on running your business and dealing with day-to-day demands of operations. If you wait until you open to start work on your website or branding, you’ll really be stacking up everything you need to be focused on. Even if you can handle it all at once, the quality of the outcome of your website and branding will probably suffer from your divided attention. It’s better to get on it and have it all set ahead of time than to wait until your attention is spread thin running a new business.

But I’m Already Busy! I have tons of orders! Do I still need to build a website?

It’s always better to be generating more interest in your services and be over-capacity than it is to have less. Besides, you can always scale up by hiring new employees, or re-structuring how you make and deliver your service to meet demands. You may be missing out on more growth opportunity by not having an online presence or proper branding. Just remember, at any time you can throttle back how much you’re taking on. Think about it this way:

You can’t make the phone ring when you want it to, but you can always take the phone off the hook.

Having more interest than you can handle is always better than not having enough interest. Stay ahead of it and you’ll keep growing as fast as you like!

 

 

How to choose the best keywords (for non-experts)

All of our clients get the same advice when we build web applications or websites for them. We call it the “Field of Dreams” conversation.

Just because you build it, doesn’t mean they’ll come.

Meaning, just because you build an awesome website doesn’t mean that you’ll suddenly be flooded with traffic. You have to get people there first. How do you get them there? Business cards with your web address on them, networking, print advertisements, and SEO (Search Engine Optimization). There are two kinds of SEO: Paid SEO (paid search engine optimization or PPC, also referred to as pay-per-click) and Organic SEO (organic search engine optimization). This article will focus on the very basic essentials that you’ll need to get started with organic seo, that is, ranking on pages for free with Google or other search engines because you have a page they find relevant on the subject.

 

Continue reading “How to choose the best keywords (for non-experts)” »

Ask the Expert: Five Things to Consider When Choosing a Web Host

Ask the Expert is a blog series dedicated to answering your questions regarding entrepreneurship in the digital age.

Selecting a web host isn’t easy if you haven’t done it before. With a multitude of providers ranging from your own web design company to GoDaddy’s monstrous hosting system, navigating the world of web hosting can be tricky. In order to ensure you’re thinking about the best case scenario for your company rather than merely following the pack, here are some suggestions for things to watch out for when entrusting a company to keep you online:

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Ask the Expert: How Technology Has Changed the Realm of Business

Ask the Expert is a blog series dedicated to answering your questions regarding entrepreneurship in the digital age.

With technological advances happening at a faster pace every day, businesses need to dedicate more time to researching technological advances that can be used for their company. Even the simple choice of switching to a new project management software can increase productivity by significant margins, making the participation of leadership in companies to chase down what technology to use all the more critical.

Continue reading “Ask the Expert: How Technology Has Changed the Realm of Business” »

How To Engage Social Media Effectively as a Business

The short answer is: use it regularly. Obvious, eh?

Since we know you’re going to want the long answer, we suggest you strap in and work through understanding your audience, providing value up front for free, and taking care to spend your time wisely.

Continue reading “How To Engage Social Media Effectively as a Business” »

How To Get The Most Out of your Web Designer

Web design is a specialty service.  There is a lot of training and experience that is required before someone can produce significant results in web design.  Results can be measured in traffic, sales, engagement, and functionality just to name a few.

So how do you know if you’re getting the most out of your web designer?  We’ve written this article to give you some tips if you are currently working with a web designer so that you might feel a little more comfortable when you start the web design process.

Quick Web Design Lingo Reference Sheet:

Web Designer: Someone who designs your website.  This is the person that will work in Photoshop, or some equivalent software to create the ‘look and feel’ of your website.

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Mobile Apps vs Mobile Responsive Web Applications

Mobile apps are a powerful way to connect with your market, collect data on your clients, and provide service to your clients on a new platform.  But what is a mobile app, exactly?

Essentially, a mobile app is a computer program that runs on a smartphone, tablet, or mobile device.  They’re made available through marketplaces like Google Play, or Apple’s App Store, for instance.  These platforms now run on cloud-based solutions, meaning if your phone gets run over by a truck or if you drop it in the water, you can get a new phone, log in, and automatically get all of your apps re-installed.

icloud restore

When you set up a new iOS device or need to restore information on one you already have, your iCloud backup makes it easy.

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How Much Does A Website Cost?

We get this question a lot.

How much does a website cost?

It’s a fair question.  But we re-phrase it back to our potential clients so they can clearly understand what they’re asking.

Well, that’s like asking how much a house costs… it depends…

It’s not surprising that it’s the first question asked, and it’s not surprising that it’s not that simple to answer.

We’ll go on to help our clients understand what it depends on and what their options are before committing to investing in web development work.  Since we do this often, we thought it’d be helpful to share with all of you so that you’re better equipped if you’re going to go shopping for digital development or graphic design services.

First, no matter what you’re looking for, you’re going to have some basic costs.  Let’s go over them quickly. Continue reading “How Much Does A Website Cost?” »

Copying Mail by IMAP To Google Apps (Or another server)

If you just want the goodies step by step scroll to the bottom of this post.

SO.  There I was, migrating mail from one legacy server to Google Apps.  I’m familiar with IMAP and POP3, but I wasn’t getting very far using Office 365 and Google’s User Sync tool to get the mail imported.  The furthest I could get was getting the labels to add programmatically through the sync tool.  However, no mail would transfer with it.

After some experimenting, I found a solution at the time of this post that is confirmed to work that I hope other administrators might find helpful. Continue reading “Copying Mail by IMAP To Google Apps (Or another server)” »

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