3 Stages of website evolution for start-ups

Hello entrepreneurs I’ve come today to talk to you about common mistakes that normally befall start-ups when it comes to building their websites. From my two decades of web design and marketing experience I’ve noticed that when companies are setting up they do a lot of things to just tick the box then later when they are a bit establish come back to redo the things they have already done. This is mainly due to lack of funds and or lack of a brand strategy.

We all understand what it means to have limited funds to cater for all your business start-up needs, so I won’t dwell too much on that. For those with limited funds you can check out our programs we set up to help people in your situation. There is a 4 client per month limit so feel free to join the waiting list.

Stage 1 Brochure website

This is a default for many, as they just want something up because their competition has a website or they want a more visual version of their company profile so people can just look and see that they are alive a well, lol. This website is built for presence just to show that we have a business, to display services and our location. For the most part, many entrepreneurs do really have a strategy that if informing what they are doing they are simply going through the motions. They don’t know why they are getting a website or what return it is supposed to have on the business or how they will measure the success. It’s simply one of those things every business should have and as a result it just becomes a business expense. for this reason many people believe websites are a waste of time and they don’t have any business relevance, for this reason i invite you to subscribe to this website as i will show you first-hand how to use a website to drive revenue growth.

Stage 2 Business website

So the company is done with setting up and has been operating for some time and has a bit of cashflow, they are no longer finding their feet they have a formula for success and want grow their customer base. And someone convinces them that they can get that via online means and the website audit reveals that their website is not PPC ready, its slow, the navigation is a mess and has a variety of things that need to be fixed. In normal cases they need a website rebuild and are going to invest more money on top of what they have already spend for the brochure site. Sometimes they even need to upgrade their hosting plan to be effective at this level of online marketing. If they are don’t have a long term marketing plan as with most start-ups they are going to skit critical steps and will find themselves rebuilding again when their service provider fails to deliver on his promises. Why? Because they are treating service providers as commodities and not specialist services and the service providers end up competing on price instead of competing on the value their website will bring to the company. The correct approach is to as what is the problem I want to solve with my website and how will I measure it at what intervals. This will automatically rule out web designers and developers with just the web building skill and will force the company to seek out online marketing firms with branding, online marketing and technical skills enough to ge the job done. And at this point the discussion is no longer about finding the best price it becomes about finding a skilled form which aligns to your values because it’s no longer a once of project but a long term contract with people who share the same values and you get along with fine because you are cut from the same cloth and you can’t put a price on that.

This stage normally include things like content marketing and SEO, social media marketing and Paid ads for lead conversion and nurturing. These things are not short term and will need you to get into long term contracts to reap the benefit of your investment. It’s not about the number of pages at this stage its about solving your problem and the tools to employ will vary from sector to sector. So a business website is more on the function side, collecting data, automations, user experience and real time response just to name a few things and it will almost always overspill into social media and sometimes Apps. At this stage you find you cant operate without a brand strategy and a digital plan that ties together everything you are doing on and offline.

Stage 3 ecommerce website

The business is going well or has stagnated and you need to tap into new markets to remain competitive. Online expansion is often the faster and more affordable rout to test new markets and can give you insight into the feeling of a location before you invest in setting up shop in the target location. If you were not deliberate in your plan the past 2 stages you will probably be creating another site, forking out more funds at this stage to have an online store so you can sell to a wider audience.

Selling online is great in that you get paid upfront before you deliver the product or service  and it runs 24/7. Very few companies move into this space yet it’s the one which has the capacity to give you a perpetual return on your investment. When businesses set up to do ecommerce they need to understand that you need to set up the system fist before you build the website as the success. First you need an affordable delivery system which allows you to deliver goods timely and safely, next you need an internal system of how you manage the store and handle orders from start to finish and lastly you need a capable fast and easy to navigate amongst other things.

The Image Inq approach

We have worked with so many companies over the years who have spent more than they needed to for failure to understand the problem their website was coming to solve. Many have missed out on online opportunities due to seeking out deals and quick fixes at the expense of doing things the right way.

Here at Image Inq we solve problems with online tools as opposed to being a website creation company that just makes nice things. Our mission is to enhance your business and make you more profitable, we engage the client to find pain points and their solutions and we love to deliver more than is expected.

But for those who just want a website and have no long term plans we will also service you. Our preference however is to find out,-

  1. What the pain point is you want a website to solve
  2. How success will be measured
  3. Timelines those pain points should be solved

And from these we do a

  1. brand strategy to find out who we are targeting, visual language, tone of voice and brand guide to use on all your communication across online platforms etc
  2. website built to brand all copy, imagery, tools brought together to provide a visually simulation site that is both user friendly and effective in its mandate.
  3. Long term online marketing plan and its deliverables.

If we can do this for a client we are confident that the client will reach their goals and give us good reference. We hope to work with you on your next project. Give us a call bellow and don’t forget to leave a comment or question bellow.

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