Dead on Arrival: The Mistake You Must Fix Before Ever Designing a Website

Dead on Arrival: The Mistake You Must Fix Before Ever Designing a Website

Last time we covered a very easy way for small businesses with websites to fix a simple mistake and make a lot more money. Since then I realized there is an even bigger mistake with a very simple solution that small business owners make before they even get their websites off the ground.

2 Parts of a Successful Website

Making money from the web boils down to 2 components: 1) Attracting an audience and 2) Having that audience enact your business plan.  The key component of this equation is that business plan as most successful websites have an architecture that ‘started with the end in mind.’

And that is the biggest error; Small Business Owners rarely start with a clearly defined goal on how a website design will gain them sales. Do that on a small and focused scale and watch your site succeed.

Lesson 1: Focus on the Desired Result

If you can envision your small business website creating that extra income from the web, a way can be found to make it happen. Examples for a photographer might be ‘My business will make money by A) selling photos on Smug Mug, B) offering engagement photos, or C) selling landscape portraits.

Many businesses will want to have multiple revenue streams. One important lesson I have learned is to aim for early success by targeting your favorite single item and then focusing like a laser on that goal. You can always build in more later but diffusing your efforts over a large spectrum generally does not lend itself to success. Whether or not you have success with that first endeavor you will have a host of great lessons learned that will make the next effort so much easier.

Lesson 2: You’re in your business, not the make the website pretty/awesome/cutting edge business

Another lesson that is contrary to a person selling web design services is that you don’t always need a ton of cutting edge technology. Good enough is, well, good enough. Think of how successful Apple has been with incremental delivery. They generally build something with minimal functionality and then use that success to fund and prioritize the next set of improvements. If you don’t have enough visitors to your website, does it matter if it has a drag and drop interface? Maybe it does but first make certain that the investment of your time or design budget is well spent. Perhaps getting more of the right visitors to your website and analyzing their actions once they are there will bear more fruit than upgrading the design.

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