Website Building

Website Building

On our wedding day, the pastor told us ” Life is like a computer” and at that stage we thought it was rather funny to make an analogy like that. However, more and more I am seeing that it is these kind of analogies that make people understand stuff and remember stuff. (and it has stuck in our minds)

 

So here is my analogy for the day/week/until another one pops up:  Taking your business online (the inter webs as some may call it) is like building a showroom/shop. (I am well aware I am not the first one to make this analogy, but thought it valuable enough to write down nonetheless)

Finding a suitable place:

  • The location – Is it close to your current/potential clients?
  • The place – is it easy to find and are there good roads leading up to it?
  • The showroom itself – Does it allow for growth whilst not being so big that you don’t have enough goods to fill it with?
  • The finishes – Is everything in order? No cracks, holes or untouched areas?
  • The people next door – Check them out, are they the kind of neighbours you can live with?
  • Rent/lease/buy – how long do you want to lock yourself in for, and are you ok with their T&Cs?

Ok, so say you’ve found the ideal place, you need to get it all ready for customers to come and admire your goods.

  • Shopfitting – you want credible guys to do the work for you, that have a good reputation in the industry. It must be solid so it lasts a long time, but allow for growth.
  • Display – best selling goods with the highest return in the most prominent spaces.
  • Space – you don’t want to overwhelm your customers with too much of everything you have to offer.
  • Staff – you want to hire good people, that understand your business, have the same passion and get that across to people.
  • Pretty – it must look pretty, a place your customers feel good in and want to come back to.

Now that everything is in place, you have to tell everybody you’re there.

  • Signage – You put up signage in the mall or location, telling people where to find you. If you’re in a mall or centre, you are going to demand they add you to the list of shops, so that everybody knows you’re there.
  • Shopfront – you want to tell people what you’re selling, and what is on special.
  • Staff – you give them branded clothing, so that people know they work for you and your brand.

So after a month, you want to know how well the business is doing:

  • Customer records – how many new customers have come through your doors, and have bought something from you?
  • Top sellers – what are the top selling’s products people are looking for?
  • Word of Mouth – are people telling their friends about your business and referring them to you?
  • Signage – is the signage that you put up working, or are people battling to find you?
  • Compliments/complaints – what has worked well and what hasn’t. Are there specific compliments or complaints that stand out?
  • Revenue – has your business done better since you’ve opened the store? Are you seeing an increase in sales/revenue?

Well, quite frankly, going online is exactly the same:

Finding a suitable place:

  • The location – will people remember the website address and if they type it in wrong, will they still find you?
  • The place – will people be able to access your site from every device, and every type of bandwidth they might be on? What if they get lost and search for you, will they be able to find you?
  • The site itself – does it allow you to build on to the basic structure, can you easily add more information and products to it?
  • The finishes – Does the site work on every browser and are there no errors in the code
  • The people next door – If you’re going to advertise or list your business, do you like the listings next, under and above yours?
  • Rent/lease/buy – using an agency, how much control do you want them to have? And what rights have you got if you want to move on?

Decorating / building the place:

  • Building the website – you want credible guys to do the work for you, that have a good reputation in the industry. It must be solid so it lasts a long time, but allow for growth.
  • Display – best selling goods with the highest return in the most prominent spaces.
  • Space – you don’t want to overwhelm your customers with too much of everything you have to offer.
  • Staff – you want to hire good people, that understand your business, have the same passion and get that across to people.
  • Pretty – it must look pretty and work for the customer, a place your customers feel good in and want to come back to.

Online signage:

  • Signage – How are people going to find your website? Are there specific places (like Google) you need to put advertising on to make sure they know who you are and what you have to offer?
  • Shopfront – This is your home page. You want to tell people what you’re selling, and what is on special.
  • Staff – every staff member represents your brand, including what they do in their own personal time if it is made clear that they work for you.

Measuring the success of the place:

  • Customer records – how many new customers have come to the website, and have bought something from you?
  • Top sellers – what are the top selling’s products people are looking for?
  • Word of Mouth – are people telling their friends about your business and referring them to you?
  • Signage – is the signage that you put up working, or are people battling to find you?
  • Compliments/complaints – what has worked well and what hasn’t. Are there specific compliments or complaints that stand out?
  • Revenue – has your business done better since you’ve opened the site? Are you seeing an increase in sales/revenue?

When building the shop/showroom, if you leave any of the steps out, you will find that it might not be as big a success as you had hoped for. The same goes for online. If you leave any of the parts out, and do not measure what you have put in place, you will probably find that the digital space is not really working out for you. And unfortunately, this happens too often and businesses give up. And it is not a matter of digital not working for them,  it is a matter of digital not being implemented correctly.

 

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