The New Start Scotland Event comes each year during November at the SECC in Glasgow and is a well attended annual event.
OnlineXcellence is a brand service product of ICTADVISOR LTD an Internet Marketing Company based in Fife who during 2012 gave support to one of our Ecommerce Web Design partners who had a stand at the show and currently look after websites such as Ultimo Bra and Showerdoc both of which have become their successful flagship sites.
Every year at the New Start Scotland event you are always going to find a variety of both national and Scottish based web developers offering to build a website for your business. who are targeting those who are newbies in setting up their first business venture. With the amount of business owners who attend this event in Glasgow you are left in no doubt there is enough website design work and many seeking to engage with companies like ours who also bring the added benefit of search marketing services to the table.
There is still in evidence a lot of that old mentality though of the newbie business owner simply saying to the web designer – make a website for me please, and quite simply the web developer will oblige. But the worry and concern that we have when attending this two day event and observing the many suppliers who will step forward to offer you a website, is there are quite a lot of web agencies that were willing to offer you a website from as little as £49. Quite simply a take-away website in a box.
Established web agencies who partner with us have twitched at this type of competitor who comes forward with such a deal when you consider the larger agency is offering to build a more bespoke website that has a number of complex features build in (especially if it is an ecommerce website) and will tell you that web development project is likely to cost you anything from £14000-£25,000.
But the OnlineXcellence team got to thinking how much value is there should you consider buying a £49 website in a box and if you wanted to sell products online what would you get should you upgrade to the £89 ecommerce version?
For the business owner who needs a website, this experience is worse than buying a car. But consider for a moment your next website being that shiny new car. What do you want it to do? If you are entering it into the online race where you want to be competitive, how will you know the type of website you build will actually win races for your company with in the driving seat? Well, everybody does say I want a Content Managed Website, because they have been told that is important. But how good a journalist or news paper editor are you? Do you have an eye for design and layout that will hook in your customer when they land on your web page that has to make money for you?
So, now you can imagine, it becomes difficult for the business to choose what type of website to buy and whether it will win any races. And therefore, you have to look at the web agency like you would a car dealer.
Are you going to visit the Rolls Royce garage of websites or are you going to visit your typical Ford/Vauxhall type dealer for this shiny advertising platform that you need? £49 against say £20,000?
Let us go back in time for a second. It is the good old days of the high street and the retail parks were just beginning to take off, and here you are the newbie business owner. If you were to set up your business then, how much would it cost to advertise? What would you do to look professional so that people will take you seriously and do business with you? For those who just needed some brochure exposure you would search till you find magazines that targeted your prospect customer hoping they would read your ad. That ad could be a one liner, or quarter page, but you may feel extravagant and go for a full page feature. Do you remember how much that cost?
Then of course there are those of you who today want to run an online ecommerce shop and think you can do it all for the pricely sum of less than a £100. Going back in time this would hardly pay for the sign above your shop door on the High Street. And even today, if you are going to run an ecommerce website, it is still a shop – just without the bricks and mortar, and you will still have a substantial financial layout even if you just want to be locally found online. If you have a grand vision of competing against major household brands, be prepared to work very hard at this to gain the support of the customers you want, and you may need even more in the budget to market your website………
So, what else should you do before you invest in a £49 website or one that is going to cost you considerably more?
For those micro and small business owners who are starting up or just been in business for a few months or so, the first thing you want to work out is whether your venture is truly viable and if so is it likely to appeal the target market you want to break into? Who is there already (your competitor) making money from this group of customers you now want? What does their website look like, would you shop there if you were an online customer? How professional does the competitors website look? What do you think is it’s unique selling point?
Now, ask yourself, will a website under £100 handle or deliver what those customers currently experience on this competitor website that might even be a much larger well known brand player?
If you are considering having a website for less than 100 bucks be prepared to accept this product will have limitations?
- Consider where the website will be hosted?
- How feature rich is the content management software (CMS) and does it allow you add or subtract pages, easily?
- Can the content management software serve up user friendly URL page address names such as www.domain.com/my-top-product
- Does the website provide you with a choice of templates and how ‘fixed’ are they leaving you little in the way of changing how they look?
- What additional widgets can you easily add in like CALL TO ACTION buttons, bespoke forms to gather information?
- If an ecommerce website is what you need what additional rich features does the website come with? How flexible is the all important ADD TO BASKET process which is vital to assist with conversion and getting the sale? What about menu categorisation and having faceted navigation and the ability to narrow your product search?
Am I now painting a picture of how much more there is for you to consider when planning and building a website? So, now, you are thinking – god – I need the £20,000 website! But what if I told you, you don’t, well not yet?
What if I told you to start with a FREE WEBSITE? A website that actually works? A website that has a fantastic user admin capability that even allows you to build the website yourself?
In answer to those questions do I hear you say – yes please? Now there is such a website offer that I never thought possible and I didn’t think I would ever find a platform that could achieve for us OnlineXcelence but there is one out there – it is called KOMMAND.
Now before you dive in and get yourself a KOMMAND WEBSITE, the OnlineXcellence team still want you to consider a few things:
- Do you have time to plan out and build your own website?
- Are you capable of doing some Keyword Research and Competitor Analysis before you attempt to build your website?
- Do you think you can edit, manage and create your own online magazine?
- Do you consider yourself a creative copywriter
- Do you know how search engines work
Now, this is like saying “hey build your own car if you want to drive around in one…it’s easy, and then of course 3 years later I visit you again and you are wondering why you can only go in reverse? Probably because you were not an expert in building the gearbox section!
You know what we are saying here. There are people who have qualified from years at college or university to become great programmers or marketers in order to build top quality websites. Then, there are those, who spend their lives in the DIY channel. No wonder Nick Knowles will always be on Television with his DIY SOS program. Yes, you knocked down the wrong wall!!
A few years ago I would have said that you would never reach your goal of setting out on your business venture, whether to sell products or services with a cheap website. But all that changes from this article and as we head into 2014. If you have the willingness and patience to have an easy to use website maker in your business – go take a look at KOMMAND.
KOMMAND, can be FREE, or you can have it for £25 a month (best value) or £50 a month packed with features. It out strips your one time £49 website in a box. Think about a mobile phone for less than a five pounds and then think of that Apple iPhone 5 you much preferred? Why do you choose it – because it was packed with features your five pound phone would never have!
The KOMMAND Website package can also come with a supporting SEO Marketing Package that will cost you around £30 a month which will help you to then market your website.
Using KOMMAND and learning about how to market a website is going to give you some great additional skills. OK, you won’t have the knowledge that someone like me has as a web markerter of 15 years standing, nor are you going to be a top web designer or programmer….. but you will be able to manage and drive a nice looking website.
Let us leave you with one more thought
and many more, why are the successful online? Because one more skill you have to learn is – listen to the customer.
Once you have your website in place you need to learn how to monitor and measure the customers coming through the website.
We have mentored and trained many more smaller businesses that are now experiencing online success such as these types of business:
- Cleaning and Janitorial Equipment,
- Car accessories,
- Gifts from Scotland
- Driving School
- Chocolate and Pastry School
- Tile Company
- Lighting Company
- Plumbing Company
- Foodie Tours
- Subsea Cameras for Oil and Gas Industry
- Energy Company
- Cardboard Box Company
And, there are many more businesses we are helping with their website everyday. Whether you are a micro, small, medium or large website owner, let us add you to the list!
Call us and hear about the success stories of small business websites achieving £80k-£100k a month plus in sales from a website they built for less than £100.
Here about the people we have helped already that built a website with no knowledge of Website design, or having an understanding of online architecture or having any internet marketing skills.
Leave a comment or get in touch with us through the OnlineXcellence Website.