Building a Better Business Online
The internet has equalized the playing field for business and created opportunities for anyone that has an idea to build a following and sell their product or service. This has never been more true than in the last few years as tools have come online that have propelled website and online marketing.
Companies like Wix and Squarespace have worked to “revolutionize” the web design market for DIY users; while Shopify and others have focused on corning the market on DIY eCommerce websites and solutions. All of these companies provide a valuable platform and in some cases, you may never need more. They integrate content management, data control systems, commerce and more. Some high-end platforms even integrate marketing systems to help you with your paid online marketing strategy. In the end, you have to evaluate the systems, the goals for their company and how that either propels or impedes your growth.
The goal of this article is to really speak to those that have been sitting on the fence. They know that something isn’t quite right, or they see things that should be working for them – but in the end, come up short. This is about taking your business to the next level online, regardless of your starting point. Taking a bold step in the right direction to invest in your website, online marketing and in creating the opportunity to accelerate your potential online.
This article is not to bash any DIY user, platform or tools out there! The contrary is the case. We are huge fans of building MVPs or a Proof of Concept to ensure that an idea, product or service has a marketplace online. We have been in business for nearly 20-years and have either seen, built or pitched on nearly every idea conceivable. However, we are consistently blown away by the ingenuity of the clients we work with and the prospects that we get to know from time to time. We are internet entrepreneurs how have bought and sold a number of businesses – both service and product. We are properly positioned to help you build your business to maximize your online presence.
Problems Hiring Low-Cost “Cheap” Providers
The first area we want to address is using low-cost web developers (designers) or even outsourcing your website project to India or another country. There is a time and place to go the low-cost “cheap” route, but when building a brand or business online – this is the time to invest wisely.
I have seen some pretty amazing success stories come out of India; however, in every case the business owner had an intimate understanding of the project, the systems and in some cases the culture. More often we have seen disasters come back and are now locked into a platform, theme or set of plugins that will limit any potential for growth. Bottom line, entrepreneurs seeking to launch a business online – should partner with expert entrepreneurs who understand the dynamics of business online and in the U.S.
If you are currently evaluating or have already built a website with a low-cost provider here in the U.S. or abroad; I would recommend having our team help review the current status. We want to help you create opportunities to succeed and those can come through micro or mega wins that are often tied directly to the technology and website system you are using.
Why you Shouldn’t Always DIY
There is a time and place for any DIY project. Plumbing for example, I have the basic knowledge to unclog a toilet or even replace the guts of a toilet. However, I would never attempt to turn the water off to the house and replace the valve that controls water flow to the toilet. I have a limitation and understanding when I should call a professional has likely saved a flood or two in our home.
Business is the same way. Many of the motivational speakers and business coaches speak about the same thing; leaning into your strengths and away from your weaknesses. While web design or online marketing may be a strength – hiring a professional will accelerate your business much further than going it alone. I see this with every client that we have. Our team is constantly educating themselves, testing new platforms, reviewing software, updates on Adwords, Facebook and Adcenter and more. By hiring our team of professionals, you don’t have to stay on top of the constantly changing landscape, you can focus on growing your business.
DIY has a place and starting a business often means limited funds, but once things start to move – hiring a professional firm does a few things: accelerate your presence, increases your brand awareness and frees you up to work on the business instead of in the business.
When to Take the Next Step
There is never a clear sign when you should make the next hire or bring in a professional team to help with your web and online marketing projects. There are different theories and each business will respond to each situation differently. However, here are a few things to watch out for to ensure that you are keeping your eyes, ears and mind open to when you should pull the trigger and hire a team to help.
- You stay awake at night thinking about your website, online marketing, CRM, business systems, etc. If you are worrying about this stuff, you should at least reach out for some consultation. It doesn’t mean you try to do or fix everything – but prioritize those that will impact the ROI the quickest.
- You are staring at your website and cannot get something right. You have tried the 6th Worpdress plugin or your theme update has made your website go awry. This is not stuff you should be dealing with – these technical challenges will suck hours, even days from your productivity.
- Your online marketing is converting, but lacks consistency or you find yourself spending money on things that just don’t convert. All PPC channels make billions of dollars in revenue from users who aren’t experts. They make recommendations based on loosely connected terms – but don’t close the loop on ad creative, landing pages, etc. If you are using recommended terms, don’t have split testing, aren’t leveraging SKAG – your business is losing money and opportunities daily.
- You just got an email that your bulk email is spam, or you triggered a campaign from your CRM or an automated tool only to have your provider shut things down and tell you your complaint rate is too high. Email marketing, like all marketing is extremely complex and simple shifts can change the outcome greatly.
- You sit in Starbucks working on a proposal and wonder how the internet could be your outside sales force… Your force multiplier… If you are wondering more about how to use the internet and your online presence to grow your business but do not take action, it is time to hire a team.
This list is a just a primer and believe it or not has impacted nearly every client we serve today. Often times we get things started and then find ourselves doing stuff that is not going to impact the bottom line of the business. The limited hours that we have each day must be leveraged and maximized towards our strengths; when this happens – growth occurs.
Hiring a Professional Team
Of course, you can hire NFY Interactive, Inc., our team has been working on web development and marketing projects since 1999. We have teams of online experts with a passion as entrepreneurs – basically, we understand businesses and the various stages that apply from startup to well-seasoned.
However, regardless of who you hire – bring someone in that understands you. Not just your goals and vision but a team that can help you maximize your online exposure through an effective website and online marketing. Your goals and vision should integrate naturally into the conversation and be woven into the website and marketing strategy.
I think the overall outcome we hope for is that you find success online. Hiring a team of professional web developers and online marketers can help ensure you have the right pieces in the right locations. We do recommend a TEAM, not an individual. There are far too many complexities in development and online marketing to have a single individual manage the various facets and ensure you are getting the most.