DIY can be great. But not in our house and there is a time when it’s just necessary to call in the professionals
Our garage is broken. No two ways about it, the door is well and truly foobar. I can sort of close it with an ‘air gap’ of about 30cm at the bottom and sort of open it which requires some impressive limbo moves to get in. At least nothing can easily be stolen (although if anybody needs a broken lawnmower and a mouldy fridge, be my guest).
The thing is that it has been this way for two months now. I’ve tried duct tape, wedged bits of wood, wedged bits of polystyrene and hit the runner with a hammer, but it’s still not working as it should. I can just about get in and out and sort of shut it but it’s just not doing the job.
If you think this blog isn’t really about my garage door then you’d be right. There comes a time when DIY just isn’t cutting it and it’s time to call in the professionals. But sometimes it can be tricky to know when that time is, the time when a professional can really add value to your business and give you a leg up to the next level.
I teach DIY design and website creation to my gorgeous ladies and really encourage them to leap on in and enjoy being creative. They have produced some wonderful websites and created brands that sing with their personality. Their new branded businesses are growing because of it. But these ladies are often just starting out or just getting their businesses working online. They need a platform to launch their gorgeous businesses and a well-crafted DIY website has answered their wishes – and more!
BUT (you knew that was coming) the internet is constantly changing and online brands have to move to keep up. They change and evolve in a relatively short time and what was fresh and successful 6 months ago can easily look a little stale as you create new products, new competitors steal the scene and suddenly people are landing on your website with totally different expectations. It’s exciting, but frustrating!
So how do you know when it’s time to get the professionals in and transform your brand and website into something that can be so flexible?
It’s a tricky question, but I’ve put together a list of questions you should ask yourself to see if you and your business are ready to upgrade.
Time to look THE BEST
A well-crafted, well organised, market optimised and beautifully presented brand will always ooze professionalism.
First impressions are SO important, especially in such a busy market, so if you are starting to position you and your business as the best solution or the best product for your customers, a professionally designed website is a must. You’ll look like THE expert in your field and your products will shine with quality.
Time to raise your pricing
A beautifully professional and well targeted website can command higher prices. If you have invested good money into creating a website that looks the part, your customers are MUCH more likely to buy and spend more when they do.
If your business is booming and it is time to raise your prices, you will need to invest in your online presence too. After all, nobody would expect to spend Harrods money in Poundland.
Time to stop trying to do and BE everything
Running your own business is BUSY! You have to be a jack of all trades – marketeer, accountant, social media guru, website developer, designer, copywriter …. the list goes on!
When you first start out you are often doing everything and the learning curve is a steep one. I still hate doing my accounts and although I’ve learnt how to reconcile those books, it’s still a dark art to me. I now outsource all that. It just isn’t a good use of my time.
As your business grows (eek, exciting!!) you simply won’t have time to be EVERYTHING and if you carry on not only will your business suffer, but your health will too. Once your time is better spent doing the things you are best at, making your products, looking after your clients, organising that next sale then it is time to invest in getting professionals in to do the dirty work. You’ll bring far more into your business doing that then spending hours learning and fiddling with your website with mixed results.
Time to lead the way
Technology is constantly changing and keeping up with it is a job in itself.
Get the edge over the competition by getting a professional to design your website using the very latest techniques and design trends. A great example of moving with the times is the emergence and complete transformation of online design for mobile devices, which many business owners felt completely unprepared for.
A good web designer will know that your website needs to look and work perfectly across all devices, all browsers and everything in between. They’ll be able to advise you of the latest online marketing tricks, widgets, plugins and doodads to give your business the edge, look fresh and get more sales.
Time to be unique
When your online brand is starting to feel a bit samey.
There are SO many websites out there and all shouting the same things. No business is entirely unique, but each business does have its unique character and proposition. To make the very thing that makes your business unique really clear and to get you to stand out in the crowd, however, is not an easy task.
A professional designer will take the core of what you do and present it to the world. Visitors to your website will be in NO DOUBT who it is aimed at and will buy.
Time to grow
Using a website template is an easy and really effective way to get your business up online but can really limit you in terms of functionality and growth as you need to expand.
Getting a customised website can not only boost the look of your brand but also add much needed functionality – online booking, directory, ecommerce, sales pages, contact forms, pop ups, social media integration, advertising, galleries, forums … the list goes on. If you can imagine it, I’ll bet your web designer can make it happen.
Time to up those sales
A great website designer is also a specialist in online marketing. A good website will take your visitors through a journey to buy through layout, hierarchy, colours, fonts, shapes, images and take away the barriers to buy that we unknowingly create on a DIY website.
Time to make your message REALLY CLEAR
There’s nothing that prevents sales better than a confused sales message and the problem is often that this message is complicated by mismatched branding images, colours, fonts and layout.
A professional web design will make your ideal customer feel right at home and make your marketing message really resonate with them. If you are finding that you are getting traffic to your website, but they just aren’t buying or getting clicks on your ads but no sales then you may well be sending out mixed messages and scuppering your chances of building your business.
Time to up your game, show the world you are serious and invest
Take a deep breath and imagine where you want your business to be. DIY is great for getting you off the ground, getting you out there and getting you known but there comes a time when you need to up your game.
Getting a professional web design and top notch branding is a commitment to really going for it. A cheaper alternative might be cost effective in the short term, but long term, for the future of your business, investing in your online brand is far more beneficial. If you think that a custom site is only for the big girls who’ve made it, consider how they got there in the first place. What makes them look successful? You could too!
Find out how YOU can transform your online business from ‘meh’ to irresistible, boost your listbuilding, increase your sales and create the business you dream of.
I talk through the possibilities and potential with every new client before we agree to work together as it is SO important for them to feel confident that we are a really good fit and for me to see what their business really needs to take it forward.
So if you are unsure if you are ready to make the leap into the big time and invest online, or have BIG plans for 2016 but have no idea how it’s going to ever happen, then drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s see how a fabulous brand and website can transform your business.
PS: If anybody could recommend somebody to come and fix my garage, I would be much obliged.