Confused babyYou’ve set up your business, you’ve got some customers, your products are starting to sell and you are starting to get a name for yourself. And now you think you need a website. Of course, every business needs a website.

But why? This is the question that most businesses just don’t ask themselves. So before you go spending your hard earned cash on a pretty new website consider what you want your website to do for you.

We all know that it is important to have an online presence and an online brochure but this is just a tiny part of the power of your website. The internet is not only a shop window for your customers to view your wares and maybe place an order, it is an interactive relationship building tool that can build a you a loyal fanbase for you to sell to and that will eventually start selling for you.

These fans are the most important thing about your new site. A good website will speak directly to them and seek to solve their problems. For many of your customers, this will be their first contact with your business and they need to feel that your website is talking directly to them, that you understand exactly what they want or what they need. They don’t want to be faced with your life history or your business’s history on the home page, they don’t even want to know how qualified you are or how many sales you make. They want to know how you can help them, how your business will make a difference to their life.

When I first start planning a website, the first question I ask is what they want their website to achieve.  Everything; the planning, mapping, design, images and colours come from this first question. So what does your website do for your business?

  • Sell for you when you’re not there
  • Showcase your products
  • Point your customers to the right products for them
  • Grab potential customer’s email addresses
  • Provide a place to buy online
  • Provide a support service
  • Establish a helpful community
  • A blog to establish yourself as an expert
  • Offer advice, hints and tips
  • Interact with your social media
  • Encourage your customers to ask questions or supply feedback
  • Research what your customers really want!
  • Help your customers solve their problems
  • Sell affiliate products

Your website can potentially do all of these things. Just make sure they do more than one of them and get your website working for you. Get your customers to interact with your website and encourage them to use your site, your enewsletters and your advice in their lives and you will be first in mind when it comes to making that all important sale.