What is your website?
Your website can be a piece of your marketing, and can gain value from the marketing that you do.
But it all depends on how you build your marketing to reach out to people that need your services. Blogs aren’t right for everybody, and at the same time I wouldn’t see a baker with a “proposal request” form on their site.
Really, before you can define what a website is, you have to define two things:
- What marketing means for your business
- What the website means for your business
Let’s start with defining marketing.
What Marketing Means
Of course, there is the traditional definition. But let’s define what it means to you, the business owner.
But first, why do businesses exist in the first place? The answer is that they solve problems in the community.
When you took on the role of a business owner, you built an organization that solves a specific kind of problem. If you help enough people in the community with enough frequency, your business survives.
Otherwise, of course, it fails.
The process of connecting with people, in any way, who are in need of your services is marketing.
Where Your Website Stands In This
Your website is one of many tools that you will use to connect people with your services. Whatever you do to make that process as easy and as simple as possible will increase the value of your site.
Let’s say you own a lawncare company, your workflow may look something like this.
- A customer calls, tells you that they want you to come and mow their lawn
- You get their address
- When you are able to, you arrive at their place and do your work
- You collect payment
For the customer, this involves making a call, which could take as long as 5 to 10 minutes, and it can take you an additional 5-20 minutes, depending on how organized you are, to get everything in place to make sure it happens as well as collect payment.
Altogether, let’s say between you and the customer it takes 15 minutes of time to arrange the job.
That may not seem like much, but when you consider that you can do say 4 lawns per day, 6 days a week, that’s 24 lawns per week, at 15 minutes per lawn.
In total, that’s six hours of lost time between you and the customer.
What if, however, there was a calendar on your website where anybody can go on, schedule time, and all you would have to do is look at your calendar in the morning, and the job is already laid out because the customer picked out their time.
This would be a great place for new customers, once they become happy current customers you can get more specific on how to schedule them and you don’t even need to worry about wasting time. You just go out and do it.
The lawncare website served its purpose: to more easily connect the customers need with the solution you bring.
The Best Analogy I know
Imagine your website is a car engine. When given gas and well taken care of it generates output.
Gas goes in, you get some controls, vroom comes out.
That’s great, but what if the engine isn’t connected to anything? That’s right, the engine block is just sitting on the garage floor just running, not hooked to anything.
Sure, it works great, but it’s not generating any value for you sitting outside of your car not hooked to anything.
This is the #1 mistake that small businesses tend to make with their websites.
The investment is made, the site gets built, but the site isn’t connected to anything within the business. In my experience I’ve found that even the contact forms don’t work many small business sites, simply because they’ve been neglected.
If the engine is the website, then marketing is the gas that gives it power. That power means nothing however if you don’t have it hooked into your business.
- Decide how your website is going to benefit your business ( what the engine will drive )
- Work with your developer on how to build your website ( design and tune the engine )
- Once the website is built, work with your marketer on how to best drive people to convert to the value ( put in the gas )
If you can internalize these three steps, you are already light-years ahead of most when it comes to getting value off your web properties.
If you don’t, then you’re caught in the loop.
Pretty long post this week. I’m looking forward to diving more into business systems and how to integrate your website more deeply into your business in upcoming posts.
Also, be sure to subscribe! I’m excited about making sure to keep you posted on new information as it comes in.