Small business owner? Please don’t build your own website
I’ve been running my own business for just over 7 years now and boy have they been 7 busy years! I set out as a bewilderingly naive 26 year old lad, thinking that all I needed was my skills as a web designer and through doing some networking, I’d be able to build my business.
Then the reality check hit … and it didn’t take long!
Managing projects, managing clients, winning new clients, doing the bookkeeping, networking, doing the client work, meetings with potential partners, attending training workshops, writing proposals.
I quickly realised there’s an awful lot that goes into running a small business.
Early starts and late nights? Yep … far too many of them!
So how can you avoid this scenario and be more efficient in the running of your business?
Well, Richard Branson I am not, however I’m a firm believer that attempting to build your own website might make your busy life as a business owner that bit more complicated.
Don’t try to do what you can’t do
Let me ask you a question. The last time you went on holiday, did you fly the plane?
How about your car? Did you service it yourself the last time it was needed?
So why would you try and do things in your business, genuinely business-critical things, yourself, when it’s not your skill set?
Your business will benefit for more and faster, if you hire a professional to do the work properly.
It does however seem to be a ‘thing’ now that people with quite literally zero knowledge and experience of ever planning, designing and building a website think it makes sense to try and create the website for their business.
Let’s quickly go back to time before the internet
If you transported yourself to 1975 now and started a business. Would you build your own shop?
No, you wouldn’t.
Because you’re not a builder. (99% of you reading this anyway).
Back to present day …
Your website is no different.
Your website …
You know, that thing that represents your business 24/7 to everyone, everywhere?
It is (should be) the primary source for generating new enquiries.
And you’re going to build it yourself?
At this point in the article, unless your business is in any of the categories listed below, I want you to stop trying to build your own website:
Why would you take the risk?
It’ll cost you far more in time and lost revenue than if you just hired a professional.
Your website is an investment that will return you thousands and thousands of pounds worth of new business, if you hire a professional.
If you do it yourself, you’ll sit in front of your screen for weeks and end up with something that we can loosely describe as a ‘website’. And that’s when you’re using cheap online tools that make it ‘easy’.
Some web development fundamentals
Let me ask you a few questions. What do you understand of the following:
- Information architecture
- User journey
- User experience
- Search Engine Optimisation
- User interface
- Call to actions
- Page speed
- Responsive design
If the answer is not much, again, stop with that thought of building your own website.
Website maintenance is another factor. Once the site is built, again, like a car, it needs to be maintained to ensure high performance.
Here’s a few things that go into maintaining websites:
- Security updates
- Speed optimisation
- Forms testing
- Plugin updates
- Changing content
- Add new content
The list goes on and on.
Now I would be lying if I said it was impossible to maintain your own website and concede that there are numerous sources online for you to learn how to do this.
It’s definitely in a different camp to actually building a website from scratch.
If you’re getting your information from a very credible source and the company that built your website has provided you with a thorough user manual, you should be ok.
However the time that’s required to maintain a website properly, that’s a different matter.
A professional website maintenance company should save you hours and hours of time.
You can then focus on growing your business, whilst having the peace of mind that your website is well looked after.
To recap, stick to what you’re good at and hire professionals for the bits that you aren’t. Your business will thank you for it for years to come …