I recently had the opportunity to review a book for entrepreneurs that had some great advice, a list of seven priorities for the critical first year of business. The more I thought about this list, the more important that it seemed to me. So I have decided to create a series of posts elaborating on this theme. While “Young Guns“, by Robert Tuchman, is targeted to a just-out-of-college-and-wondering-what-to-do market, I believe that these priorities apply to anyone starting a new venture.
3. Get your website up and running
Your website has to say “This is who we are” to the world in a way that is compelling. A great web design doesn’t have to cost a fortune. If you don’t have the HTML skills or graphic talent in-house, look for a young and hungry web designer who’s looking for a shot, as you are.
Expect to update your website regularly and improve it constantly over time. Having a website with months-old or irrelevant content is a real deal-killer. It makes your company look stagnant, at best.
At the worst, it makes your company look unprofessional and incompetent. Your website is your online brochure, your 24-hour answering service, and your business resume, all rolled into one. There are also compeling reasons for your website to include a blog.When considering content for your business blog, you should consider calling one of your customers and asking them for an interview.
You can then ask some questions and post the Q & A right on your website, with a link to the customer’s site (sharing is good!). I recommend that these interview questions should be along the lines of:
- How can our business help you succeed?
- Why is our product/service important to you?
- What is the impact of this decision upon your own business?
- What happens if you don’t do something about this situation by using our product/service?
- If you were to identify the business tactics most critical to your success, what would be number one?
When you understand your customer’s emotional connection with your product/service and how it influences their need to buy, you can position your product/service in the market for what it will do to address that emotion.
If you can help them address their “need-behind-the-need,” then a prospect becomes a probable purchaser and, ultimately, a customer. Your website is a very powerful tool for doing just that.