Websites for New Business Startups
7th June 2011
Websites for New Business Startups
We really enjoy creating websites for new businesses.
There's something infectious about the energy that surrounds a new startup enterprise that gets our creativity flowing.
We've been fortunate to work with lots of new businesses to establish their web presence and have found there are some important elements that really help everyone to set off on the right foot.
Sharing a Vision
Our starting point, as with all our work, is to get into the mind and worldview of the entrepreneur; to see the world from their perspective and get a clear idea of what they envisage for their business.
This means understanding their business proposition, their market, their opportunities and their strategic business goals.
In the early discussions these can sometimes be quite broad in their scope. Sometimes the conversations between us can really help to clarify the detail for the clients.
Picking the Best Strategy
We then spend time working out the best strategy for making a big impact. To do this we spend some time talking about the opportunities that the web provides to businesses and picking the most appropriate ideas to be incorporated into the new business' website.
At every stage these choices are weighed up for their suitability for the new business' vision, asking and answering questions like "Should we be using Facebook as a business?", "Should my business be on Twitter?", "Will my clients find this helpful or confusing?", and so on.
We also make absolutely sure that our suggestions are a proper and good fit with our clients' needs. Some of our "brilliant" ideas may not fit at all with our clients' values, ideas or strategy and so we're careful to check them through with our client before adding them to the build list.
Planning to Build a New Website
Sometimes the answers to these strategic and tactical questions will mean we build a simple and well crafted brochure site. Sometimes it means we will build a shop. Other times we'll make a site that incorporates other third party content from the web, like Google Maps, Twitter, Facebook, Amazon store, PayPal, etc.
Considering the Competition
Alongside our "blue sky" approach to the solution which is driven entirely by our client's needs, we also look to our client's competitors for comparison too. We check who the market leaders are and compare our ideas to the solutions they have achieved.
We then use this competitor information to fine tune our proposals and plans for the new site.
Getting to Market
Once our client is happy that s/he's understood the proposal and the reasons for each aspect of the site we then get on with the build phase.
This involves us creating the visual design for the site, picking the right colour scheme, fonts, layout, page elements and images.
We then present this to our client for approval along with a final list of text and other resources that we need to have from our client in order to build the site.
Once we've received the go-ahead and the content we need, we then make the site, filling it with the content supplied by the client.
And once it's all done ... we make it live.
Happily Ever After
But that isn't the end of our story. Our relationship with our clients continues after the site is launched.
Sometimes we'll offer simple help with using the site to its best advantage.
Sometimes we'll answer further questions that our clients have about the site maintenance, or new opportunities, or practical questions about the content management system, and so on.
Often we will also be in touch with clients if something appears on the web that might be useful to their business. In this case we'll show them what we've seen and explain how it could potentially help them.
And usually we'll check in for a 3-6 month review of progress to see if everything is going to plan. We'll look at whether the site is working as expected and look at how to keep it moving forward in the right way.
Differences Between New Build vs. Rebuild
These "new build" approaches are not very different from what we do with rebuilding existing sites for established businesses. But with new startups there are usually far more unknown factors, best guesses, and trial-and-error approaches in the clients' business plan than are found in established businesses.
This makes the design process much more creative and the project much more challenging as we strive to give our clients the best possible start on the web for their new business.
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