Planning Your Small Business Website

This post is part of a series. To read more posts from this series go to “Creating a Small Business Website“.

It is an old technique but still effective, get a pen or pencil and a peice of paper and write down your plan. Since we are talking about putting your ideas on the paper, have you ever heard about mind mapping? Though mind mapping is not the topic of discussion here but since I found out how useful it is, I can not stop myself from advising others to give it a try. Back to our discussion, so when you are writing down your plan for the website make sure that It has the following:

  1. What you want to do.
  2. Do you know how to do it.
  3. Your budget.
  4. Your long term goal.

You can think about other aspects and ask yourself other questions too. I am not asking you to answer these questions. You can answer them if you want to but just writing them down is also enough to help you understand your position and it will help you achieve your goals more effectively.

What I want to do with my website?

Lets say if you have a small pet shop. You would probably want to do the following with your website.

  1. Advertise your shop to new customers.
  2. Make an online customer base.
  3. Sell your expertise.

You might have different ideas and products to sell. You should be clear about what you want to do with your website and there is no better way than to write down.

How I am Going to do this?

After that you should ask yourself how you are going to do this. By this we mean that do you have the expertise to do that, is your idea technically feasible, are there online resources available to help you achieve your goal which we described in last paragraph. Don’t worry if you don’t have the expertise yet, or if you think your idea is technically difficult to achieve. Web is a great place to learn, you will find free expert advise on almost every topic. But we are writing it down so that we know where we stand.

How much money I can spend on my website?

Now that you know what you want to do and have thought about how to do it. lets think about the costs. The cost of creating a website depends on how you are going to use it. If your plan requires you to host lots and lots of audio and video files then you will need to spend more money on web hosting and bandwidth. If you want to purchase things rather than using the free tools available then your costs would be even higher. A couple of hundered dollars are ok to get you started with a business website. This estimate includes web hosting charges and domain registration and you will be using free tools to achieve your goal.

What are my long term goals?

In the end write down how you want to see your website growing up. Where you want to see it after an year or so. Write down your long term goals in sales or daily visitors to your website. Write about how you want to become from just an ordinary pet shop owner to a web celeberity. Be creative and feel free to write about your idea of success. It is going to keep you motivated and will also help you stay focused during your journey.

Now make a copy of this paper and save the original one in somewhere hidden from your view. We will look into this document after an year and see how much you have achieved. The working copy would keep you motivated and on the track.

This post is part of a series. To read more posts from this series go to “Creating a Small Business Website“.

 

Published by Noumaan Yaqoob

I am a full-time WordPress blogger, I write tutorials about using WordPress, WordPress themes and plugins. Need help with your website? Feel free to contact me.