There is always ongoing discussion about the best platform to use for our business websites: custom CSS/HTML, WordPress, subscription service (e.g., Wix, Squarespace), and so on.
One common denominator in these conversations is that the emphasis always seems to be on the do-it-yourself mentality.
And there always seems to be one important question left out of the equation: Are you the best person to be building your business website?
We in the administrative support business preach this business principle all the time to clients:
- Are you the best person to be doing that work?
- Is it the best use of your business time and energy as the business owner?
- Do you have the knowledge and skills to do a good job of it?
- If you are spending your time there, what more important business activities are being neglected, and how is that impacting your forward business growth?
And yet many in our industry don’t practice what they preach.
An administrative support business is no different than any other small business. Administrative Consultants can be more successful if they grow their businesses in the same ways that we advise our clients to grow: By letting go of doing everything yourself, getting the right help and expertise, and saving yourself a whole ton of wasted time and energy.
The mantra in marketing circles is: When the product is invisible, the package IS the product.
What that means is when you offer an intangible product such as professional services, how you package that product is absolutely vital to how your business is portrayed and perceived by your market.
Clients don’t know how to tell a good administrative consultant apart from one who is not so good. They rely on other subtle clues and cues to help them differentiate.
One way they do that is through the visual presentation of your website. They directly correlate the look and feel of your website with your level of skill and competence — you need to make the right impression if you want them to choose you.
So the question becomes: Are you the best person to be designing the product packaging for your business?
First, most people are not designers.
I hate to break it to you, but just because you own Photoshop or Dreamweaver, that doesn’t make you a designer.
Just because you can do a thing, doesn’t mean you are any good at it or that it’s a good use your business time as the CEO of your business.
New business owners often get so caught up in playing with their new site software toys and tools (because it is fun), they lose sight of the fact that they might not have the marketing understanding and knowledge of design principles to give their business the best possible “packaging.”
Another thing to consider is the idea that when it comes to our own work and our own businesses, we can be too close to it to see clearly and through the same eyes as our intended market.
Your website, after all, is not for you, it’s for your target market and would-be clients, and it needs to designed with them in mind: their needs, their tastes, their interests, their viewing habits…
And, through all this, when you are spending weeks, months even, dinking and fumbling around with your website, what more important business-building work is that distracting you from? Where could your time be better and more smartly spent?
Not that you shouldn’t be involved in the design of your website — of course, you should. And I get that most people in our industry start their businesses without being properly funded, so they bootstrap and have to make do with what is available to them at the moment.
That said, when it becomes financially possible for you, I urge you to have your website professionally designed or overhauled by a real, skilled designer.
Indeed, do everything to MAKE it financially possible.
Your business website is THE most important and central marketing and client-getting tool in your business toolkit.
Professional web design, therefore, is one of the first, most worthwhile investments you should make where you’ll see an immediate results in getting clients.
Your business will look better, allowing you to attract a better clientele.
It will also make you stand out from the sea of generic, templated and unprofessional, amateur-looking sites.
And you can focus your time and energy on the more important work of networking and business development.