Imagine going out to buy a vehicle. Before you arrive at the car lot you must have already made some decisions.
“I want a big truck with lots of room for camping gear.”
Or ” I have a long drive to the city by myself each day, so I need something economical.”
If the sales rep has his choice his only concern would be selling you the vehicle that offered him the best commission. He knows his best chance to sell to you is to be aware of your needs and wants.
So it’s up to you to set the boundaries before you get there. If he knows you only have a fixed amount of money to spend, he won’t waste his time trying to sell you something that isn’t in the budget. But you need to know what will serve your needs the best. Don’t let the sales rep try to guess.
A web developer can only build the best website for your business after you have answered a lot of questions for yourself.
It is important to look at all aspects of your business and see which ones would benefit from a website.
Question #1: How much can you spend?
How much money do you have available for the project? Frugal spending says that we don’t spend more than we need to, or try to spend more than we can afford. But a web developer who knows your budget can provide the best bang for the buck.
The website is an investment, a tool which you can use to promote your business and provide a return. You can overspend and waste money, but you don’t want to under spend and have a site that doesn’t do the job you intended.
Focus on your business, and let the web developer focus on building your website.
Question #2: What does your customer want from your website?
For example, what kind of interaction do you have with your customers? Many service businesses need to schedule appointments, so an online appointment calendar may save a lot of time for your staff, since customers may be able to book open spaces in your schedule, and even choose the services they require.
Question #3: What can your website do that will make your employees more productive?
How much time do you spend answering general inquiries about your products and services?
FAQs, tutorials, product information and warranty information can all be available for general viewing on your site.
If you have items to sell, you need to consider whether you site will actually sell those items online, or if you wish to motivate them to come to your store, or both.
People love free stuff!
Question #4: Can you provide information or other perks for free?
Is there something of value that you can offer them free from your site? If there is something that they likely won’t pay for anyways, can they get it from you (for example, how-to information)? This will build a relationship with them and encourage them to return when they are ready to spend.
Contact methods are important as well. Aside from online booking, email addresses and phone numbers for various departments.
What about your suppliers? Their online catalogs can be linked from your site so they can see the variety of products you offer.
Question #5: Does your staff need to add content to the site?
The platform for the site is important. With a little bit of training your staff can add content to the site. WordPress is especially good for this. If you have frequent updates to products, customer information, or details about your store hours, etc, they can be updated and your customers can subscribe to receive updates.
These are just a few of the possibilities. A good web developer will work with you to make these happen. Don’t worry too much about the layout, colors and other details. Your web designer can make these work. Your main concern is to have it function according to your needs.
These are just a few of the things you need to consider when hiring a web developer.
An excellent website worksheet for this is available courtesy of Troy Dean of www.wpelevation.com
Download it here: Website Worksheet Template
This information is based on this article by Chris Lema