I’m writing a guide for small business owners and marketing managers who are thinking about upgrading or building a new website. As it turns out, the majority of businesses I’ve spoken to admit that their website is a big disappointment, and that’s just such a shame!
When I started the Digital Heart Alliance, I went into the streets of Twickenham where I live and spoke to dozens of local business owners. The vast majority said they didn’t like their website, that it didn’t get them enough customers, that they couldn’t update it, and that their website was a wasted investment overall.
They all agreed that a new website is a must, but had been delaying embarking on a new project due to previous failures.
The fact is that most small businesses rarely have the skills and experience to manage web projects successfully, even when employing an external supplier to design and develop for them (external suppliers always require effective management). A shocking fact few are aware of is that many web designers and developers also don’t possess the appropriate project management skills, nor the breath and depth of knowledge of latest web and digital marketing thinking, nor the good sense to ensure that all the right questions are being asked of the client in order to understand them and help develop the requirements sufficiently.
Web projects can fail for one or more of these 5 reasons:
- the requirements aren’t clear
- customer needs aren’t explored sufficiently
- plans are left ambiguous
- nobody’s in the drivers seat
- over-reliance on suppliers who do not possess all the required competencies
The guide I’m writing will list the things people should be aware of when planning a new website for their business.
It should help them to understand the processes, the types of work and outputs they should expect from their chosen suppliers, and the things they are responsible for as leaders and drivers of their businesses and therefore should not leave to chance.
I’m on a mission to share knowledge
I’m determined to bring digital experts together with small businesses, who tend to get stuck for years with low-performing digital presence due to lack of skills and resources, and their businesses suffer from stagnation and even losses.
That’s why I started Digital Heart – an alliance of professionals with varied digital expertise, who are all committed to delivering excellence and to sharing their knowledge with clients, so that they can become independent and use their new skills to grow further.
What’s in it for me? well, if anybody can use the web to reach new customers and grow (that’s the magic of it), I believe that small businesses have the most to gain, and therefore any help my allies and I can give has the potential to make a huge difference – what better reason to get up in the morning?
Click if you want a copy of the guide: What you need to know before embarking on a web project (it’s free of course…)
First published on Friday, 13 June 2014