Why Choosing the Best Website Partner Is Crucial for Your Small Business
Building your own website is a great way to promote your business and reach more potential customers or target audience. If you think about it, in this modern day of technology, it is somehow expected for every establishment to have a website – no matter how “basic” it is. Food establishments, company offices, or even religious organizations now have their own websites you can conveniently search for through search engines such as Google in order for you to learn more information about it.
Simply put, websites are now the modern and digital white and yellow pages. If you think about it, people now rely on the search engines to know of basic information about a particular establishment or search for services they need. Basic information such as business hours, menu, or profile are some of the things we usually want to be displayed on the website – and it is actually quite a “turn off” to realize if an establishment doesn’t have one at all.
No matter how big or small your business is; having a website can greatly help you in a lot of ways. However, small business owners often put the least priority in choosing their website partner simply because they wanted to cut the cost. Having this mentality leads them to simply search for the least expensive option available just “to get done with it”. Unfortunately for some, this leads to more problems down the line and in turn, cost a lot more in the end.
Similar to any form of partnership when it comes to businesses, selecting a partner for your website should be taken seriously, too. Think of having a website as a form of investment with an expectation of added value for your brand or a possibility of expanding your business. And if you want your website to work for you in this manner, you will be a lot more careful choosing whom to have a deal with.
Choosing the “best” website partner is crucial for a small business owner like you to achieve desirable results. However, the term “best” is often translated as “cheapest”, which is not entirely true in most cases. Of course, there could be exceptions to this especially if you stumbled upon a reputable web development and hosting company offering a limited time promotion for their services.
Carefully selecting the best website partner for your business highly depends on your motivation behind having a website and the nature of your business. As an example, if you are using your website simply to promote or provide information about your company, then a small sized and basic web hosting company might suit you. However, if your business has the capability to expand to have more complicated functions such as an ecommerce, then using the same basic website partner will not work for you in the end.
In case you wanted to know the exact benefits you can get from carefully choosing the best website partner for your business – read on! And hopefully, after reading it through, you will be convinced that choosing the best and suitable partner for your business should not be taken for granted.
They should provide you good value for money
Good value for money doesn’t automatically equate to cheap. As a matter of fact, there is a number of web development and hosting services offering the cheapest “basic” package upfront enticing business owners it is the best option out there. However, paying cheaply upfront often ends up costing more down the line. Especially once you decide to include more features to your website or to have more content published in it, you might come up with a website partner who will charge more “per add-on”. And once you summed it all up, you might end up spending a lot more than what you bargained for!
So don’t make the hasty decision to get in partnership on the first cheap website deal you see available. Do a bit of research and compare prices from various companies offering the same services. Keep in consideration how much more it will cost you to upgrade your website, buy additional storage space, or add more features. Because in the end, creating a website for your small business should gear towards you needing an upgrade as your business grows, too.
If in case you don’t want to think so much about your business’ “future plans” for the website, simply consider being in partnership with a company that has short membership plans. So in case you want to move your website elsewhere for expansion, you don’t have to stick with them for too long or wait until your contract expires.
The quality of your website reflects your business
Your website reflects who you are or what your business is all about. And in most cases, it is the first thing your potential customers see especially if they stumbled upon your site through the search engines. Think of your website as a “first interview” or a way to make a good first impression to a potential client. And chances are, the state at which your website was presented will translate to either gain or loss.
Thinking of your website in this manner will possibly change the way you see your website. As a matter of fact, one of the common mistakes committed by some small business owners is the way they take for granted the effects having a website brings. And if you are this kind of business owner, it is more likely that you have invested so little time planning for the finished product. However, if you aim to make it big in the chosen field of your business, don’t think of website creation as a menial task to finish. Especially in this digital age of marketing, a website is your key element to reach potential customers thru this channel.
A high-quality website gives you maximized earning potential
Any person who set up a business started small. And even if they did, no business owner will tell you they don’t dream of making it big someday. As a matter of fact, honest business owners will always tell you that one of their motivations behind setting up their own business is because of their own aspiration to become rich someday. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that! However, not everybody who started their own businesses end up successful. And often than not, you will be surprised by the “slight differences” one business owner did for his/her business than the other that made such a HUGE impact on the results!
Earning through a website is a tried and tested formula by a number of successful entrepreneurs. And if there is anything in common with these successful digital businesses is the fact that their websites have massive followers/subscribers!
To accumulate such a significant number of readerships, your website must not only have quality and interesting content but also offer a “positive” user experience. Positive user experience varies according to your chosen niche that’s why you need to customize your website’s “look and feel” according to what your website and business is all about.
The right website partner should be able to deliver this kind of “end product” to small business owners like you. It is for that primary intention that you acquired their services in the first place! Keep in mind that the perfect partnership should always be something that you can benefit from in the end – even in the digital format such as a website.
Website partner should have up-to-date technology to support website needs
As a small business owner, it is more likely that when you decided to create a website for your business, you designed it according to your current capability. This means that your website may only have the basic features such as pages to include your company profile and description of services offered. However, as your business progresses, a website revamp is also necessary. It is one of the things that you can show your current and potential clients that your brand and business is capable of adapting to the ever changing times.
Technology is quickly improving and there are a lot of features and tools available now for web development that is probably unheard of when your site was newly launched. Of course, as you grow your business, your website should also “expand” its reach and capability at the same time. Come to think of it, do you ever come across a big company’s website that only uses basic HTML in this modern day? I think not.
While you are selecting which website services company to get a partnership with, have a look at their “upgrade” package or the tools they support. It pays to research whether they are up-to-date with the current apps when it comes to web development or at least, be able to support it. If they don’t, it is a sign not to go for this website partner. Chances are, their “limitation” will only hinder or delay your business’ opportunity to get “big” in the market.
They should be reliable
Seeking and choosing a separate entity or a third-party to do things for you is always tricky. And even if the agreement is signed for in a contract, things may still not go well as planned. The risk is always part of any business venture. However, this risk is minimized if not eradicated once you have chosen the “right” candidate for the job. And for you to choose right, one of the qualifications is to choose an entity that you can rely on.
Even with a mundane task such as website creation/hosting, striking a partnership with a reliable individual/company is a must. By doing this, you can be assured that your website is created according to the standard you can be proud of or the features working smoothly. A reliable website partner is also someone who will deliver your website at the deadline agreed upon or let you know if there’s anything requiring your attention. Simply put, that a trustworthy website partner never hides anything from you. If you think about it, there is nothing more annoying than to strike a partnership with somebody who will keep you in the dark!
Seeking “authentic” service reviews is a must before choosing a website partner to create your page. Of course, there is a small possibility your partnership experience may be different in comparison to the reviews but at least, you have done your bit of due diligence and chose the best from the selection. Especially if you have selected a reputable entity to strike a partnership with, they will more likely to give as much importance to you as their previous customers in order to maintain their good statistics when it comes to pleasing small business owners like you.
Data security should not be compromised
Businesses requiring customer information storage should ensure that safety measures are put in place to avoid compromising this sensitive data. Apart from backup servers, it also pays to have a website development partner who is capable of using effective encryption features on your website.
Of course, this is easier said than done. As a matter of fact, there are a number of large and firewall-protected websites that hackers are still able to breach security and steal information from. However, if your website partner uses up-to-date and effective encryption methods, data will be useless from hackers even if they managed to break through your firewall and steal data from you. It may not have been a pleasant experience or could be a scare to your customers but at least from your part (and your website partner for that matter); you have done the best you can to look after their information.
Responsive technical support group is a must
Problems and questions are something you will often encounter as you maintain a website. Typical “issues” such as server downtime or a database crash are just some you may face while having a website. And at times like these, it pays to have access to a technical support group that quickly responds when you need them.
Most services-oriented companies such as website development or hosting companies often have a technical support group. However, you will be surprised that technical support teams are not created equally. As a matter of fact, some tech support groups even if from a well-known web Development Company may respond poorly in comparison to a lesser-known company – or vice-versa. As a result, you can say that your experience dealing with the technical support group can make or break your overall partnership experience.
Similar to other aspects of a right website partner mentioned here so far, a responsive technical support group is another element you need to take into consideration before the deal. Nothing is more infuriating than trying to make contact through various channels such as emails or a hotline but never get the response you need! Especially for a business owner like you, time is precious. And to spend more time than necessary to keep chasing somebody just so you get the response that you need is equally frustrating and disappointing.
Should provide easy upgrade plans and features
Your website will not permanently look the same as it did during your first launch. In reality, an upgrade is inevitable the moment you decide to create a website. Whether it is to add more features, revamp the layout, or to move to a “higher” membership package, doing any of these require extra work on your website and often, downtime is necessary for the changes to take effect.
Businesses relying greatly on the website’s availability to remain online certainly will not appreciate website updates to take longer than necessary or to roll it out on undetermined hours. As a business owner, losing your website temporarily is similar to losing an arm or a leg (or both). And if your website partner takes long to implement the changes, keeping your website offline longer – it is a sign that your website partner may not be the right choice for you, too.
Knowing of the upgrade plans and timetables allow you, the business owner, to plan ahead on the best time to roll out the updates. It will allow you to make any necessary preparation ahead of time so you may think of alternatives to keep your business going while it goes through the upgrade. It will also help if you know what kind of upgrade will happen so you can prioritize and delay the upgrade as you see fit.
Choosing the best website partner is not something you should take lightly. There are a lot of elements you have to put into consideration before you can truly say that the partnership is the perfect match for you. Think of your business as unique regardless if there are similar other businesses already existing. The way you run your business, the standards you uphold, and your brand makes your business exceptional – and your website partner should be able to successfully meet all your requirements (if not exceed them) for them to truly qualify as the best website partner for you.