Establishing a new company ¾ your very own company ¾ is an exciting feat everyone wants to achieve. We’ve seen a good deal of startup companies through the past few years; although some clicked while others didn’t, the rise of these new companies has reshaped how people lived in the modern world.
Baby’s First Steps
Back in 2013, entrepreneur Steve Blank defined how startups have changed the business model we have already been accustomed to. He enumerated the different kinds of startups: Lifestyle, Small-Business, Scalable, Buyable, Social, and Large-Company Startups.
As a startup, you’re expected to maximize what you already have right now; creative heads full of hope, laptops and desktops with decent specs, and the next-big-thing idea. You might be considering creating social accounts, reaching out to people to support your advocacy, and the biggest step of all: creating your own website.
Nowadays it’s too easy to create a website; sign up at any content management system of your choice, then start blogging right away. But for those who can afford to buy their own domain and hosting, they may opt to create and build a website using WordPress.
Creating your website lays your primary foundation in the Internet. It’s your boat in the vast Internet ocean where numerous ships and boats set sail. It’s a feat that new companies can easily grasp; it’s the start of your journey towards the attainment of your company’s objective.
However, is it the right time for you to establish your website?
To Start or Not to Start?
Is it the right time for you to establish your website?
It’s natural for you to say YES, and most would definitely agree that the right time is now. In my humble opinion, I recommend that startups shouldn’t start building their website just yet.
This will surely draw flak and people would say, “the earlier you start, the better.”
Here’s the thing: you’re fairly new in the industry, and there are a lot of things you need to take care of before you make decisions such as establishing your very own website. Here are some points I want startup owners to think over before you get your website up and active:
Fall in love. Start falling in love with the concept of your startup. Are you aiming to enhance environmental awareness? Will your idea transform how pizza delivery can be more efficient? Are you aiming to create the next Facebook? Stick to your idea, stand up for it, take the risk. If you don’t commit to loving what you do and what you aim for, then better stop.
Create a roadmap. OK, now that you love your startup, where are you headed now? Setting clear objectives gives you an idea on how to strategize your approach on gaining influence in your chosen industry.
- If you’re thinking of pushing through with a website, decide on what you need for the website. You will need a logo, your domain name, and how you organize content within your website. You may have some difficulties in completing these things, but these things will change eventually as you establish your site.
Consider your assets and liabilities. Some would refer this as doing a situational analysis or SWOT analysis, but let’s keep it simple.
- Can you afford to create and maintain a website?
- Who will handle the different aspects of the business?
- Do you have enough manpower and resources to push through with promoting your startup?
- Are you knowledgeable enough to start a campaign for your idea?
If you’re currently a one-man team, consider building your personal brand. Trust and authority go a long way in marketing your startup. You can attract potential leaders, partners, followers, and even investors to support your startup. This can be achieved through engagement in social media and participating in events related to your niche.
Other avenues. Is it possible to promote my product or service through another channel aside from building my own site? Some entrepreneurs start marketing their products through Instagram and Facebook. These are free avenues you can use while you build your presence online. Consider this time as allowance for you to tweak your products or services to cater the needs of your target audience. Decide if you need to go away with some things that don’t work, and improve on the things that do work.
Some Last-Minute Advice on Building a Startup Website
If you’re still hell-bent on creating a website, here are some references that you can go through in creating your website. I absolutely recommend WordPress on building your site. WordPress is relatively easy to use; brands such as The Official Star Wars Blog, Bloomberg Professional, and more.
There are numerous themes that you can download for free or purchase online; if you’re looking for a customized theme, you can ask for help from your friends or hire freelancers online. Never invest too much on making your website superb looking with all those fancy features and widgets; you will need to change your theme eventually as you continuously mold your business model.
If you’re planning to upgrade your online shop to an e-commerce store website, be sure to look at different options. Check competitor sites ¾ look at how they organize their products, observe their site’s layout, and consider highlighting products that you have and they don’t. Consult an expert on web development and design in building an e-commerce store; usability is the key in converting visitors to customers. A single malfunction can lead to abandoned carts or stalled transactions.
After establishing your site, learn to invest properly in assets that can help your startup grow. If there’s a functionality in your site that converts well, improve that functionality. Customer service is another thing you would like to invest in, as well as after sales and maintenance.
A website is your online presence in the Web. Facebook started with a simple blue-white interface. Uber started with a few cars in New York City. Viber started with no users at all to a whopping $900M exit.
Are you the next big startup? Is it the right time for you to build your website?
As a startup owner, did you settle on building your website right off the bat? Share your suggestions and comments below.
About the Author
Designing websites and developing web apps for more than a decade, Philippine web design expert Kenneth Sytian is the owner of Sytian Productions. His no-nonsense approach to design coupled with his vast creativity is a winning combination for his clients.