Does Your Company TRULY Need a New Website? The Answer May Very Well Be…No.
Many (many) years ago, as a very young buck (er...doe) just starting out with my Colorado web design and online marketing company, I'd eagerly help out any client who walked through the door with more than $20 in his or her pocket.
Fast forward nearly a decade and a half and these days, my team and I turn down far more web design, development, and strategy projects each month than we take on. Our company is fortunate to have the luxury of being very picky.
Additionally, through some very painful learning experiences, we've also become very adept at pinpointing which clients are likely to experience highly successful projects and big results and those which aren't.
The companies that struggle with website projects
Usually, the companies that experience extensive delays or frustrations during projects (and occasionally don't even see their projects through to the end) are the clients who think they need a new website - but actually don't.
Desire vs. need
These clients seem to have it all. Great vision. Appropriate budgets. Realistic timeline expectations. An apparent readiness to invest in a new website or online marketing strategy.
The root problem is that even though they say (and think) they want a new website, they actually don't need one.
Unfortunately, sometimes they don't realize this until after a substantial amount of time and money has been wasted.
What happens with these companies?
Sometimes they suddenly stop communication. Sometimes they extend or miss deadlines. Sometimes they fail to show up to meetings.
Obviously, they have zero intentions of doing these things when they begin their projects.
But they lose steam during their projects. Their momentum screeches to a halt. Every so often they just disappear. Again, it's absolutely not intentional. No company engages in a project thinking they'll not do everything needed to experience success.
They just allow it to happen.
Because there's no real need, no truly compelling reason for these businesses to change their website or online marketing strategy.
No truly compelling reason = Less likelihood of success
Here are some of the statements that tip us off to the possibility a business may not truly need a new website and may end up having a frustrating or even unsuccessful project.
They'll say things like:
- "We're just exploring the possibility of redoing a website."
- "We're looking into redoing our site because we've realized our competition is doing it, so we should probably do it too."
- "Our site look seems outdated, so we think it's probably time to think about redoing it."
- "The CEO doesn't like how our site looks anymore."
These reasons generally won't provide a business with the ongoing motivation and drive to invest the time, energy and budget necessary to complete a website rework or online marketing project. Everything else (other than tasks at work, vacation, new customers) will wind up taking precedence. And the minute there are challenges - when they have to deliver on their responsibilities or when things don't go according to plan - frustration and delays show up.
A successful website redesign or online marketing project requires engagement and participation from the client. Without it, a strategic web agency can't deliver on its promises. Results aren't effective and people are unhappy. It's a no-win situation.
Do we really need it? (Or how not to become one of them)
There are simple ways to prevent becoming one of these clients that loses time and money investing in an unnecessary website.
Reflect carefully on WHY your business is considering investing in a new website or marketing strategy. Is it just because you (or someone in the company) think you "should"?
Or do you have a truly compelling reason that will keep your motivation high when things don't go according to plan, when your responsibilities suddenly don't feel fun anymore, or when there need to be tough discussions about, say lengthening the project timeline?
What are compelling reasons?
They would sound like this:
- “Our online leads are half of what they were two years ago and if we don't get them back to previous levels, we're going to have to let go of 30% of our staff."
- “Our competition is eating into our customer base and our revenue is down 20% from past years."
- “We're getting a stream of constant complaints every single week that our site is frustrating customers, and our support team is completely overwhelmed."
These are the types of issues that light fires and motivate everyone to get the job done. And because fire is painful, the drive to move forward doesn't disappear until that fire has been put out.
Don't make the mistake of wasting your time and money. Make sure you're considering a new website or online marketing project for a compelling reason. That's the primary ingredient that will keep your motivation and drive from waning and lead to tremendous success.
How can you know?
There are plenty of web companies that will eagerly take on your project, even if you're motivated by the wrong reasons. Unfortunately, moving forward when this is the case often results in serious frustration for both parties.
That's where a web strategy company like ours comes in. We'll help you determine whether your dollars would wisely be invested in a new website, in something else you may not have considered, or with a different company.
As exciting as the possibility sounds, you may just realize your company doesn't need a shiny new website after all.