Choosing the wrong platform for a growing company can be detrimental in the long run.
Having learned through experience, the cost involved by making the wrong decision can result in a bad investment.
Researching different platforms and trusting your platform designer are crucial components to choosing the right website for your business.
In an age where local and international news events are obtained from your Facebook feed, and success is measured by how many followers you have, it is absolutely essential that your business has a strong presence on the Internet.
Yet when it comes to small business websites, too many cannot be found on the ‘World Wide Web’.
Statistically, 46% of small businesses in the United States do not have a website set up. Reasons include businesses being too small, not having the technical knowledge to set up an effective website, or not have the financial security to do so. However, rather than viewing a website as a purchase, what you really would be making is an investment toward the recognition and presence of your business.
According to a survey conducted by Clutch.com, 70-80% of users will look up and research a service or product before they decide to use it. Additionally, 90% of clients have followed through on their research of a product or service because of a pleasant online experience.
Not having a website eliminates you and your business from this statistic, and therefore removes a large percentage of your possible client base.
Taking the Leap by Making a Website
If someone has knowledge of coding or HTML within your company, it may be helpful to utilize such skills and save money.
However, due to the experience I had as the Executive Director at Scarsdale Medical Group, I learned that coding and HTML are skills that not every small business owner has, which is why site builders were created. With such an array of site builders, it can be easy to be overwhelmed with all of the options available to you.
Options can be cut down once you understand the type of website you need for your specific business.
Coming from a business that grew to a point where the budget wasn’t an issue and then transitioning into my new role as CEO and Partner of a smaller business, Formè, I realized that by focusing on the budget rather than understanding where my business was heading, I allowed myself to be shortsighted.
Choose the Right Platform
This was my mistake: I chose a platform that did not take into consideration the growth of our business.
This is one of the first challenges I faced when coming on board Forme`. If the vision of your business is to stay small, then you should choose the website that is most cost effective with a less expensive platform. If your business plan is to grow, then a flexible and interactive platform is critical.
With the amount of statistics supporting the idea that people research services through Google, your website is the first impression clients and consumers have of you.
While Forme` had a website set up, it was difficult to navigate through and was not set up correctly in order to publicize information in a user-friendly way.
In addition, it did not allow our patients to pay bills online or purchase our medical membership. We wanted patients to the capability to do. When we recognized this, we decided to move forward in re-launching our website.
- Understand your business goals – are you planning to grow?
- Find a professional in the field through someone you know who has had a good experience with the website developer.
- Do your research on the platform
- Ask about the platform being used – is it interactive?
- Regardless of which platform you have chosen to move forward with, it is crucial that the website is able to be mobile-friendly.
Next- on the ground locally
Working in the great city of White Plains has motivated me and the family at Formè to provide high-quality and dignified medical services, but it has also made me learn the importance of differentiating our business from other competitors in the area.
I have learned that patients rely on Internet presence in order to gauge how we are as a business.
Today, Forme` has experienced significant growth, which has lead us to the decision of implementing a brand new website.
Our new website will finally allow our patients the ability to purchase our Medical Membership for the uninsured remotely, avoiding the inconvenience of having to come to the center.
For those who are not so tech savvy and in need of a clean professional internet presence, another suggestion would be going through a local media agency.
One that I have worked with, in our local community of White Plains is InMark Media Group. They work with small to medium sized businesses and create a custom website to fit your business needs, further develop your brand, and deliver high quality work without the big agency price tag. Feel free to reach out to me for further information on inMark or anything else!