How to Determine What You Want to Sell:
No matter what anyone tells you, the first step you need to take if you want to set up your business’s website is to first determine the goal for what you want to use your website for.
If you already have a brick and mortar business and you are planning on expanding its reach to the internet, then you are off to a good start. On the other hand, if you are starting from scratch, and a business website is going to be your sole moneymaker, then you have a lot of work ahead of you.
Because there are more steps involved for those who are looking to make an online business from scratch, we will start at the beginning. Your first step when creating a business website is to brainstorm what it is exactly that you want your business to provide.
A sales or retail website will look different than a marketing website which will look different than an informational website, and they will all look different than a web
application. Your primary concern should be to first determine a genre for your business’s website. Everything else will fall into place once you have the basic ideas laid out for your site.
Each type of business site has its own pros and cons. For example, a sales or retail website will have a lot of pictures, sporadic text that is mostly used to describe each product you are selling in a sentence or two, and a shopping cart.
These sites feature easy navigation and are very user friendly, but they are more difficult to get recognized by search engines and normally do not take advantage of advertising. Affiliate programs can be used, however, for extra traffic.
On the other hand, a marketing website is designed to sell one product and one product only. You’ve probably seen a number of marketing websites attempting to sell you get rich quick schemes, web content, and handy Photoshop plug-ins to make web design easier.
These sites are the easiest to design and build, feature mostly text with a few images interspersed, and contain a simple “Buy Now” button. They are designed around one product and one product only, making them optimized for search engines and perfectly positioned to make money through advertising and affiliate programs.
The informational business website is next. These are sites designed to inform about a business, but not necessarily sell anything directly. Think of some of the biggest companies in the world: Sony, Motorola, Canon, Toyota, Chevrolet, etc. While you can buy items on some of their corporate websites, they are primarily designed to inform the consumer.
By informing the consumer about your brand or store, you can help get the word out about your products and increase your sales dramatically. These websites, while they can work for anyone who has a well-defined product to sell, are better for companies and small businesses that have a nationwide presence.
In other words, it is not a good idea to make an informational website for your local business when you will only get a few site visitors a month – if that. Do not confuse these informational websites with Adsense Sites. The two are distinct.
Finally, if you really want to make a name for yourself on the Internet, you can consider taking a route that few dare to tread. You could create a web-based application that functions as a traditional program but is located on the internet. These programs can often give you a channel to make a significant amount of money, provided that people find the applications you create usefully.
However, they do require a lot of perseverance, a very original idea, and a good team of programmers who want the product to succeed. While a web application based business is a fantastic way to make a lot of money, it is not recommended for those who are new to the business arena.
Now that you know the four basic types of business websites, it is up to you to choose the one that will most work for your goals. You do not, and should not, decide right now which type of site is the best for you. Take your time, do some research, and make sure that you talk everything through with your business partners and/or your immediate family members who may be counting on you to make the right decision. When you have a general idea of which type of business website you want to construct and what product(s) and services you want to sell
Designing Your Business Website
At this point, you should have an idea of what you want your website to be and what you will be selling on your website. Most of you will have chosen to make a sales, retail, or marketing website, so the rest of this article will be dedicated to those who decided to go in that direction.
The rest of you, consider investing in a high-quality web designer and an even higher quality web developer – you will need all of the help you can get in making your own web application or informational business website.
Designing a website is actually a very simple process, even if you have never done such a project in the past. You really have two choices at this point, as far as the website design is concerned. Build the site yourself or hire someone else to do the heavy lifting for you.
Obviously, building the site from scratch by yourself is going to be the more cost-effective solution, but if you have no prior experience or you need your website up as soon as possible, hiring a professional may be your better option. No matter which route you take, there are a few tips that you need to consider if you want to make sure that your website looks exactly as you want it to.
Whether you are building your business website yourself or if you have hired someone to do it, you need to make a rough template for how you want your site to look. If the design is not your thing, there are plenty of resources out there that can help you get started. Take a look at websites like CSS Beauty, Design Snack, and Smashing Magazine for all of the inspiration that you could ever possibly need. These sites highlight some of the best in web design and are perfect for anyone who is having a difficult time coming up with some ideas.
When you have settled on a basic web design for your business website, you need to come up with a colour scheme that would work well with what you’re trying to accomplish. A sales website, for example, will make use of a lot of whitespace and only a basic palette of three or four colours so as not to be too hard on the viewer’s eyes.
On the other hand, a marketing website will use big blocks of text with highlighted words here and there, often making use of brilliant colours like reds, blues, and yellows to attract the reader’s eye to important points. If you are having trouble coming up with colours, check out sites like ColorBlender and colour to help you choose the perfect palette for your site.
Once the basic template and the colour scheme have been decided on, you need to make the decision to build your site yourself or hire someone else to do it. If you hire someone, all you have to do is pay them the appropriate amount and submit your early designs and colour choices.
The web designers will do the rest and you’ll pay them the full amount on completion of the project.