When you’re just starting out, taking the time to make the business case for having a website might seem counterproductive. “Of course everyone needs a website” is the prevalent thinking. I’m in agreement, although I still think going through the business case for one is beneficial.
Consider the statistics: 90% of businesses fail in the first five years. Often the reason for this is a lack of capital. If your business is NOT a purely online business, spending a lot of money on a website doesn’t make sense to me. Websites for physical businesses don’t often bring in a ton of money on their own in the short term. Investing some thought into what the website needs to do and then developing on that basis is a prudent thing to do.
Compare this to a wedding. Newlyweds sometimes spend tens of thousands of dollars on elaborate weddings. When close to 50% of marriages fail in the short term, one might think of a wedding as a waste of money. Some people have suggested that newlyweds should just get married quietly. Sign the papers at city hall, have a simple ceremony at a church, then get on with living. Once a couple has been married for at least five years, then they should celebrate with a bit more style.
Of course, once a couple’s been married for five years, the chances they have a ton of money to spend on a party is slim. New homes and children tend to suck up a lot of cash. Spending thousands on a party to celebrate a wedding would probably seem foolish.
Think of your website like this. Understand that it is one of many things that contributes to the bottom line of your business. Invest some time into understanding what a website and online marketing can do for you. Recognize the importance of your online presence and spend accordingly but not extravagantly.
When you’re looking for practical advice or want to go through a business case for a website, please keep me in mind. I’ve spent my career helping companies create and implement effective online strategies. I’d be happy to help you with yours.