What you should be looking for in a web developer for your next website build

So, you’ve got a business idea or are busy running your own business, and you need an incredible online presence. You know you need to engage with a web developer who can build you a website that works, but if you’re honest with yourself, you don’t know where to start or what you should be looking for or even who to choose. Download our website checklist here.

While the market is saturated and within any industry there are certainly a number of cowboys, there are a few sure fire ways to ensure you end up in good hands.

Here’s a list I’ve compiled below:

  1. Make sure the developer has written up and sent you a project proposal outlining all facets of the business including target marketing, design, SEO, security, hosting and more.
  2. Has the developer offered to meet you for a coffee or lunch and discuss things in person? If not, think twice.
  3. Ensure the developer has got solid reviews and client feedback.
  4. Check that the company/business is registered on the ASIC website – you can search here.
  5. Have they offered to include support and training aspects of the website once it has gone live? Again, this is important.
  6. Is the developer interested in a long-term relationship with your business and its best interests, success and longevity. This is extremely important.
  7. Has the developer got examples of work and working links for you to take a look at? Every reputable web developer will have this.
  8. Does the developer talk about mobile design and the importance of these aspects? It’s a flashing danger sign if they don’t.
  9. Is the company or developer on LinkedIn? Remember, this is a solid and reputable resource.

While this seems like a lot of things to consider, these are all incredibly important for the success of your business and online presence. Business success is becoming more and more about relationship building and trust. Any developer that you engage with, should have the resources, knowledge and passion to finish the project and if they don’t, you have the right to ask for your money back.

 

Whilst this post was written with Web Developers in mind, this checklist can easily be used across the board for any company/freelancer you engage with.

Talk to us about how we can help you 0449736023 ask for James

It’s Ok To Turn Away Potential Clients And Why You Should

You need to have quality control over your projects to ensure you have full control over every aspect. Don’t settle for less and demand respect.

In business, we have all been in that awkward situation of wanting to accept a job or a new client only to find them either wanting constant bargains, not willing to listen to you (they claim to be the expert in your field), expecting a few freebies, wanting to make changes after a Proposal has being submitted, headstrong beyond belief or they’re just generally difficult to work with.

To experience success and to stand out in your field, you need to take total control of who you work with and the quality of work you produce all for the right reasons. You are well within your rights to retract a Proposal or turn down work if you feel the project or client is not going to align with your business goals. This is normal and should not be taken personally by the other party. By doing so, you are protecting the credibility and quality of your work and business as well as aligning yourself with the right clients who can bring in the best long-term profits and who will rave about your business. Remember the 80/20 rule? 80% of your profit comes from 20% of your clients.

Therefore, your clients need to be easy to work with, have decent cash flow and want to build a long-term relationship with you moving forward. They are your bread and butter! The 80/20 Rule

Here’s an all too familiar scenario in the IT Industry. A client approaches you and says: “I want the best, most brilliant website on the internet and I want the front page moving ya de ya de ya.” Firstly, you gotta love the energy and the fact that someone knows what they want – that’s fantastic. However, this client is going to cause you stress in more ways than one and here is why:

  1. They are convinced their design is going to work – While their design may look aesthetically pleasing, they are going to very difficult to convince and come to any compromise with. Sure, your design is better and you are the industry expert who knows what works and what doesn’t… but they won’t listen. We have an on-shore designer who knows how websites work and produces awesome design features for our websites.
  2. They think that the flashing and moving elements are the most important aspects of their website – Fact: static, simple to read and navigate through websites that look great on a mobile device are the new black and should always be considered as some of the most important factors when it comes to user design/usability and converting visitors/traffic to clients.
  3. They are not willing to compromise – This is an absolute red light. You have processes in place to ensure quality control and the production of a high quality end product. This is how you stand out in a crowded market place – don’t risk your reputation on a botched project that makes your business look bad or something that you are not passionate about to the very end. Your quality will suffer guaranteed, leaving angst to deal with among both parties.
  4. They will cause you stress you don’t need – Sometimes, you can tell straight away when a client is not going to be the right fit and that’s okay but don’t put yourself through the stress by accepting a job when knowing this. It will all end badly. Your health is important as a business owner just as much as the next person, if not more! Don’t jeopardise your health or a loved one’s health or time because a client is stressful or difficult to work with.
  5. They haven’t once considered Google rankings and actually making the website work for them – The client wants a website that looks aesthetically pleasing but doesn’t feel they need SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). This is a common mistake. Yes, there are many other ways you can get your name out there and generate traffic to your website but your website HAS to work. Otherwise, what’s the point?

Obviously, no one likes to offend others but certainly, no one should be offended in this situation. We turn down work daily and it’s not because we dislike anyone or think someone has a poor idea or anything of that nature. It simply comes down to the above elements and not being able to build a long term-relationship we are in control of from beginning to end. We want to build websites that work, look great and share your journey.

Want to build a website that works? Get in touch with me for a stress-free, no obligation chat on 0449736023.

Why You Need A Website That Works In 2017

SEO is the art of being found in Google through a well optimised and keyword tuned website.

Let’s get real: Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the secret sauce to any real online success in 2017 and beyond.

We are just 3 months into the year and already, changes are emerging in our industry. Smartphones are getting smarter, more local businesses are popping up and the way we advertise our business and get found on the internet, is becoming increasingly more challenging.

Of course, you will need to have more than one strategy to get your website and brand in front of people but SEO is still head and shoulders above the rest in terms of importance. There are many contributing factors to a great SEO Strategy that will get your website found and working for you. They range from the platform you use, to the right keyword and search terms, menu and page structures, mobile and cross platform responsiveness as well as meta descriptions and meta tags. This is really just the tip of the iceberg but describes how in-depth and thorough any business needs to be in order to develop their plan.

SEO is NOT something you ‘set and forget’ – it needs to be nurtured like any relationship, with reports and tweaks done along the way to measure results.

It’s no longer acceptable to build a website that doesn’t generate leads or enquiries for your clients. The times and people have changed, both in terms of expectations and the importance of paid, organic and mobile search. In 2017, if you’re not found online organically or via paid services, you may as well shut up shop.

There is a myth and expectation that SEO is expensive and not for ‘little’ or start-up businesses. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, a lot of small businesses are doing big business thanks to a well devised SEO Strategy. Yes, sadly big SEO agencies and firms have being sucking the wallets dry of misinformed or inexperienced business owners looking to be found in Google. This stops with this article.

If done properly, SEO should only require a one off set-up fee under $1,000 (we’re talking Aussie dollars here) and then ongoing monthly fees of no more than $200. Sadly, there are agencies charging thousands of dollars and not getting the results that a perfectly well planned and constructed lower tier set-up could get you.

As a web development company that has teamed-up with an incredible local SEO and Adwords certified guru, I feel my business is lifting the standards and expectations of what small business owners expect when engaging with a company to build them a website and online presence.

Working with you instead of for you, we find that SEO is more personal than ever and that we get to share in your business success once we see those rankings and enquiries coming in. To us, this is what equates to success.

Let’s have a chat about getting your website humming – call me on +61449736023 Both you and your business deserve to be profitable.

How Upskilling Yourself Can Elevate Your Business

Why not gain the skills, knowledge and resources your peers and competition don’t have?

One day training courses – they have the power to give you an edge over your competitors. Hear me out…

Learning is the most important thing you continue doing throughout your life. Whether it’s reading, attending courses, workshops or self-teaching, you’ll never go wrong with a learn, learn, learn philosophy. Your investment in yourself and further education will lead to all sorts of amazing and profitable adventures, all while boosting your happiness.

Business owners or anyone hoping to start a business, should invest in as much learning as possible and there are a plethora of one day courses that can help to kickstart that fire burning inside you or at the very least, increase your knowledge when it comes to your online presence. After all, your web and online presence is going to be crucial to any business success you have. Anyone from any walk of life or age bracket can benefit from continued learning within a certain field and especially when we’re talking about the web.

Let me tell you a story… four years ago, I did a two day course over a weekend that has single-handedly changed my life. The craziest thing is that I was extremely reluctant to go and had it not been for my father, I wouldn’t be sitting here now with two businesses writing this article! I did two courses about how to build WordPress websites that I thought would be bland, boring and of no interest to me. Boy oh boy, was I wrong!

I couldn’t believe that anyone from any walk of life with no coding experience could build a website for their business from scratch. I became absolutely obsessed and dove headfirst into every book I could find, any YouTube clip I could watch and even delved into the world of online forums. I built and busted hundreds of websites and hounded the course tutor until eventually, here I am, running both a web development company and a web training company. It all started from a two day course on a sunny Auckland weekend.

Obviously, not every single person is going to get the kick out of it that I did and that’s fine too, but if someone can walk away with at least a few key fundamentals under their belt or a clearer understanding of how something works, that’s a massive plus. They certainly won’t be taken for a ride by industry cowboys and they will have the confidence to apply those learnings too.

We’re living in different times – plenty of professionals have had enough of the workforce and are looking to move onto something different. On the flipside, bright young kids are contemplating a future where more than likely, some of the jobs they’re studying for, won’t exist for too much longer. There’s never been a better time to continue educating yourself and to learn web basics/online fundamentals.

It is an especially exciting time for millennials in a digital age where work/life balance is more sought after than ever and earning money online or via online portals has never been more accessible. Hold up… I know what you’re thinking but I never said it was easy to earn money online. Just to clarify, anyone who says you can get rich online quickly, is a schmuck! It takes time and success comes in many different forms.

Now is also the prime time for business owners to take more responsibility and ownership of their online presence. The amount of stories I’ve heard of people spending copious amounts of money and the nightmare stories that follow… eek! People are being burned by web developers or companies who don’t care about them. And then there are the poor souls who figure out that after they’ve spent their hard earned money, their website doesn’t actually work. How do these kind of things happen?

  • Poor knowledge or understanding from the business owner’s end who feel that what is being done is above their head. They feel comfortable in leaving it to the “experts”.
  • Business owners don’t want to have to be following up, updating or maintain websites so they throw money at people who put simply, don’t care.

While not everyone is going to have a deep knowledge of web and online practices, those who even know and understand fundamental basics are far better off. Basics include but certainly aren’t limited to knowing:

  1. Website fundamentals such as the process involved in set-up
  2. On-going costs involved and development
  3. SEO – Search Engine Optimisation (aka being found in Google) fundamentals
  4. Other helpful basics such as Google Analytics, Webmaster Tools and Search Console set-up from on-page items such as titles, meta descriptions and links

While what I’ve mentioned here is just the tip of the iceberg, if you have this knowledge, you’re already ahead of most. Not to mention, how much extra confidence will you have when it comes to engaging with a web or SEO company? Hey, you might even be compelled to start a DIY job.

How meeting potential clients face-to-face has tripled my company’s income in a saturated market

Its a little known industry secret that face to face interactions are far easier to close and build more effective and meaningful long term relationships.

Two years into running a company, I have learned many valuable lessons. Most notably, that to stand out among the home businesses, freelancers, the part-time web companies and the industry cowboys, I must meet clients face-to-face. Even if this means travel and hey, travel is awesome and can even be written off as a tax deductible so why not?!

Time and time again, I hear horror stories from businesses who employ the above said people to build them a website or online presence for their business. Yet, they haven’t even met the person or people behind the build. This is a big deal and a scary reality, especially when these people/companies are looking after their website, email and so on.

They say to never judge a book by its cover. While in many aspects of life, this is a very fair point and something to live by and be proud of, sometimes, you have to go with your gut instinct and the best way to do this when it comes to a website build is via a face-to face meeting. This separates legitimate businesses from the pretenders so to speak and will mean you get to engage with those who truly care about your business and want to build a great long-term relationship with you.

That said, I make it a habit and priority to go and meet every client who wants to engage in my services and why wouldn’t I? I have absolutely nothing to lose and I know I can sell the best version of me and my brand on face value. Transparency is key after all.

A lot of people will say: “oh, I don’t have the time or the money to go and see potential clients in person.” Well, in my opinion, this is just a cop out and simply not true. There are 24-hours in a day and sometimes, you need to pull all nighters, get up at 4:30am or 5am and just accept reality that you fall in the unique position of people fortunate enough to be working for yourself and building something you can be proud of. After all, isn’t that the point of building a brand and a business? From my experience, here’s the best way to avoid downtime, fly cheaply and adopt a lifestyle you can afford:

1.    Flying is cheap but accommodation is not

A common misconception among travellers is that flying is really expensive but it’s not. Actually, the flying part isn’t an issue – most of the expense comes from accommodation. We are fortunate enough to live in a time when flying has never being faster or more accessible and the sharing economy has made it easier and more affordable to travel. Instead of say flying interstate and booking an expensive hotel/motel, use Airbnb within reason to book somewhere affordable to stay (always be mindful of your safety by doing relevant checks). Better still, fly in and fly out the same day and claim the flight back as a tax expense.

2.    Book flights using SkyScanner

SkyScanner is simply the best travel App there is for booking flights super cheap. Sure, Tiger Airways or Jetstar are not perfect but sometimes, you have to compromise to reground yourself and affordability is key.

3.    Sacrifice sleep or sleep faster!

As a business owner, sleep is a commodity and that is just the way it is. Consider yourself lucky that you are not having to board a packed train or tram with grumpy commuters going to jobs they hate. You can always catch up on sleep at other times. Don’t use this as an excuse not to go and see clients. Start your day early and get the things you need done before you travel.

4.    Outsource wherever possible

Don’t wear every hat in your business! Focus on lead generation and making money! Outsourcing is wonderful and why wouldn’t you do it? Obviously, quality control of your business is absolutely vital and I don’t recommend outsourcing everything. However, having a VA available to resize images, fix a few things here and there, tidy up accounts, check websites/servers/emails and prepare things for you to make your business run smoother, eliminates potential downtime of your business.

5.    Adopt a laptop lifestyle

As I said: we are the lucky ones! All we need at anytime is a laptop and an internet/data connection. Consider this: I built a client’s website from a hotel room in Las Vegas! Your clients don’t necessarily need to know where you are all the time and most likely, they won’t care if you can still provide them with an awesome level of service. Being contactable is vital for any long-term business success.

Now is your time! Regardless of what industry or business you are in, go and meet people over a coffee or a drink. Spend time with them, get to know their business values and goals and you will triple your income organically. If you can instill and master this habit, you will build yourself a successful business.

Need a hand with any website related matters? Give me a call on 0449736023 and I promise, I’ll pay you a visit in person. You can also browse through our website.

7 reasons why your business should be using WordPress NOW

WordPress is the most powerful web builder on the internet. Using it will eleveate your business to that next level.

What is WordPress? I’m sure you’ve heard of it.

WordPress is an open source (link) CMS (Content Management System – aka a web building platform that is powered by themes). It is a well constructed, customisable framework/template that involves plugins (powerful add-ons for extra power/functionality).

WordPress currently powers 23% of all internet websites and has an amazing community behind it. The way it works is extremely well documented and you can find resources for anything in Google and online forums. It also has a relationship with Google. In fact, WordPress websites seem to rank much better than other platforms when the correct SEO set-up is implemented.

Here are just 7 reasons why your business should be using WordPress NOW:

  1. It’s easy to use and is well documented – WordPress is by far the most documented web builder on the internet. In other words, should you ever have an issue or an enquiry about anything to do with WordPress, someone somewhere, has probably already asked the question in a forum or blog.
  2. Theme selection – There are thousands of these templates/frameworks known as themes in WordPress language. While some are free and a good learning platform, many are what we call Premium or Licensed. These are usually better as they are armed with better features that are more solid. They also generally come with some form of free support in most cases. You can look at various WordPress themes here.
  3. No hidden costs – WordPress won’t sneak up on you and hit you with any costs you’re unaware of. If you sell many items or no items through your shop, it doesn’t matter. Like any other website owner, all you need to take care of is web hosting and the cost of the domain name. You’ll also need to pay where relevant if you have purchased plugins and themes too. Many other web builders have restrictions and hidden or ongoing fees to cover such things.
  4. It’s very SEO friendly – Clearly, there’s a reason why WordPress powers 23% of all internet websites and the proof is in the pudding. WordPress websites seem to rank considerably better than other platforms from our experience.The FREE WordPress add-on SEO features are amazing and in just a few clicks, you can index your website into Google and begin tweaking your pages for keywords and measuring analytics.
  5. It is mobile/Smartphone friendly while also being responsive – This is the number one thing many companies and businesses get wrong: they don’t have a mobile friendly/responsive website in an age when users are searching on their Smartphones every minute, each day. Out of the box mobile, WordPress is friendly and responsive and best of all, this comes at no extra cost (and so it should!).
  6. A freelance community that know how to use/customise WordPress should you have any issues – Yes, you read this right! Should you need WordPress help, you have it on demand. There are more people dedicated to helping WordPress users than any other platform.
  7. Plugins – WordPress comes with the ability to add powerful add-ons for extra functionality through plugins. A large plethora of these are free and some can also be purchased to really ramp your website up a notch. You can find information about plugins here.

The benefits of WordPress far outweigh any other platform on the internet. Here at Startabiz, we’ve tested and experimented a large number of platforms: Magento, Wix, Shopify…  you name it and we’ve tinkered with it! It’s time you take your website from something that’s under performing and not ranking in Google and transform it into a powerful business tool.

Within the past year, we have taken many websites from other platforms and turned them into lead generating and sales generating machines. In some cases, this incredible transformation has occurred in just a couple of months. We have never been let down by WordPress and its versatility to build any website your heart desires. Trust us when we say that moving your website from your old platform onto WordPress will be one of the best and wisest business decisions you make this year.

Keen to learn more about how WordPress can transform your website into a high performing, lead generating asset? Give me a call on to organise a complimentary meeting where we chat about your business needs. You can also find us 0449736023 online.

Why It’s Ok To Turn Down Work And Why You Should

You need to have quality control over your projects to ensure you have full control over every aspect. Don’t settle for less and demand respect.

In business, we have all been in that awkward situation of wanting to accept a job or a new client only to find them either wanting constant bargains, not willing to listen to you (they claim to be the expert in your field), expecting a few freebies, wanting to make changes after a Proposal has being submitted, headstrong beyond belief or they’re just generally difficult to work with.

To experience success and to stand out in your field, you need to take total control of who you work with and the quality of work you produce all for the right reasons. You are well within your rights to retract a Proposal or turn down work if you feel the project or client is not going to align with your business goals. This is normal and should not be taken personally by the other party. By doing so, you are protecting the credibility and quality of your work and business as well as aligning yourself with the right clients who can bring in the best long-term profits and who will rave about your business. Remember the 80/20 rule? 80% of your profit comes from 20% of your clients.

Therefore, your clients need to be easy to work with, have decent cash flow and want to build a long-term relationship with you moving forward. They are your bread and butter!

Here’s an all too familiar scenario in the IT Industry. A client approaches you and says: “I want the best, most brilliant website on the internet and I want the front page moving ya de ya de ya.” Firstly, you gotta love the energy and the fact that someone knows what they want – that’s fantastic. However, this client is going to cause you stress in more ways than one and here is why:

  1. They are convinced their design is going to work – While their design may look aesthetically pleasing, they are going to very difficult to convince and come to any compromise with. Sure, your design is better and you are the industry expert who knows what works and what doesn’t… but they won’t listen. We have an on-shore designer who knows how websites work and produces awesome design features for our websites.
  2. They think that the flashing and moving elements are the most important aspects of their website – Fact: static, simple to read and navigate through websites that look great on a mobile device are the new black and should always be considered as some of the most important factors when it comes to user design/usability and converting visitors/traffic to clients.
  3. They are not willing to compromise – This is an absolute red light. You have processes in place to ensure quality control and the production of a high quality end product. This is how you stand out in a crowded market place – don’t risk your reputation on a botched project that makes your business look bad or something that you are not passionate about to the very end. Your quality will suffer guaranteed, leaving angst to deal with among both parties.
  4. They will cause you stress you don’t need – Sometimes, you can tell straight away when a client is not going to be the right fit and that’s okay but don’t put yourself through the stress by accepting a job when knowing this. It will all end badly. Your health is important as a business owner just as much as the next person, if not more! Don’t jeopardise your health or a loved one’s health or time because a client is stressful or difficult to work with.
  5. They don’t actually have the money to spend on ‘the best website on the internet” – Always bare in mind a client’s budget. Obviously, this is not to say that you cut corners or compromise on quality. If anything, this is poor knowledge or understanding of the industry or their needs from their end. They are not Coke, Nike or Pepsi and even if they were, they would probably do market research to ensure they are getting the best bang for their buck given their target audience and end goals.
  6. They haven’t once considered Google rankings and actually making the website work for them – The client wants a website that looks aesthetically pleasing but doesn’t feel they need SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). This is a common mistake. Yes, there are many other ways you can get your name out there and generate traffic to your website but your website HAS to work. Otherwise, what’s the point?

Obviously, no one likes to offend others but certainly, no one should be offended in this situation. We turn down work daily and it’s not because we dislike anyone or think someone has a poor idea or anything of that nature. It simply comes down to the above elements and not being able to build a long term-relationship we are in control of from beginning to end. We want to build websites that work, look great and share your journey.

Want to build a website that works? Get in touch with me for a stress-free, no obligation chat on 0449736023.

www.startabiz.com.au

Why you should always host your website locally – even if it costs more.

Host your website with a company that’s reliable, small and has on demand support.

One mistake 90% of businesses make is that they host their website cheaply on an overseas server with little or no thought as to the consequences they could potentially face. Not to mention, the optimisation opportunities they are missing out on.

Your website is the forefront of your business in the online world. Like most small to medium business enterprises, you will encounter online problems with your website at some stage of your business’ lifetime and let’s face it, it’s not uncommon. But wait, here’s the good news: there is a solution that’ll make unfavourable scenarios less likely.

Why host your website locally?

By hosting locally, you eliminate any overseas issues with servers, while having local and onshore support. In other words, someone to call and customer service you can rely on. Keep in mind, local servers based throughout most major Australian cities will also give your website extra speed, security and support. Speed can also play a small role in ranking positions in Google.

Great! So what should I look for in a host?

This is definitely a question you need to ask when looking for a reliable and local host. Firstly: what does your website do? As in, is it simply a business website collecting email addresses and informing potential clients about your services or is it an online shop or ecommerce store selling goods and collecting payment?

If it is simply an informational business website, you can settle for something fairly basic on a shared server and in most cases, have no problems over the lifetime of your business/website.

However, if your site is an ecommerce store, you may require more beefy and private servers depending on traffic and how many products you sell. You will most likely also require an SSL certificate which any good host will provide for you.

Here’s a list of the essential questions to ask when looking for a host:

  1. Is there a 99% uptime guarantee or promise? If your website is down, crashes or has server issues due to downtime, you lose both money and customer confidence. Make sure your host has an uptime guarantee or promise that guarantees you have support on demand or a refund should there be continual downtime.
  2. Are the servers stored locally? The servers must be local for a real advantage including speed, optimisation and security.
  3. Does the hosting company provide full access to the website? You need full control over your website even if you don’t have the confidence or knowledge to maintain it. It is vital you own every aspect of the site and can move freely from server-to-server should you need to, no strings attached.
  4. Is there a backup service backing up your website daily and storing those backups off site? Ever heard of a web hosting company going out of business overnight or servers crashing beyond repair? Well, it happens all around the world everyday! By having a zip folder backup of your website stored offsite, at worst, you can have your website up and running again in 15 minutes on a new host. Click here to learn more.
  5. Does the company provide/install security features or plugins for your website? Most web hosting companies will tell you their servers are secure and 99% of the time they are probably right, however, there is always that exception. It’s best to do your homework and ask these questions before it ever becomes an issue.
  6. Does the company offer premium 24/7 support? We’ve all heard horror stories of a site that crashes early morning and there is no one available to fix it. Most web hosting companies don’t offer full round the clock support on-call 24/7. Find a company that does and make sure they will honour their word when this service is required.
  7. What sort of support and updates to plugins, themes and general website functionality does the company offer for WordPress? Again, this is another important and mostly overlooked feature that web hosts won’t usually provide. Use someone based locally so that you won’t run into any issues with PHP errors or plugin and theme conflicts each time an update is rolled out.
  8. Lastly, are they small and local? Niche, small and local is the new black. Why?Big overseas web hosting companies couldn’t care less about your business goals, what your website is selling or who you are selling too. The smaller guy is far more likely to care!

In terms of an investment, web hosting can range from as little as $2.99 per month (Australian dollars) to anything upwards of $500. Small to medium sized enterprises should be looking at around the $30-$45 mark for specialised local hosting with some sort of guarantee and 24/7 support. WordPress and website maintenance is also incredibly important so ask if this is included in the price too.

Consider the above checklist when looking for a host and ensure you are in good hands with a local company who care about you, your business and your website. Remember, a website that is offline is a website that isn’t meeting your goals and is more than likely, costing you money. Invest in your business’ growth – doing so will help you to sleep soundly at night.

Got more questions? Give me a call on 0449736023 and let’s have a no strings attached chat about your web and business needs.

How To Choose The Right Web Company For You And Your Business

Why it’s important: to get the best long-term results and an online presence that works and positions you as an industry leader!

You have a business and you demand results, profit and the ability to convert potential leads after every interaction. Sound familiar? Each day, your potential clients are going to be looking for you or your services via Google and the internet with 75% of them also searching for you while commuting to and from work and/or during their breaks on their smart devices. What a massive amount of opportunity! Now, answer this question:

Did your web company build your website without asking any questions about your business longevity, your industry, how clients will find you or what design aspects and functionality is required to build a quality solution?

Consider this: you hire a builder to build your dream home. The builder you hire has your best interests at heart and wants to ensure that down the track, you won’t have a leaky home, you will have the correct ventilation and insulation in the warmer and cooler months and your house will always be going up in value. Your web company must approach their builds in the same way, ensuring your best interests long-term are at heart. You wouldn’t skimp on your house, so why would you skimp on your website?

How do I choose a web company?

The web and IT industry is over-saturated with outsourcing options, local options, freelance options and of course, cowboys. Outsourcing could be detrimental to your business and I would not recommend outsourcing your website to someone overseas as for them, it’s likely to be transactional. This will do nothing for you in the long-term and could potentially kill your business before you even begin.

A local option is generally the way to go: someone or a team you can meet in the flesh who live and work locally. Why? They will know industry trends, have general local knowledge of markets and industries and 90% of the time, they will have your goals and long-term needs at the forefront of their concerns. Freelancers are usually a one man band best to be avoided. While they may be able to build you a website, they’re likely to lack the ability to provide other important considerations and services such as hosting, maintenance, design, SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and ongoing support. One day, they may even vanish into thin air, failing to return your emails or calls. Trust me, I speak from experience!

Generally speaking, a local option with a small team of 3 or 4 people is absolutely ideal and all you need for optimal success. Remember: anyone can build a website, charge you $500 – $1500 and walk away. There has never being a more accessible way of working, however, very few within the industry can make your website work for you so that it’s driving new clients to you on a consistent basis.

Invest for the future! An upfront investment now will save you money down the track and as I’ve said before (and will continue repeating), you must consider your website as an investment and not a transaction.

Sound great? If you’ve done your homework and hunted down some local options, here is a list of key questions to ask: 

  • Are they a small team, all locally based and willing to meet you in person, even if this involves travel/flying?
  • Will they issue a submission of a Project Proposal that outlines deadlines, functionalities, design and marketing/SEO factors built in?
  • Do they have industry scope? They need to understand and have an interest or knowledge of your industry and audience.
  • Will they provide you with design mock-ups?
  • Is an SEO strategy fully built into the website?
  • Will your site be both mobile and tablet responsive?
  • Have you seen their portfolio, case studies or testimonials from real people?
  • Do you have an option to make an investment with a downpayment option to begin with and final payment upon completion of the site?

You want to engage with a company who will meet you face-to-face, even if this involves travel. They must come to you to prove their worth and reiterate that they are serious about your wellbeing and website needs. Having a Project Proposal will ensure you have something in writing – it’s signed by both parties as a form of a guarantee.

SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is essential: anybody who says or thinks SEO is dead should leave the industry. Startabiz WON’T build a website without an organic SEO strategy because it’s vital and it works! Read more here about why your website should have SEO built-in from the design phase.

From my experience, providing clients with a design mock-up in the form of a PDF, with all of the design elements in place and the necessary colour and font elements listed is very powerful. This also makes the build process smoother and allows for tangible changes to be made while keeping the scope of the project on-track. Make sure that the platform your developer is building your website on is mobile/Smartphone friendly and test this at each phase during the design process. This isn’t something you want to have to go back and implement later as it will cost your more money than necessary. And if you have a company that builds you a website that isn’t truly mobile friendly, ask for your money back! Here are examples of truly mobile friendly/ responsive websites:

www.letterlights.com.au

www.captivatewealth.com.au

www.madameleash.com.au

www.ttamatraining.com.au

Before signing anything, check the company has a portfolio, even if they don’t have one listed, ask them for a list of websites or projects they have been involved in or better still, some case studies to support those builds. Again, check them all on mobile devices.

Finally, the company you choose should have an option of an initial down payment (this will vary) and an option to pay the rest upon completion and going live once you are satisfied and testing has been done. This ensures both parties have followed the Project Proposal.

I cannot stress the importance of an investment upfront: you cannot skimp on this. Remember, you are paying for time, expertise, functionality, knowledge, passion and care. You are investing for the future of your business and if you are truly serious about your business, its growth and the authority you represent within a market, then you must invest.

 Startabiz is a leading web design, web hosting and SEO company with a wonderful reputation for building incredible websites that work and grow with your business. With offices in Melbourne, Sydney and Auckland, you can be assured you are in fine hands.

5 Ways to Market Yourself or Business Locally For Nothing!!

These free marketing tips will get the ball rolling locally, anyone can do them!

I started my business 3 years ago from a damp flat in Melbourne off the smell of an oily rag. I knew web development, SEO and Hosting was a hugely saturated market but I also knew it could be improved and some of the problems small business owners were experiencing whilst dealing with these companies.

Being a people person and with some sales experience I found a few brilliantly simple and effective ways of getting myself out there and noticed locally. These aren’t for everybody and do take a bit of courage but you also have nothing to lose and no reputation to tarnish whilst you begin.

1. Gumtree

This is tedious but it works! I picked up my first 5 clients from Gumtree, yes there were small jobs but I didn’t care they were jobs I could add to a portfolio. Sometimes you have to buy clients when starting out. Gumtree has a ‘Wanted’ section under every category, go on this everyday and call as many people as you need to get your first sale. Be transparent and honest and you will get work but you MUST call! Emailing is no good.

2. Pounding The Pavement

No doubt where you live there are at least a few businesses. You should look at these business as opportunities and leads. Go in and approach them early morning, dressed to impress, take a business card and a coffee for them and you will knock them off their feet. You don’t have to walk out having sold them something but remember their name, send a follow up email and you will more than likely hear from them again.

3. Put on a Free Event or seminar

In business you have to be bold, this includes facing you fears sometimes too but a free event or seminar is a brilliant way of getting in front of people who are your target market. The key is that you are meeting people in the flesh who have come on their own accord to attend your event, these are people who want or need your product/service/expertise. You must give them something to take home, a manual, a freebie and someway of contacting you. You are guaranteed at least one new client.

4. Referrals

All of the above will lead to this gem if you have kept you word and over delivered. Referrals are the cream of the crop as you can set the price point. You want to treat Referrals with the utmost care as well as they have being personally recommended to you by someone they trust. Find out who referred them and send them some chocolate, wine or digital gifts.

5. UBER

This will sound strange but honestly, talk to your UBER driver and network, loads of them are part timers earning some extra cash whilst they run businesses or are entrepreneurs but they are usually all very well connected locally and know or have interacted with someone who can use your services. Always leave them a business card

Use these free tips to elevate and grow your business locally, you don’t need any special skills, just some drive and the ability to speak!

Got more questions to ask? Startabiz is always here to help! Call 0449736023 and ask for James or visit our website:https://www.startabiz.com.au