Monday, 30 April 2012

How To Guarantee Your Website Will Fail - 15 Ways

The art of mismanaging and sabotaging your own website has been crafted to a fine skill in the UK. Most small business websites do not add value to their businesses, so why bother? 

I have spent the last two years collecting fine examples of how not to run a website and feel that it is time to gather my wisdom in one simple list. Hopefully, my words will be heeded and businesses will start to redress the balance. 

  What not to do: 

  1. Treat the website like a brochure 
  2. Cut the marketing budget 
  3. Rely on the website to generate new business
  4. Rely on search engines to get people to find you site 
  5. Use an ugly and forgettable website address 
  6. Only advertise online
  7. Ignore the cachet of 'online' 
  8. Forget to use traditional 1960's assumptions about what marketing is i.e. talk to customers about the benefits that they can derive and use proofs to demonstrate them 
  9. Make your website load up so slowly (because you use fancy graphics and photos that eat up download time) that people go elsewhere
  10. Fail to speed up your logistics 
  11. Fail to connect your staff to the internet 
  12. Or even block your staff's access to the internet (and therefore stunting your staff's ability to generate new ways of seeing or thinking about doing business
  13. Be too formal (especially you UK companies who think being full of pomp and ceremony is clever!) 
  14. Forget to reorganise the rest of the business to trade as an internet business 
  15. Forget to differentiate between what the customer wants (outbound communication) and what the organisation wants (inbound communication) 

 [PS Published in 2000! Has anything changed?]

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Work Deeper With Few OR Shallower With Many??

Is it better to work with more businesses (in a relatively shallow way) or is it better to work with fewer but in a more intense way (and therefore with more long-term benefit)?

When working in Africa my preference was to work longer and deeper with fewer people - by handing over the 'tools' they were able see more benefit.

But does this theory (better to go narrow and deep rather than broad and shallow) hold in the UK?

Applied to your own business (and specifically to your marketing) is it better to narrow your focus and look for deep knowledge in a narrow field (niche) or is it better to go broader and shallower?

Case Study One: the business coach who only sells to dentists charges four times the going rate because of his narrow focus/niche expertise.

Case Study Two: the 'tart with a heart' business will sell anything to anyone and does make sales but she gets known for what she does and becomes known as a 'jack of all trades'... Gets lots of work but at low rates. "Jump!" the clients say. "How high?" she says...

Do you have the bottle to go narrower and deeper in your niche or is the recession making you more of a tart? How do you think this is perceived in the marketplace?