Well, of course we think you’ve made the right start by reading through our website! We can’t run through the whole process here as it requires a lot of time spent working in conjunction with you individually. However, before speaking to anybody, the first thing to do is to think – and put down on paper – what it is you’re trying to achieve through the internet. This might vary from producing online marketing support material, to delivering sales through an online e-commerce site, or to developing intranet systems to manage your business processes.
Taking the example of a shop based retail business, the overall objective might be to produce additional sales revenue through an online e-commerce website. This might then break down into increasing geographical reach, driving increased traffic in-store, promoting loyalty amongst existing customers, targeting new customer profiles and reducing selling overheads.
Having established the ‘Why?’, next establish some constraints: how much time have you got to put into this, how much are you prepared to spend, how soon do you need a website. Words of advice: “Be realistic or else you are doomed to fail.”, “Don’t bite off more than you can chew: develop your solution in small steps if needs be.”, “Keep it simple to start with: you can extend it later.”
Having done this work you will have established an outline requirements plan of what it is that you want. This needs to be fleshed out in considerable detail to ensure that what you end up with gains the maximum possible benefit from your business. Even before this stage many businesses simply go to a group of website design companies and say ‘I want a website’. We feel getting independent advice at this early stage, helping you to develop the outline plan into a detailed requirements specification, is absolutely key to getting a quality, value for money website design.