Cash Register Money

How much is a website, Dave?

My answer is “It does not matter”. Huh? Are you crazy? Of course it matters! I am not a billionaire!

I stick with my answer and here is why. Say that I said to you that I would give you a hundred dollars. But first, you had to give me fifty dollars. And that every time you gave me fifty dollars, I would again give you a hundred dollars.

I do not know about you, but if someone made me that offer, I would get in car, drive to bank, get as many fifty dollar bills as I could, then take out a loan and get a whole lot more fifties and then meet with you. And proceed to give you fifty dollar bills ALL DAY LONG!

So, it really would not matter how much I paid you, because I would be getting double that back. Whether my “cost was $1000 or $100,000, I would still be getting enough value to make it very worthwhile.

OK, maybe not the most perfect analogy ever, but hopefully good enough to make my point. How much is a website is simply the wrong question to ask. It is like asking how much is a car? Well, there are cars that someone will pay you to take away from their yard and there are one off Rolls Royce’s at a million or two. It all depends on what you want in a car.

The real question to ask yourself, assuming that you want the website for purposes of business, is… “What do you want the website to do for your business? Do you want it to generate leads by phone? Do you want to start/grow your email list? Do you want to ship handmade widgets all over the world? Do you want to connect with Social Media? Do you want to sell subscriptions and/or memberships? Do you want to educate potential clients about your business or service? With videos maybe? Do you want to sell downloadable items like software or music? Do you want to build a competitor to Facebook? (hint: that one will definitely require deep pockets) Will you need an integrated e-commerce shopping cart?

Once you have worked to ascertain the answer to that, then maybe start thinking about who your target market/customer is? Homeowners? Renters? Consumers? Older people? Younger people? Pet lovers?

Then, maybe start thinking about where and how to engage with that market customer. Twitter? Facebook? Email? Google Ads? Farmers Markets?

Then maybe plan some functionality like forms processing, YouTube video integration (who will produce the videos?), accounting functionality and/or payment processing?

You are beginning to get the idea that there are many types of websites out there with prices that are just, to put it mildly, way all over the place.

In full circle, let’s say you wanted to spend $750 on a nice business website. It would have your logo and colors and be a generally nice site. When people found it, they would even say, “What a nice site”. And then move on. They would do this because your website did not properly communicate what you have to offer them and what action they should take to get the many benefits of what you are offering. So, after say a year, not much acti0n, a floundering website, and you are wondering why you even have a website.

But let’s say that for an initial cost of say, $1,650, more time, tech and expertise could be put into your site so that the results would be that you had 1500 extra people on your email list. Or sold 35 packages of your photography service at $375 a pop. Or found a customer in Alaska that loves your widgets and buys 75 of them at a time for a profit of $4500. Isn’t that a much better result for your investment? And wouldn’t you be more inclined to invest more in your site for even better returns?

I know plenty of people who have type A website, including myself. (one reason why I decided to invest much more time in www.veryhappycats.com) I fully intend it to be a 5 star e-commerce website that benefits both cats and the people who the cats own.

I also know plenty of people who have type B website that is working for them day and night to enhance their business. Those are the ones who do not mind spending a little to get alot.

And I also know a few people who are in between those two sites.

Example of a site that could benefit from having some money invested for a superior result. Without a full redesign. Fictional, of course.

Let’s say there are two pizza places in Harwich. Each has a basic website. But one of the websites is also geared towards being viewed on a mobile device like an iPad or iPhone. Their customers are the same. Hungary, tired, maybe lost. The one whose website is mobile friendly shows the hours, the map, the phone number and email address immediately upon viewing the site home page. The other site is not mobile friendly and tries to cram the same home page that was designed for a desktop computer onto the mobile device, and therefore all the pertinent info cannot be seen without scrolling and is too small to read anyways. The phone number is on a different page that is almost impossible to get to.

In the above case, due to the fact that more people are viewing websites on a mobile device than ever before means that 500 more customers per year are calling the mobile friendly pizza place than the non-mobile friendly. At an average sale of, say, $45, wouldn’t you think it would be worth it for the non mobile friendly pizza place to invest say $300-500 dollars to get a bigger share of the pie? (No one on this earth could have resisted that pun, intended, as they all are)

I will be writing much more on this and variations of this topic because it is time. Time to put the Internet to work. For your business.

A better question is… “How much do I need to invest to get these specific results from my new website? Now THAT’S a question!

Enjoy your weekend,

Dave