Most companies are successful because of a specific product line or service that their customers need and enjoy. But then companies want to be bigger, better and more profitable. This is fine as long as they stick to what they do well and which enabled them to be successful in the first place.
As an example, in a former life I was a racehorse trainer. One of my favorite tracks growing up was Rockingham Park, located in southern New Hampshire. Nicknamed the Saratoga of New England, it was a beautiful little track and in its heyday featured some of racing’s great horses, jockeys and trainers. Seabiscuit even graced the once proud track.
Sadly the track burned down in 1980. A group bought the track and re-built it. They actually did a nice job and the track re-opened in 1984 with a nice clubhouse and facilities. Sadly the ownership was not satisfied with racing and thought that slot machines and/or a casino would be the key to big money. So they let the product go down hill. The nice clubhouse became a smokey, smelly mess. They failed to reach an agreement with horsemen and the track ended racing. They had charity gambling and simulcasting as the plant got more and more disgusting. The casino legislation the owners sought for so long would not pass and finally the facility will close this month.
The moral of the story? As the title says: Dance with the one that brought you. Had Rockingham’s owners stuck to racing and trying to develop and improve the product, rather than seeking bigger and better things they would have been successful and still operating. Ironically, their competition, Suffolk Downs in Boston closed so there would’ve has zero competition today. The shame is the area around the track was a big vacation spot, one of the biggest in New Hampshire. Now all that’s there is the remnants of a once great track which soon will be torn down and developed. Just what the world needs, more retail…
Bottom line: although it’s fine to grow and change and add to your core offerings, remember what got you there to begin with. Never lose sight of that and you will be successful.
Thinking of content is not an easy job, especially if you do not have a dedicated team to work on your website and social media. Most small businesses do not have the available staff to work on these items. Small businesses are just trying to stay afloat and do what they do best. That is the driving force behind opening up their own businesses to begin with. But in 2016, that is not enough. You must have a quality web presence and a social media identity. Now, I bet I know what you’re thinking: I have to hire a social media consultant, a content person (not to mention a pay per click consultant, a security expert, etc, etc.). As a small business you’re thinking I cannot afford a team of experts.
Well, as a small business, I know where you’re coming from. I founded RooSites before social media even existed. So we were on the cutting edge when social media arrived on scene. The benefit of this is I have had much time to contemplate and formulate the best possible plan on how to deal with all the web tasks that a company faces in 2016.
So here is my two cents. In order to do all of the things you want to, you need to look for a solution that is both economical and which covers all the bases. A one stop solution.
We have come up with maintenance plans that allow you to achieve all you are looking to accomplish, but not break the bank. In fact we work with mainly small businesses like yours. We will sit down and discuss what you’re trying to do. Some companies want to get involved in social media but don’t need pay per click. Some want to get involved in advertising but not so much into social media. Then others need to better utilize their blogs. Depending on your business, you don’t have to do every single thing that comes around. We will advise you on where best to spend your valuable resources.
Your next move should be to contact my office and I will talk through what you need to do and create a roadmap for success for your small business. With team members in Boston, Charlotte and Tampa we are equipped to help companies all over the United States.
There is an strategy attorneys universally follow: Do not ask a question you don’t know the answer to. This is so the attorney isn’t blindsided and actually asks a question which will harm his or her case.
This is good advice, but you’re probably wondering what is a web guy doing speaking about strategy for attorneys?
This actually came to me while perusing my email. I receive a weekly email from a popular review site which will remain nameless. They send you an email recapping your past week’s activities. It tells you how many people viewed your profile, and other pertinent data. This made me think of that strategy that attorneys use, as this email actually hurts their businesses and the chances of me spending hard earned money to advertise with them get slimmer each week.
I will help to tell you. Why would I ever advertise with a company who is telling me nobody views my profile and I get no leads? It’s almost like a reverse IQ test. If I advertise with them, I am probably a moron or want to throw money down the drain. So what I’m saying to you is: Before you put out any content on the web for social media, Ask yourself: Will this help or hurt my business? In my example, they are sending emails to countless thousands telling the recipient that no one looks at your profile on their site.
Now that doesn’t mean that everything you put out there is going to equal instant income. No, in fact much of what we put out our social media is to portray ourselves in a positive light. I like to say that anything that shows me as a subject matter expert is a good thing and will benefit my business in the long run.
It is almost like there should be a Hippocratic oath for web developers & website managers. First do no harm. This is great advice for any industry, though of course the damage I can do with content or social media is not quite what the Hippocrates was speaking of…
When you’re putting things out on the web, remember these things are there forever. How many times have you seen somebody put something out there that truly harms their career/business. They rush in and delete the post, but it’s out there forever. Someone has already created a screen shot and/or shared with their friends. So before you post anything ask yourself the question: Will this help and can it hurt?
Being a webmaster or site manager, you get used to working nights, weekends and yes holidays like the 4th of July. (If you want to do right by your clients, that is)
Take yesterday for instance. Most people were off for Independence Day. We on the other hand were working and doing an install for a client. As we didn’t want the client to be down at any point during normal business hours, the 4th of July is a perfect day to do an install. Now although we started just after midnight on Sunday, we didn’t get done until about 9:30 AM with all our install, and testing was completed by mid afternoon.
Now don’t take this the wrong way, I am not complaining. That is the job in a nutshell. When you manage people’s websites, you need to do what’s best by them. This means as little downtime as is humanly possible. Of course there are times when servers go down or horrible things can happen like hackers. These are things are beyond our control though we take every safeguard and measure we can to keep our clients safe. No, I am talking about normal best practices. Do not be down during business hours. End of conversation.
I like to talk say there are things that differentiate companies in a crowded market. The willingness to work around your client’s schedule, and do things at times which are not convenient to you, this is an example of what I called differentiators (if that’s a word).
Unfortunately, most web companies are really only interested in the “sexy” things in my business. They love doing mockups and showing clients pretty images. But in terms of actually managing your site after the launch, very few companies in the world specialize in this aspect of the business today. Why? The answer is simple, this type of work is not as fun as painting pretty images for clients. This is down and dirty, nuts and bolts work. But this is what make websites run. This is what keeps websites always improving and not out of service during peak business times.
So, our holiday may have been delayed as we worked most of the day. By the time we stopped and took a break for some barbecue and to enjoy the family time, the day was mainly gone. But at the end of the day, like most days, we know we did the right thing by our client. We will continue this policy, as that is what drives us and has made us the top website management company in the world. Now I know that comes off as boasting, but we stand behind our boasts with action. If you are not happy with your website management company, contact us today, we can help.
In this day and age we tend to get involved with lots of different things. For instance, to manage a website these days, you need to be part web designer, part web developer, part SEO specialist, part social media specialist, part email marketing specialist, advertising specialist, marketing specialist, etc, etc. If you are a small business trying to take care of all these tasks, you probably aren’t doing what you do best, taking care of what differentiates you from your competition. This is a fatal flaw, which is part the fault of these do it yourself websites promising and rarely delivering results. While it sounds like a good inexpensive solution, the web is far too complex to throw up a quickie website against the wall and think you will find a pot of gold. Ok, not the best mixed metaphor, but you get the point. As we all have been taught or learned the hard way, quick and cheap rarely ends up profitable.
So what I advise to young people today is to find your niche, and be the best in the world at that. For me, That is website maintenance. We are the best in the world at website maintenance. We turnaround most support requests the very same day. People are amazed at our turnaround time. So all these things I mentioned, they are all part of my daily life, in my role as a webmaster. Now while it’s true, I do wear many different hats, what has gotten me this far is being the very best at one particular aspect, and that is website maintenance. I offer my clients a one stop for all their needs, so they don’t need to hire different agencies for design, development, marketing, advertising, etc. They just hire us.
We tailor our support plans for our clients based on needs. Where as larger companies may need unlimited support, a small non-profit may only need a couple of hours. We will design a plan to achieve all your web & social media goals. Once fits all may work with certain article of clothing, but so much for web maintenance.
You have gotten where you are by doing what you do best. You have hired the best people around you, lawyers, accountants and vendors. So when it comes to designing, developing and managing your website, do the same. Hire the best. In the long run you will be happy you did. (And save oodles of headaches). Contact us if you have any questions.