You’ve started your own website development company, and you’re happy with the work that you’re doing. You’ve got repeat clients and happy customers, but you know there are always ways to make a business even better. Use these tips on how to grow your website development company so you can make it even more successful than it already is!
Step 1: Research
Researching should be your first step and arguably most important. Conduct research on what makes other companies successful and how you can use their strategies to formulate a roadmap for success. The best part is that there are lots of tools, both free and paid, that help with just such tasks. There are SEO tools like Moz and Market Samurai (among others) that tell you how well you’re ranking in SERPs so you can see where there might be room for improvement in terms of optimization.
You can also look at things like social media trends to see which keywords/topics are trending up or down over time. And finally, if you have an idea for a product or service but aren’t sure if it will sell, doing some market research—whether it’s surveying potential customers or simply looking at sales data from similar products—can give you a better idea of whether your business idea has legs.
Step 2: Market Research
Make sure you know exactly who your customers are. Set up Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools on all of your sites, so you can see what keywords people are searching for that land them on your pages, and which terms they use to leave from. That way, when you start getting leads from marketing campaigns, you’ll be able to respond immediately with targeted content.
The more specific you can get, in fact, the better: Use analytics to determine where in your sales funnel a potential customer is dropping off—is it after reading about pricing? After looking at case studies? After visiting your contact page? This will help inform how you structure each piece of content.
Step 3: Customer List/Database Management
Most websites are meant to encourage repeat business. In order for that to happen, you need a way of communicating with these new potential customers and delivering new services/content as well as keeping them up-to-date on any deals or promotions you might be running. One option is Google My Business, which integrates with your website and allows customers to fill out information about their business and location so they can appear in local search results.
You can also add reviews from your customers directly to your site. And don’t forget customer databases like MailChimp, Constant Contact, or AWeber—these will allow you to keep track of who has subscribed and what type of content they want from you. Also consider using email marketing platforms like GetResponse, ActiveCampaign, ConvertKit, or HubSpot to grow your email list. These tools will help you send emails that capture subscribers’ attention and drive traffic back to your website through valuable offers.
Step 4: Systems
As a new business owner, you’ll have plenty of ideas on how to run your business. That’s good. Many of them will be really helpful and should be implemented right away. But you can’t implement everything all at once. At some point in your growth, you need systems and procedures that work for everyone who does business with you and with each other. Once you get past 10 employees or so, it’s impossible to manage every employee one-on-one.
Instead, create formal processes that define how things are done within your organization. Your employees will appreciate having clear expectations and they’ll be more likely to take ownership over their roles if they know what is expected of them. Plus, you won’t have to spend as much time managing day-to-day tasks since there will be processes in place to handle most situations. And when an unexpected situation arises, you’ll already have a plan in place.
Step 5: Transparency
In a website development company make sure everyone knows what’s going on and follow-through. This includes keeping clients in the loop about changes and new projects, communicating with team members about any issues or concerns, and giving credit where it’s due. If you have a team member who goes above and beyond, let people know how much their work means to you. Transparency shows that you care about creating a positive experience for everyone involved.
It also helps build trust, which is essential when working with other businesses and individuals. You want to be someone that people feel comfortable doing business with. Keep them up-to-date so they don’t feel like they need to worry about whether or not you can handle something. Also, if there are ever delays or problems (which will happen), be upfront and honest about why things aren’t moving forward as quickly as expected and keep them updated on your progress until everything is resolved.
Step 6: Trust-Based Communication
It’s impossible to build a high-functioning team without trust. That said, not everyone can be trusted. When you’re building a professional network, don’t be an indiscriminate sharer of information. Be selective with whom you choose to confide. Only divulge details that are critical for them to know in order for them to do their job well. The more people know about something, particularly if it’s confidential or proprietary information. The greater chance there is that it will leak out into your industry and cause harm.
If you suspect someone isn’t trustworthy, they probably aren’t. If you find yourself questioning whether or not someone should be included in certain discussions because they may not need to know everything. Ask yourself: If I were no longer working here tomorrow, would I want them to have access to all of my hard work? Would I want them to have access to our intellectual property?
Step 7: Team Members
Before you launch, it’s important to surround yourself with smart people who complement your strengths and weaknesses. Startup incubators often encourage teams of complementary skill sets, like a developer/designer combo or a sales person and an engineer. If you are strapped for cash, leverage your network: Find friends from school who may want a career change or fellow introverts in need of additional income.
A diverse team will ensure success for years down the road. A lot of startups fail because they don’t take their business seriously. Even if you have no money at all, be serious about what you do; it might not be glamorous now, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for growth later on!
Step 8: Growth
In a website development company, once you’ve gotten some traction on social media and feel like you have a lot of loyal followers, it’s time to think about growth. When thinking about growth, don’t just assume things will grow on their own. Instead, actively look for ways to drive more traffic and leads. You can do so by blogging, guest posting on other blogs in your industry, and attending events and trade shows. Creating ebooks or white papers that help educate people in your industry, etc. There are many different strategies for driving growth; it all depends on what works best for you and what kind of business you run.