One of the areas that most often trips up, stalls, and distracts new or aspiring business owners is the tech. The reality is, you can start selling and serving people with very little technology. You do NOT need a website. The only exception would be an enterprise focused on e-commerce.
A general rule of thumb.
If you're further along in your business—meaning you've worked with a few clients or sold something to a few customers, are starting to get word of mouth referrals, and beginning to generate consistent cash flow, a website is likely in order.
But even then, keep it simple. Think of it as hanging your digital shingle. Your goal is simply to exist on the interwebs, and not to invest thousands of dollars on a pretty website that few people will see or use at this early stage of building your empire.
Fancy websites don't pay the bills.
It's also important to remember that every website requires maintenance once its built. The more complex, the more resources required to maintain it. Why make more work and create more expenses for yourself when you're a solopreneur who is doing-all-the-things?
For most new business owners, websites are no more than a vanity investment. Approximately 20 percent of small businesses fail within the first year, and owners of nearly a third of those businesses cite running out of cash as a contributing factor.
Start smarter. Leverage social media.
The easiest and most accessible options include social networks. Set-up a free Facebook Business Page or LinkedIn Company Page, or just spend some time optimizing your LinkedIn profile to showcase your work. Remember, the idea at this point is simply to have a digital address you can use to help people find you, connect with you, and learn how you can help them.
If you take this route, one step folks often miss is to claim a customized URL. For example, a new Facebook Page will be assigned a random numeric address (e.g., https://www.facebook.com/61550342709310). You can easily add a username so that the URL then becomes facebook.com/YourCompanyName. Easy peasy.
Have a free WordPress website built for you.
If your business is ready—or you just HAVE to have a website NOW 😅—here's a nifty option that was shared with me in a business group I'm part of: The Free Website Guys.
I can't vouch for this service from personal experience but in spending time reviewing the site it looks legit and I've seen this business model used by others. In essence: provide something useful for free to build a base of folks who know and trust you and will PAY for your services if/when they need more advanced support in the future.
The team behind The Free Website Guys provides detailed information on how their process works, along with their motivation and ethos, and links to numerous free websites they've built. A member of our current coaching circle recently applied and her application was approved within a couple of days; we'll be sure to share a link to her site once it's built!
If you give it a try, be sure to let us know and report back to share your new website with us—we'd love to see it, celebrate with you, and possibly even add it here for future readers to see.