QUESTION: In any organization, who knows the company better than the CEO, president, owner or manager?
For the past 21-Years, I have been the CEO of a web design and online marketing agency in Salt Lake City, Utah. During this time, we have created over 5,000 websites for businesses from New York to Los Angeles and managed local as well as national SEO campaigns. Some of the websites were very large and included eCommerce functionality while others were small and in some instances mostly an online brochure while the company was just getting started and cash flow was tight.
One of the common elements in all of these website development projects were these:
1. New revenue opportunities were discovered!
It’s not that the marketing manager, secretary, or IT director were not competent and well prepared. They were. It is just the reality that the owner of the company intuitively can see opportunities that most of the staff cannot. I can’t even count the number of times that a new business model and potential new revenue opportunities would present themselves during the development process of the site.
2. Owners know their business better than anyone!
An owner is the guy who puts in the most hours, gets paid last, and is the one everyone turns to for everything. This knowledge and intimate understanding of what makes the company great or knowing why it’s not, makes the top guy the absolute best candidate to roll up his or her sleeves and dive into the content and the message being created for the company’s clients and future prospects. After all the purpose of the new web design project should be to get the site found online and using white-hat SEO strategies drive new revenues.
3. The owner can see the legal risks in a poorly crafted message.
Any successful company usually relies on word of mouth advertising. With the popularity of social networks, that reality has never been more important. If a product or service is presented on a website and there is potential for misunderstanding — expectations that are unrealistic or even pricing that is inaccurate — that business is setting itself up for a reputation management problem as happy clients tell a small group about their experience and unhappy clients tout their woes to the masses and are able to find hundreds of websites to help them bash your operation. It is always important to have disclaimers, clearly articulated offerings, and simple wording so there is no confusion in the process of buying from you.
4. Scope Creep is your friend.
Most web development companies try to avoid the reality that there are always changed orders along the way. At Utah Website Design, we have learned to adapt on the fly as changes are requested, and we embrace the reality that these changes usually mean that the president was thinking about the project the night before, and he came up with what is usually an important strategic addition to the project.
5. Execs that make the time now can actually manage their site easier going forward.
Everyone understands the demands on a busy executive’s time; however, he or she is the executive because they have been able to multi-task and get things done in the face of tremendous opposition. If you want something done, you give it to the person with the MOST on their plate because they will find a way versus the person that gets bogged down with more than one task and can’t function properly. Presidents, your time is valuable. We know. But your all-important message on your website live for the world to see 24/7 — including your current customers and future prospects — is worth it!
6. A website that is not managed actively FAILS!
Like anything, if your website has not had new content added, a new blog posted, testimonials included, new projects highlighted, press releases on corporate events, awards received, civic involvement or charitable work ongoing, contests to engage your site visitor, social connections, new graphics and images, and a fresh new look once in a while, you have failed, and your site is at risk of losing precious placement on SERPs (Search Engine Results Page). If you are not delivering your message effectively, your competitor will.
7. Don’t expect a hired-gun third-party to ever replace you.
We are routinely expected to manage websites with very little input from the client company. Although we have been very successful in creating fresh new content and collateral for our clients (because we have had some clients for 15+ years), it would be so much better if the senior staff were involved in the content creation. They are the ones that are familiar with:
- Changes within your industry that is a potential game-changer.
- Legislation or regulatory changes upcoming that need to be dealt with.
- Market opportunities created by new technology advances.
- Buyer-beware-type advice based on fly-by night operators pitching your clients.
- Competitive pricing changes that should be highlighted or cheap knock-offs exposed.
- New and innovative product lines you are bringing on.
- The list goes on and on and nobody knows it better than the “Main Man or Woman.”
If your company is planning on upgrading your website (or fixing it because it was built by a nephew four years ago), thinks it is embarrassing because it’s outdated, or heaven forbid it’s not mobile-ready and can’t pass the Google Mobile-Friendly Test , then may I suggest everyone take a deep breath and get your BOSS INVOLVED in the new design and development, content, and corporate message. Their involvement will provide all of the opportunities outlined in this blog, and the future of your online revenue channels will be in really good hands not only for today but for the next one to sit in the CEO’s chair.