When it comes to businesses in “start-up mode”, the principal focus is product and/or service development. Businesses in the start-up phase have little time and money and as such, must invest their resources wisely if they are to get their product or service to market.
Outside of the product and/or service development process, little else is considered. Important activities – activities that can help to grow the business – have to be put on hold while all hands are on deck getting the product or service out the door.
One such activity is the development of the high-quality website. Most businesses nowadays appreciate the value (and importance) of a website, it’s how businesses get their product/service in front of interested parties and generate sales enquiries.
But the thing is, few start-ups can afford a website during the product development stage… it’s just too expensive… and not just the pounds! Creating and managing a website is time-consuming, resource-intensive and, in some cases, complex. There’s also the fact that most start-ups don’t know what their business or product and messaging will be in three, six or even twelve months and therefore cannot afford to build a traditional website as it may need changing just a few months later!
Those that do have a website, however, usually have a static, one-page website. The website is usually easy to manage but ultimately provides no real insight into what the start-up does.
It’s a difficult situation to be in. On the one hand, start-ups appreciate the value of having a website and how it can help to attract interested parties, generate leads and business revenue – but on the other, building and managing a large website in such an uncertain period is a massive drain on resources… resources they may not even have to begin with!
To top it off, designing a website the “traditional” way, will take at least six to twelve months (and in extreme cases, more than a year) and by the time it’s finished, the start-up’s direction may have changed and the website will no longer reflect what the start-up actually does. The time set aside to the develop the website will be for naught and the website will need to be taken offline to undergo redesign. With the website offline, the start-up will lose customers and fail to generate new business enquiries as there is nowhere for interested parties to go to find out more about the product or service.
There is, however, a solution.
It’s called Growth-Driven Design (GDD).
Growth-Driven Design for start-ups
In the same way that start-ups are agile, fast-moving and strategically inclined – so too is GDD. GDD represents a more strategic, data-driven and cost-effective approach to website design.
Instead of constructing a ‘complete’ website (a process that would take a considerable amount of time and money), GDD instead focuses on building a high-impact, high-performance website launchpad website in the shortest possible period of time – and at a fraction of the cost of a traditional website build.
The launchpad website is comprised of the start-up’s highest value pages (based on analytics) or the pages that have been identified as high value. These pages will drive the most activity to the website. Once those pages are set live, web page analytics are used to collect web page performance data. Each web existing web page is then refined based on the data that has been captured and that data is also used to inform the design and layout of future pages to ensure maximum effectiveness.
On a month-by-month basis, an agreed number of pages are then added to the website, further expanding it and giving it more opportunities to be found in search results by interested parties.
Furthermore, as the website is in its early stages and constantly being refined, it can easily be modified to reflect changes in messaging, product information and other vital details. Start-ups can experiment with language to determine what website visitors find most engaging, and any changes to messaging can be readily deployed across the launchpad website… after all, it’s much easier to edit a 10-page website than a 60-page website.
The cost of the website? Spread over twelve months. A three month down payment and then a series of fixed monthly payments.
An agile website methodology…
For start-ups, GDD is the most strategic and cost-effective option for website build & development – and the only option truly worth considering. In the B2B tech world, start-ups need to be able to shift and change – and this applies to their website as well.
GDD allows start-ups that flexibility. As an iterative website development process – a process that repeats itself – GDD is not about creating a “complete” website, but about expanding your website based on user data and your business’ growth.
At The B2B Marketing Lab, we specialise in Growth-Driven Website Design, and it’s an approach we recommend to all of our clients. When it comes to website design it’s not about rushing to complete it but building the most effective website you can in the short term and then collecting information on how its engaged with by website visitors, to inform future web page creation.