Website in 10 Easy steps

For any business, website is as crucial as stock/service. So why not follow a functional path and create one website in 10 easy steps?website1

A functional and well designed website can be one of the most critical factors in building an interface with your customers, suppliers, partners – and potentially investors. Below is how you can create an effective online presence:

WEBSITE 101

  1. Understand the purpose of your Website: Start by determining the purpose of your website. Generally, company websites are a platform to share company’s story – giving visitors a general overview and tour of the products/services. Alternatively, it could also be to generate online sales, where you would create an e-commerce gateway for customers to directly make purchases. Remember that even if you decide to start with a basic/static website you can always upgrade your offer at a later stage.
  2. Decide your Domain Name: The is the URL you will be sharing with your visitors, so it needs to be catchy and something that they will remember. Key insight here, keep it short, concise and free of complicated abbrevations. Very often, it is the case that the domains ending with ‘.com’ have already been registered and you would need to work with alternatives such as ‘.net’ or ‘.co’. This step involves careful research and planning – invest some time in coming up with a suitable domain for your business. It is also worth consulting an IT expert at this stage to ensure that you aren’t using a domain name that has already been copyright by someone else.
  3. Select your Web host: After you’ve decided on your domain name, you will need to choose a web host. Your choice of website host will depend in part on the software you choose but also on the speed and number of visits you expect to receive. With some companies, you can start off with less expensive but less powerful share hosting services, if required, you can step up to faster and more powerful dedicated hosting. This option is something you should consider when choosing a host, even if you start with less expensive option. Another consideration, particularly if you are setting up your website yourself, if whether your host provides for automatic installation of your chosen content management software. Most of the popular hosting services will enable you to do this with the click of a button. And in most cases you can use the same host for more than one website. If you are doing it yourself, the host’s support services should be an important consideration. While few, if any, will support the software, the hosting application related issues can be complicated.
  4. Choose a Web Content Management System: A web content management system is a software that allows you to create and manage your website content, without the need to have detailed programming knowledge. A basic software would allow you to upload information, edit content and manage participation. The primary advantages of using a web content management system are that it is accessible at a low cost and is fairly easy to use. There are several options available today – varying based on your need. Popular ones WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and so on.
  5. Select a pre-made design template: A simple way to get a ready template would be to purchase it online or choose from the free templates already available and ready to use. Think from a visitor’s point of view What would they be looking for when they first visit your website? What is the first impression you want to leave on their mind? Select one theme and stick with that throughout the website. Your website should be simple, consistent and easy to navigate. If there’s too much going on, it could be a distraction to visitors. The navigation should be intuitive and not too complex. Having a lot of unnecessary images and links can turn off visitors. Lastly, don’t make frequent design changes on your website: let users build familiarity with your web portal, remember it and revisit it in the future.
  6. Update the Content, Content is the King: What you’re saying to your audience is of paramount significance as this directly impacts their interests in your page. Ensure that the information you are sharing on your page is relevant to your audience and more importantly a good indication of your brand value. Have a content strategy in mind – (4 easy steps)
    1. How often does the website need to be updated – weekly or monthly or bi-yearly.
    2. Who is responsible for managing all the online activity?
    3. Who is your target audience?
    4. How is your brand positioned in the market and how can you reinforce this with your website?
  7. Setup a Payment System/Gateway: While this step won’t apply to all business websites, companies that want to offer the option to pay online will need to integrate electronic payment systems into their websites. The easiest way to do this is through e-commerce software or third-party payment processors, often called gateways. Some web hsts offer an in-house option for e-commerce integratuon but not all do. So if you hav e to choose one on your own, be sure to do your own research. PayPal, is a popular and cost-effective option to facilitate easy payments.
  8. Ensure Compatibility: It’s imperative to ensure that your company’s website is compatible with all mobile devices and browsers and also platforms. Not only does this enable quick and easy access, but it offers your customers and enjoyable viewing experience. Compatibility means that your website is completely optimized to work on a mobile device. This includes design changes; does it fit on a mobile screen? Also, interface changes; making information accessible in a click of two versus a comprehensive options menu.
  9. Promote your Website: It’s surprising how many businesses forget to promote their website. It should be prominent across all your marketing activities. This could include business cards, brochures, emails and social media. Basically anywhere you have your business logo, your URL should be there too. Implement SEO strategy to drive traffic to your website and to rank high on search engines. There is also the option to use Google Adsense, which will show Google ads on your website. Of course, don’t forget to supplement these activities with a solid social media campaign – targeting your fans and followers on Facebook and Twitter.
  10. Review your Website: Once your website is up and running, it’s time to check how well you did! Simple tools like Google Analytics can help you get feedback on what areas if your website work and those that don’t. It also gives you insights on your demographics, page views, returning visitors, time spent on each page and so on. Regular discussions with your web developer on these analytics is truly time well spent. Remember that having a website just for the sake of it is as good as not having one. Take time out to review the working of your website and it can work wonders for your business.

Finally, it is very easy to overthink and complicate things when building your website. So try to keep it as simple as possible. Your website should give your visitors a clear depiction of who you are as a company and leave them with one solid call-to-action. Have is as user-friendly as possible and think about user-journey as if you were your own customer/visitor.

button-do-not-forgetFor an entrepreneur or small business owner, a website is a great boon – an easy, cost-effective and efficient platform to communicate with a mass audience! Therefore, it’s only fair that you give sufficient attention and time to ensure that you are making the most out of it. DO NOT FORGET how Social Media can be beneficial in the whole process, historically and currently it has seen, working charm for a lot of businesses.

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Employee Engagement is crucial!

It’s been said that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Let’s consider then a lighthearted look at five famous disengaged employees from history and what their stories might teach us.  In retrospect, good practices around recognition, culture management and talent management would have made a big difference for these employees. What about yours?

1) BENEDICT ARNOLD

Who: War Hero & infamous traitor.

Former Employer: Continental Congress

Status:  Defected

Employer’s Failure:  Though Arnold was one of their best leaders and soldier, his superiors failed to recognize or credit him for his successes, and instead unjustly demoted him.

Employer’s Big Loss:  West Point (nearly) and the cities later sacked and burned by this angry ex-soldier.

Lesson: Recognize and reward employee contributions.

Details:  Arnold, whose name is now synonymous with traitor, was a decorated and respected officer for the Revolutionary cause. Repeatedly overlooked and unrewarded, he was so harassed by his superiors that he demanded (and got) a court-martial to clear his name.  Exonerated, but bitter and disillusioned, the brilliant general conspired with the British and then joined their side in the war.

2) WALT DISNEY

Who: Visionary and entertainment tycoon

Former Employer: Kansas City Star

Status:  Fired

Employer’s Failure:  The editor of the Kansas City Star newspaper failed to notice the talent he had working for him. He fired Disney as an illustrator because he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.”

Employer’s Big Loss:  Mickey Mouse

Lesson: Discover who your true talent are and cultivate them.

Details:  Disney was fired from his job at the paper for… wait for it…. lack of creativity! Clearly, his bosses there failed to inspire him, and that lack of engagement with his work led to lackluster performance. Ironically, years later—after Disney had become wealthy and successful from his ideas— The Walt Disney Company would buy ABC, which owned The Kansas City Star.

3) MARCUS JUNIUS BRUTUS

Who: Roman politician and betrayer

Former Employer: Julius Caesar

Status:  Died in Exile

Employer’s Failure:  Boss Caesar failed to create a talent management plan that made his employees feel secure in their jobs. So Brutus and pals figured out a way to fire their boss — by way of a pointy dagger.

Employer’s Big Loss:  His life

Lesson:  Manage talent wisely and be smart about succession planning.

Details:  When the idealistic Brutus and his ambitious fellow senators thought Julius Caesar was gathering too much dictatorial power and not being as inclusive as he should be, they started sneaking around behind his back, and in the end stabbed him in it. Et tu Brute?

4) MARTIN LUTHER

Who: Theological whistle-blower and instigator of Reformation

Former Employer: Catholic Church

Status: Excommunicated

Employer’s Failure: Instead of recognizing and supporting Luther for his contributions and reforms, the Church ignored and then retaliated against him.

Employer’s Big Loss:  A monopoly on Western Christianity. More than 1/3 of Christians today are Protestant, thanks to Luther.

Lesson: Listen to and recognize employees for their ideas.

Details:  Luther was a monk who wanted to reform, not leave the Catholic Church. But his superiors met his ideas with hostility. Luther responded by leading an exodus from the Church, a protest so profound that it spawned a new branch of the Christian religion, Protestantism. The Church later went on to initiate the Counter-Reformation, which addressed most of the issues Luther had raised—but it was too late.

5) NIKOLA TESLA

Who: Brilliant inventor and the real genius behind electricity

Former Employer: Thomas Edison

Status:  Resigned to literally take a job digging ditches

Employer’s Failure:  Edison promised a bonus if Tesla was successful on a project. After Tesla’s completion of the project, Edison reneged. Tesla resigned bitterly.

Employer’s Big Loss:  After parting ways from Edison, Tesla went on to discover:  FM radio, remote control, robots, spark plugs, fluorescent lights, laser beams, wireless communications, Tesla’s turbines, vertical take-off aircraft and the concepts behind the electric car.

Lesson:  Appreciate, support and reward your employees, and then happily reap the benefits of their hard work!

Details:  The brilliant Serbian-born inventor Tesla was the real genius who harnessed the power of electricity. But employer Edison underestimated and failed to reward Tesla and then lost him as an employee.  Though he went on to make many important discoveries, Tesla died in relative obscurity.  Edison lost both the genius of Tesla’s inventive mind and ultimately the war of currents.

Business has always seemed like an easy task but when someone actually took the entrepreneurship path, has face a lot of difficulties, some gave up, some didn’t. But in the dynamic world as today’s where time is the only crucial thing, you cannot wait for a decade for things to happen. The whole dynamic shift might happen while you wait for your business to pick up, so keep your eyes open, something which you might have learned in your intense education/training. If it calls for diversification, think and go for it, use all your resources, put every mind you have, to use and results would be in fine colors. But if you keep optimizing as an optimist, you might land in trouble after a while and realizing then is not what you were born for. I agree, we have the success stories of many conglomerates which started with almost nothing & are in billions today but did you look at the paradigm shift? Did you realize that we are no longer the part of 19th century? Did you realize we are into millennium. Talk about millennium also, we only have few dot com stories with us. 

Our own malcontent employees are probably unlikely to lead an insurgence or burn our city to the ground, but you can be sure that every day they are stabbing your business in the back. The good news is that many disengaged employees are really just potentially engaged employees whose passion for their work has been stifled or curdled. Win those folks’ hearts and minds, and you can turn potential disaster into measurable success for your business.

-“MP” – RB via #globalforce