To determine the USP, answer the following questions:
- What distinguishes your brand, product or service from competitors?
- Why do these differences matter (may matter) to your customers?
- What kind of benefit will your customers receive by choosing your brand, product, service?
- How your brand, product, service will benefit customers?
Take your time with the answers. As a rule, what immediately comes to mind is either too obvious or inherent not only to you, but also to your competitors. Give yourself some time to delve deeper into the topic and understand exactly how your proposal benefits customers
and / or solves their problems. Here are some examples of USP:
- Bloggers - personal experience, expert opinion, confidential information, etc.
- Shops - the only distributor in the region, the maximum guarantee on the market, the lowest prices (if this is true), speed of service.
- Cargo carrier - new delivery vehicles (drones), coverage of regions where no one else works, or the use of blockchain to automate workflow, track goods and manage supply chains.
# 4. Buy a domain name (and hosting)
What does the website address consist of
A domain name
is the name and at the same time the address of your website on the Internet. Typically, this address consists of two parts: a second-level domain (SLD) and a top-level domain (TLD). Sometimes sites can also have a third-level domain. They don’t need to be used, as this affects search results and tells customers that you want to save on the site for your business.
An SLD may consist of any number of alphanumeric characters and hyphens. It is chosen by the owner of the site, provided that this phrase is free. For example, if you are the owner of a restaurant called Joe's Extra Diner, then you can register SLD joesextradiner.
TLD is used to indicate the purpose of the domain name (the scope of the site) or to indicate the country, region or object to which the domain belongs. The number of TLDs is strictly limited and cannot be selected by the type of SLD you choose. Compared with the addresses of houses, then TLDs are a kind of zip codes.
Most Popular Small Business TLDs:
- .com— commercial projects.
- .org— organizations (often non-profit).
- .net— network projects (in a broad interpretation).
- .edu— educational projects and institutions.
- .info— universal.
- Regional TLDs.
Since you choose a web address for an existing business, the domain name should repeat the name of the company, be its abbreviation or a combination of words in the name. For example, the bank JPMorgan Chase & Co. uses jpmorgan.com, and the People's Bank of China (abbreviated as PBC or PBOC) - pbc.gov.cn.
Domain names are acquired for certain periods of time, and their cost usually varies in the range from 5 to 50 dollars per year, depending on the chosen TLD. Along with the domain name, you also need to find a hosting provider, the cost of their services depends on the complexity of the site and the expected traffic.
# 5. Choose a development approach
Option 1: site builder. Programs or online services for creating simple websites that do not require learning programming languages. They work according to the Lego principle: you use various templates and graphic elements to construct your site from these “cubes”. Suitable for creating business card sites, landing pages and promotional pages.
Option 2: Content Management System (CMS)
. A web platform or program that provides the user with the opportunity to select a template for creating a site and then customize it for themselves. Visual settings are usually minimal: a couple of images, colors and fonts. But CMS allows you to easily and quickly add new pages (articles) and edit their content, which is important for multi-page sites, such as blogs, news and corporate portals.
Option 3: do it yourself from scratch
. This approach provides maximum flexibility, but requires serious programming and web design skills. If you don’t have them, but have a desire to learn, there are a lot of guides, video tutorials and courses on learning programming languages and website layouts on the network.
Option 4: Hiring a Developer Company
. A professional web developer
will take the information you collected in the previous steps and create a website for your small business on its basis. To do this, he can use one of the above development options or combine them. If a web developer uses ready-made themes, templates or constructors, the price will be lower, if this is a person who encodes everything on his own, higher.
In order to choose a really good developer:
- Explore his portfolio by independently testing their products (sites).
- Examine the information trace on social networks, forums and thematic sites. Look for reviews, recommendations, and collaboration stories.
- Check the legal points: is the company registered, how long has it been working, where is the main office, how many people are on staff, and so on.
More about choosing a technical partner in the article «How to Choose a Developer Company…
# 6. Design a website
Stages of website design development
If you decide to create a site yourself, and not hire a technical partner, then the next step will be to develop a design or choose a suitable topic on the CMS platform. The first option will give more flexibility, the second - will simplify the process and reduce development time.
Self-development of design consists of two stages:
- Creating a low-fidelity prototype. Usually this is a schematic sketch of how the site will look, where the emphasis is on placing blocks of text, images, transition forms, videos, etc. Low-fidelity prototype allows you to show the short path of the user on the site and avoid blunders of UX / UI design.
- High-fidelity prototype. An intermediate version of the site design embodied in a graphic editor, web designer or code, where the entire structure of the site is visible, there are images and partially or completely filled text blocks. High-fidelity prototype provides an opportunity to understand how the site will look ready-made and what else needs to be done.
# 7. Create content for main pages
Typically, a website for a small business
consists of five pages: the main page, product and company information, reviews and contacts. In landing pages, the tasks of these pages are performed by blocks where the same information is presented, but more briefly. If you intend to blog, then you will also need one or more ready-made posts.
Here are some tips for filling these pages (blocks):
- Main page. Having looked at this page, the user should immediately understand what kind of site it is and why it needs it. Moreover, the simpler the idea, the better. If you sell a piano, then on the top page there should be a call to buy a piano, if you are advertising an information business - registering and / or buying a course, if you are a blogger - your texts. Below you can insert a description of the product and talk about your unique selling proposition.
- Product i It is necessary to briefly describe the use cases of the product, and even better, visualize it using videos or photos. Also here should be information about the manufacturer, warranty and cost.
- Company information. It is necessary to indicate the scope of activity, legal status, in which region / country you work and for how long. It is not necessary to tell the history of the company, its goals and aspirations, if these are not marketing pieces.
- Ideally, you need to use reviews from social networks with a link to them. Such things create the maximum level of trust among customers and allow them to check if these are real reviews.
- Contacts. Address (with Google Maps integration), phone numbers and emails.
How much does a website cost for a small business