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Viewing your website as a powerful business tool

When you see your website as a powerful business tool, you'll start to see it as an strategic investment rather than an unnecessary expense

Viewing your website as a business tool requires a perspective shift. You have to see it as an investment rather than an expense and it all starts by asking the right questions. Broader, more business-oriented questions.

The objective of just about any web project is to solve a business problem. Your company isn’t making enough sales, attracting enough customers, or visible enough to your target audience. Somewhere along the way, you decided that a new or improved website was the right solution, but you began by asking the wrong questions.

Instead of getting a quote on improved navigation, a nicer design, or improved usability, take a step back. What sparked this project? What are you ultimately looking to accomplish? What business goals are you trying to achieve? This is what designers try to understand and what clients really want, but often fail to communicate effectively.

Your website is a powerful business tool and can be leveraged more effectively. If you are having trouble changing your perspective, ponder this question: If your website was an employee, what would it’s job be?

When you decide to partner with a designer or developer to create your new website, start by telling them what you ultimately want to accomplish. This could be getting more leads, increasing sales, or reaching a new demographic which will help your business grow. Then together you can strategize a way to achieve those goals, which have value and should always justify the cost of the project. Remember, you want to treat your website as a strategic investment, not an expense.

Being able to see the value in the goals of the project and partnering with a design team who understands those goals is the key to treating your website like a valuable business tool and investing accordingly.

Before starting your project, ask business-oriented questions to better understand your users and what they are trying to learn or achieve when they visit your website. This will help you focus on reaching objective outcomes through design, rather than the subjective nature of the visuals.

About Matt Olpinski
Matt is the President of Matthew’s Design Co. and teachers thousands of freelancers how to succeed through his personal blog and newsletter.