Web consultation services can be a tremendous value for a growing business. As with many business services, the cost of web services can add up quickly. Money, time, and attention are too valuable for a small business to allow technology to consume too much. Technology is supposed to make our lives easier, not harder.
What are your goals?
The key focus of my web consulting is to identify how well your current web services are aligned to your business goals. A common mistake I see most businesses make is to adopt some bit of web-based technology without fully evaluating how it helps with concrete business goals. We would find it odd if a steel mill in the 19th century bought a new industrial sewing machine just because the owner saw a shiny new one in his friends textile factory, but that is exactly what is happening with web technology today. On the other hand, some businesses are missing out on technology that would aid their goals tremendously. This is where a quality web services consultation comes in.
The first time we meet, we are not going to talk at all about the technology you have or want to have. That might seem odd, but remember: the technology is always in service of the business goals. Instead, we are going to discuss your overall business goals. Are you looking to increase your customer base? Are you looking to expand your territory? Are you looking to increase the quantity of goods or services individual customers consume? Are you looking to increase customer retention? What are your concrete, measurable goals for your business? Unless I know what your goals are, I cannot begin to identify where web services can help or hinder your business.
What web services do you currently have in place?
Do you have a website? Do you have social media accounts? Do you update them?
Once we have had a chance to discuss your business goals, we can evaluate the web services you currently have to see how well they align with your goals. It seems like common sense, but taking the time to evaluate web services is a rare act. Often, when taking a look at a client’s web services, I find that every service has untapped potential to further the goals of the business. There are some times though, where the client is spending time, energy, and money on services that do not aid any goal.
When we discover a misalignment, we have two sane options: question the goals, or question the services. Both options need to be on the table. Ultimately, after some careful evaluation, we bring the business goals and the web services into alignment.
What web services are missing?
Where are the gaps in our goals? Now that we have our well-defined goals, and know that the services we have are aligned with those goals, we need to find ways to meet the unmet goals. Not all of your goals will be assisted by technology, and you may find my assessment too conservative – you may be tempted to call me a Luddite. I have spent enough time with computers and with people to tell you that the right person for a task is far easier to find than the right software. There may be some opportunities for the right web service to fill in one of those gaps, make communication easier, or make a job take less time, and we will find those opportunities, but be glad when we don’t.