There are many individual items in play when launching a website besides the notion of snagging a domain, setting up hosting, designing the site, filling content, and promoting the work. Going on behind-the-scenes and off to the side are services that keep the front-end moving along.
The back-end needs services include:
- On-going design & development
- Tech support
- Advertising/marketing opportunities
- Content creation
- Sales & customer service
You should see the website not as a portal for information but as a business; where different ideas and services come together to create a great experience for those visiting (and may intend to buy).
Being able to pick up the phone and contact a local business/company that provides technical services that could have you back up and running with an in-person visit is far easier than aimlessly waiting to hear back from technician’s hours behind due to time zone differences.
Example: The site and office hardware falls under a DDOS or equivalent attack. If I were in the area, I’d do a search for IT services in Ottawa and get the support I need right away.
Place yourself in that scenario and see if you want to wait around as you’re losing money from the site and hardware being down (plus the financial repercussions if attackers gain access to your private data).
On-going Design & Dev
Times change and you’ll get the itch to make adjustments to your website as you see the competition try new strategies. Having an individual or team on board to aid in the design and development of the site should be in your rolodex.
Example: I know that web design matters and one of the most important areas is the branding. Having someone that can quickly develop new designs, landing pages, capture forms, or experimental plugins can keep my brand in the spotlight and pressure on the competition.
You may not need this individual or company at all times so consider working with a freelance client that’s flexible to your needs (check Freelancer, UpWork, oDesk, Craigslist, Indeed, Monster, or others).
Scaling the reach of the website will hit a point of difficulty when you begin competing with the larger influencers and players in your market.
Example: PPC, email marketing, and social media campaigns are the bread and butter of building a brand & audience on the Web. A good percentage of your expenses should be spent on these services.
Services are crucial because these areas require a massive understanding to which you may not have the time nor energy to pursue. It’s probably best you let the experts handle the technical and creative aspects of the advertising/marketing so you can remain focused on the products and services.
The base content (your typical blog posts and content that fills the main areas of the site) can easily be done by you or in-house help. It’s when you begin to expand and want to explore ebooks, video, podcasting, infographics, and interactive content that you may want to seek professional services.
Example: I know I could record audio for a podcast but I don’t have the time to do the editing, publication, and transcription. Handing these tasks to a professional lets me move ahead while it’s being handled.
The usual freelance sites can give you a good start else ask around else find blogs in your niche and get in touch with the owner to see if they could provide content or direct you to someone who can. You’d be surprised how helpful others are even if they are technically your competition.
Sales & CS
If the site is selling a product or service, then you need someone (or a team) there to generate those sales and handle customer service in order to grow beyond what you’re able to handle personally.
Example: You could take in remote employees around the World to continually push sales throughout the day without the limits of time zones. Customer service can be handled the same way by routing inquiries to those in-office or working from home.
These are two things that really should be in the works while the site is being created if you plan on selling products or services. The services will be essential to branding and rapid growth.
Did you think you’d need these services during something as basic as launching a site? It’s good to know and be prepared!