Websites – a must for startups? – KSS

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To be honest with you all, I don’t exactly think they are.

In reality, you can actually grow your business without a website, matter of fact, you may not need one to start. Now, you shouldn’t get it all confused. Websites are awesome and all. Having one enables you to list all of your products and services, connect with clients and all…

…but still, you can get a lot done without one.

I will go into details shortly, but before I do, here’s a thread shared on Twitter by Seni Sulyman. He’s currently the VP operations Andela(global) and prior to this, the country director, Andela Nigeria. This should give him some form of authority.

Here’s a better topic instead:

“How to go about integrating technology to make your business make sense”

You should see this…

Here are some myths people still believe about websites…

Myths: Once I get my website, I can easily drive traffic and grow sales.

Reality: NCC recorded a peak 97 million internet users in Nigeria. This loosely translates to averagely 50% of Nigerians go online. Still a large market you might think, but the story of Yudala and Konga revealed hidden figures. I will come back to this later.

Myths: Customers wants to see a website before they can trust you with their money.

Reality: Again. This is false. Most Nigerians probably check Jumia for price average and then walk to the nearest store to buy.

Myths: Websites are a must because how else can you share your products with the public.

Reality: Have you heard of social media? You can get a lot done with it.

You might be wondering, “OK. You do have a point, so why exactly do I need a website?”

Good thinking. I will return to this later…

Let’s talk about online businesses and the Konga saga. Konga was perceived to be big. The Nigerian market is massive, surely we can make sales and break even, they must have thought. Until Zinox bought everything for $10m.

Then news went viral. Jumia was burning cash daily. Payporte sponsors BBN and still owes workers. People weren’t buying from them as we thought. Brick n mortar was still outselling even without the publicity.

This story cuts across a lot of online businesses…

Here’s what you should know; Before you consider integrating technology into your business, first build a business.

Technology is just a tool used to promote a business. By technology, I mean social media, websites, mobile apps and the likes. It means if your value proposition isn’t string enough or users don’t want what you offer, your business is already dead on arrival even if you add some form of technology to it.

When is the right time to implement technology?

When you have successfully satisfied one customer from end to end.

This means you have understood how to run a business from production, logistics, marketing, sales and all. Only then can technology help scale this efficiency to service many more.

Social media is a great place and I think should be prioritize over a website. It is also a place to test and measure market feedback.

Once you’ve become comfortable with that, it just might be time to own your own website. But never forget that offline marketing and word of mouth goes farther than any website.

So I have a website, should I shut it down?

Not at all. Rather spend more time working on the type of content you share on your website.

Finally, I am ready to own my website, what do I look out for and who do I go to?

What to look out for when building a website

  1. UI/UX: This simply means user interface and user experience. Your website must be designed to predict how your user should interact with it and simplify the process.
  2. Content: Generating the right content is key. People visits websites that add some form of value to them.

Conclusion

If you forget everything, please remember this; Technology is the tool to scale or enhance your business and not to start.

KSS BY: Sylva Elendu

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