Sharing a personal email
I was writing a bit about what we had been doing lately and a bit about our Improved Website product. This was in an email to a client of ours going back many years.
I was talking about creating content and how it's important. It gave me the idea to post the email for everyone. It might show current and future clients what we want to achieve.
Even though it's a bit personal, as an introvert, it's much easier to talk to people you know. It's a bit of an honest insight into our past, present and future.
A client enquired about getting some updates done to their website. When touching base, I wrote a bit about our Improved Website product and it might be something to consider if/when a new website was on the cards.
One of the comments they made was
It's great to see and feel the excitement in a small business that is having a crack.
It is the start of a (hopefully) exciting time. The bulk of my time the last 4 years (and over $100,000 in cash) has gone into the website product and our timesheet product. Plus a base system for our business applications to improve development and maintenance time.
Has been hard at times to keep motivated, using other income to fund things. Feels like gambling at times! I have lots of other ideas, but will go about things differently from now on. Validating an idea or concept first before building a fully-featured product. Find a market first, then invest the time/money when you know there is demand.
I decided I really wanted to build software to my absolute best ability and knowledge, no shortcuts and over deliver on value. It meant removing budget limits and time constraints.
It's not an easy thing to do, but I'm getting great feedback on the website product and it really excites me personally knowing how good it actually is. I set the price at $1000/year ex GST, but I would feel like it provides great value even if someone was paying 3 times that.
It's about the same level website we would charge $10,000 to build and $600/year to host and maintain. But maybe 3-5 years later, there could be a big outlay again to update and refresh things. Especially if new technology comes along or big changes have happened and a new site is needed.
So I shifted to a smaller single yearly cost and tried to include everything required. The front-end is custom designed and unique. But we maintain a single core system that every site runs on. When we do updates or add new features, these get pushed out to all the sites. Sharing the cost keeps it low and everyone benefits as we grow and make improvements.
We make nothing the first year, but get a decent return if someone continues for 4 years. Every 4 years we offer a full website redesign at no charge. This keeps it looking fresh and up-to-date and we can use the opportunity to make major changes if there's something like a new technology emerging.
Everything is kept updated, improvements keep getting made and there is never the big cost of needing a new website. You basically have a team with their finger on the pulse of any changes to technology and current best practices. Looking after all that stuff for you.
Businesses just need to create content from time to time so the website gets updated. Adding new pages and making changes is really important to grow the website traffic and rank higher in search engines etc.
Each page is made to be shared, especifically on Facebook and Twitter. So when a page is created, the link can be copied and it will generate a nicely formatted post with an image, heading and text linking back to the page.
It's a struggle to get content created though. Most businesses create their initial content for the website then rarely update it. That's ok for an established business that just wants people to find their contact details or maybe refer potential clients for further information.
But if a goal of the website is to generate new leads/customers, adding new content is essential. Even once a month will help. I think that's the bare minimum.
So I'm encouraging everyone to just send us the text and an image and we will create any pages and set things up for search engines and social media. Even if it is just an initial draft, it's then easy to update the page. This is also a good approach, because making more changes ranks the page/site higher by search engines for being up-to-date.
If anyone prefers to add pages themselves, they can let us know and we will check and fine tune things.
But very exciting times to finally get things out there and start marketing the website product. As it gains traction it will really allow us to put more resources into it and move faster.
Hopefully create a local employment opportunity and other remote positions in the short to medium term too.
I'd love to be able to talk to everyone as openly as this. But being an introvert, it always takes me a little while to open up.