Websites: ‍They're Critical To Your Business Strategy

Websites: ‍They're Critical To Your Business Strategy

Why Is A Website Critical For Your Business?

Long before COVID-19, a revolution was underway. The industrial revolution way has given up its empire to the digital and technological revolution. Indeed, most revolutions are driven by societal changes and the disruptions of old norms. The pandemic struck like an iron fist and made it very clear how vulnerable businesses and families that were not tech savvy, had become.

Websites were once just a set of “window dressings” that were necessary so that when someone wanted to find a service or learn more about your business, it was visible. But they’ve taken on a new role: the front-end of your entire business.  
   
Statistics Canada reported that e-commerce sales hit $3.9 billion in May 2020, largely as a result of the pandemic. That represents a 99% increase over February of the same year. Websites are critical – Canadian consumers and business owners now demand them implicitly through their behaviour.

“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” — Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple
An example of websites being developed.

How Has The Role of Websites Changed?

When websites consisted primarily of a brand tool that people could inspect, it was acceptable to have a simple website that was built from templates, stock photos and some simple descriptions of your service and business overview.

But as the pandemic hit us, society moved online at a faster pace than ever before. All of a sudden, it was perceived to be dangerous to leave home and the government implemented regulations to slow the spread of the disease. As people stayed home, online shopping, already growing at break-neck speeds, took off like a rocket. In a matter of months, Shopify, Canada’s flagship e-commerce platform grew to become larger than the Royal Bank of Canada!  That wedge between tech companies and everyone else proved that websites had changed.

Websites must now be a way for customers, prospective and current, to engage with your business. There are so many websites and so much “digital clutter,” that new aspects of your website became important. Website visitors want a story. They want the personal look and feel of a local business. They want to be able to interact with you and your team. They want to be taken on a cruise that you’ve assembled just for them. And if they like what they see, they want to purchase online, receive home delivery and purchase on a repeat basis. What a huge implication!

The website is the front-end your business’ entire central nervous system.  

Is Your Website Getting a Passing Grade?

Is your website passing?

You can evaluate your own website by asking yourself the following questions.  

Is it attractive and visually appealing?

Does it work exquisitely on mobile phones?

Can customers make purchases?

Can website visitors speak directly with a member of your team?

Do you accept payment online?

Is it secure?

Can visitors see your team and hear from them?

Does the website tell an interesting story?

Is your business’ brand well-represented by your website?

Does the website convey the quality of your product or service?

Can site visitors determine what makes you different and how savvy you are?

Does it integrate with your other business systems?

Is it routinely updated?

User Experience (U/X) and The Importance of Design

A specialist role has arisen in the web development world. The UX designer is someone that ensures the website is visually appealing and takes visitors on a planned journey. They’re strategists that help ensure every aspect of your website is aligned with your ideal client and the needs of your audience.

BluePrint CPAs has UX and Web Design Consultants ready to help if your website needs modernizing, or even a complete overhaul.

“Digital design is like painting, except the paint never dries.” — Neville Brody

Website Integration With Your Business

As an entrepreneur, it is important that your business use modern management systems in accounting, marketing, operations, human resources, administration and purchasing. Most of these business functions have specialized systems that we’re experts in implementing. The good news is that management systems have never been more affordable or sophisticated. The bad news is that they’re complex to implement. But we can help.

Customers can have their own accounts, accessed by your website. Vendors can also access your scheduling and inventory management systems through your website. Employees can visit your website to take training or check their vacation balance.

We are specialists in digitizing your entire business strategy and helping you and your team transform. And your gut might be telling you that it’s a major transformation. Trust your gut. These projects are complex and digital transformations have a 70% fail rate. Worse yet, industries that resist these transformative projects are going under faster than ever before.

Other Critical Management Systems

I previously discussed how many systems you can digitize. Here’s a brief description of a few common systems.

Cloud accounting

The accounting industry has evolved to allow you to connect your bank account to an online ledger. There are a lot of efficiencies with going paperless and the software allows bookkeeper to automate the majority of your transactions. Keep that in mind when you’re purchasing cloud bookkeeping services. You should be getting a whole lot more than basic accounting given that the majority of it is automated.

Human Resources Information System
 
If you have employees, it is imperative to track employee details, provide training, monitor performance, recruit and retain, and provide payroll and benefits administration. These systems are also complex and we’re specialist in identifying business needs and then getting your system running.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

You should develop a CRM database that tracks customers, both prospective and current. You can gather information about their behaviours, patterns and preferences. These systems can also integrate with chat apps, and internal communications tools.  CRMs also allow you to automate marketing efforts so that you can broadcast your business more widely with less effort. You’ll still need good quality content though, and that is time consuming to produce.

Learning Management System (LMS)

These important tools can be used to train your employees, clients and business partners. Like CRMs, they’re very time consuming to develop. We have specialist skills to produce relevant courses that help you onboard and train employees and help your customers and business partners better understand your business practices.

Online Payments

Most customers now expect to pay by credit card and you should consider enabling online payment systems. It’s very important that you select and implement secure and trustworthy payment solutions, such as PayPal or Stripe.

Inventory and Purchasing

Many business owners come to us with problems in their inventory tracking and parts management. Cloud accounting ledgers are sub-standard in this regard and you may need a specialized inventory application to integrate with your accounting and production systems.

Operations and Project Management

We use project management systems to create work procedures and assign them to our team. Apps like this are priceless in terms of growing your business in a controlled manner. We can help you implemented the best system and we can even provide training to your employees.

Creative and Design Software

The digital economy requires a relentless focus on design quality and branding. The software in this category is difficult to learn and is generally used by specialized designers. The software is also costly so it may be worth outsourcing this work to a firm like ours.

How Can BluePrint CPAs Help?

The tough part about the digital economy is that you may have to revisit your entire business strategy. If you want to do so, and lack the technological know-how, it would be wise to engage a trusted advisors to help you with the many facets of website development. And we’d conclude by acknowledging that the biggest challenge is to retrain your staff on how the new systems work. We also have methods to step in and assist with training.

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Rebecca Scott
Web Designer

Rebecca is a Web Designer at BluePrint CPAs. She is a graduate of St. Clair College’s Internet Applications and Web Development Program and has worked as a freelance web designer before joining the BluePrint team.

BluePrint CPAs is a management consultancy that simplifies digital, financial and talent strategies. Our team helps entrepreneurs and their teams grow profitable and modern businesses.

Kit Moore, BluePrint CPAs President & Lead Tax Advisor
Kit Moore, CPA, CA
President & Lead Tax Advisor

Kit Moore, is an entrepreneur that simplifies digital strategy for other business owners. The team at BluePrint CPAs can assist you with web design, development, analytics, management systems and, more importantly, your overall business strategy. The toughest part of digital transformation is re-training your team - and we have pros to help with that as well.

BluePrint CPAs is a management consultancy that simplifies digital, financial and talent strategies. Our team helps entrepreneurs and their teams grow profitable and modern businesses.

Kit Moore, BluePrint CPAs President & Lead Tax Advisor
Kit Moore, CPA, CA
President & Lead Tax Advisor

Kit Moore, is an entrepreneur that simplifies tax and financial strategy for other business owners. The team at BluePrint CPAs can assist you with financial technology, tax strategies, mergers & acquisitions, succession & exit planning and, more importantly, your overall business strategy.

BluePrint CPAs is a management consultancy that simplifies digital, financial and talent strategies. Our team helps entrepreneurs and their teams grow profitable and modern businesses.

Joe Marra, MBA
Senior Associate, Strategy Consulting

Joe is a Senior Associate, Strategy Consulting at BluePrint CPAs. He is a recent graduate of the MBA Program at the Schulich School of Business and has most recently worked for Bayer Inc and the Ford Motor Company of Canada. His experience in marketing, sales, and human resources spans various industries including hospitality, logistics, life sciences and automotive manufacturing. Joe loves working with entrepreneurs to develop their digital strategies and help them grow their business.

BluePrint CPAs is a management consultancy that simplifies digital, financial and talent strategies. Our team helps entrepreneurs and their teams grow profitable and modern businesses.

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