“It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.” W Edwards Deming
When this highly honoured statistical consultant uttered those words many decades ago, he probably didn’t intend to sound sarcastic. After all, not everyone wants to change ... and not everyone wants to survive.
If you use this analogy in the context of business, there are so many people whom you would swear aren’t interested in surviving either ... but if you’re reading this, thank goodness you’re not one of them. You don’t just want to survive, you want to THRIVE!
What are you telling the world?
It is said that a person’s eyes are the windows to their soul, so I reckon a business’s website is their window to the world. Just type in their domain name and you're immediately introduced to their business and the key people (hopefully accompanied by their smiling faces).
After visiting hundreds of advisers’ websites over the years, more often than not, I’m surprised to see that so many are in dire need of attention.
The most common problem is out of date information or publications (eg. the last newsletter displayed is years old).
Another letdown, given that financial planning is such a personal service, is the number of sites that don't have any personal information about the people behind the business.
And from a technical perspective, broken links that go to 404 or "dead pages" are widespread. (When I find these I always let the owner know so they can fix the links - that's usually an easy one.)
Being focused on the day-to-day tasks of managing a business, attending to clients' needs and keeping up with the constant regulatory changes, not to mention the crazy economy, can make it easy to forget about your website.
But you can't afford to forget because it's what everyone else sees...
An important question with a simple answer
So, when was the last time you had a good look at your website?
If it’s been months (or even years), make the most of this moment and check it out right now (well, after you've finished reading this post because there's a good tip at the end!). Hopefully you will be satisfied that your site is still sending a current message to your visitors. If it isn’t, allocate some time to give it a polish.
It's a good idea to make this task part of your regular schedule, particularly if you provide a news or education section - it must be kept current. Not only will you look silly if your information is out of date, but the good people at ASIC might not be too happy about it. If you have an automatic news feed, is it "feeding" the right type of information to your visitors? It might be a simpler option, but if the news isn't relevant or helpful, what's the point?
It will be worth it
If your site needs more than a quick polish you might consider doing a complete revamp, particularly to make sure it can be viewed on mobile devices (Google calls them “responsive” websites). This can have a substantial effect on attracting more visitors to your site - and to your business.
Yes, changing your website can be a big job (our last upgrade took 7 months) – but what might happen if you don’t change it? After all, survival isn’t mandatory!
By the way - we can’t help you with designing a new website, but when it comes to making sure you have high quality, well written educational content on your site, it’s all here for you.
Go on, open another tab and type in your website address… if you don't like what you see, do something now to change it. Do more than just survive.
Fact: a static website without updates of any kind is as good as dead in the eyes of both Google and your potential clients. On the other hand, the more frequently you post fresh content on your website, the more frequently search engines will stop by to visit your domain. If you don't have the time to continually write new content for your website visitors to read, subscribe to the Financial Articles Library and you will have everything you need, whenever you need it.