5 Reasons why your website sucks

If your website doesn’t grab the reader’s attention it sucks. Period. And you only have 3 seconds to do it.

Attention spans for the average web user are dropping all the time. With so much ‘noise’ out there if you don’t pique the readers interest fast, they’ll move on.

The rule of 3’s

You may have heard me talk about the rule of 3’s before:

  • You have 3 seconds to grab people’s attention with your headline.
  • Then you have around 30 seconds to get their interest. Do it well and…
  • You get three minutes to convince them – at most!

So does your website pass the test?

Here are my top 5 reasons why your website sucks:

Lemon 1 It’s all about you and not about your clients. I’ve lost count of the number of sites I have seen that “we” all over the internet. We do this, we do that, aren’t we great. That’s not the way to win your client’s trust and build a rapport with them. Go back to marketing basics and apply them to your website – now!

Lemon 2The end user experience is cr@p. This could mean a number of different things from broken links, disjointed headers as you scroll, slow loading pages right through to inability to read it on anything other than a widescreen desktop. Over 50% of web traffic is now viewed on a mobile or tablet. Make that 90% for Facebook ads. So if it isn’t responsive your website sucks.

Lemon 3It’s irrelevant. Traffic doesn’t just find your website – it gets there because it was sent there. Either you sent the reader there to check you out or you put out some form of marketing that sent the reader to the site. But if the page you sent them to isn’t directly relevant to why you sent them there, your website sucks. This is such a fundamental principle that Google even built it into their algorithm for calculating where your pay per click ads will feature. That’s how important it is.

Lemon 4Your readers don’t know what they should do. What do you want your website visitor to do? Are they to sign up for something? Should they book a call? Should they download something. Without clear direction they WILL do something – and it will probably be to click away from your site.

It’s Lemon 5stale – like yesterday’s French bread.  People like to do business with dynamic, responsive organisations. If your website hasn’t changed in the last six months that hardly denotes dynamism. If your last blog post was 12 weeks ago and your Twitter feed shows tweets from a few weeks back, they are going to wonder if they will get a similar level of attention as your client. I’m not saying you should be making daily changes, but regular content refreshes are essential.

That leads nicely into how I can help……

achieve-365-logo

You may have heard me talk about the achieve 365 library. It’s a growing and constantly refreshed repository of the best business advice available to entrepreneurs. That advice has been gleaned from a team that has built 8 separate £1m businesses over the last ten years. And it’s practical advice, not airy-fairy theoretical waffle. The advice is distilled into a series of Implementation Plans, each one covering a particular aspect or creating, building or running your business.telephone

And yes – there is an Implementation Plan covering your website. It’s a checklist covering 14 different aspects of how to turn your website into the ultimate conversion machine. Don’t let your website be a lemon. Book a free 30 minute call with me and find out how Achieve 365 can help you. Just click on the link here or on the phone and book your call.

If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter

Consider this scenario:

You hear a speech from a Gold Medal winning Olympic rower. The speech is all about the approach he and his teammates in the men’s eight took to go from no-hopers to Gold Medal winners. An approach that examined every aspect of what they did – diet, training, even relaxation.

 

Do you think:

  1. that’s fascinating, thanks very much
  2. that’s ok but I don’t like rowing and it has nothing to do with my business

or

  1. that’s really interesting, how can I apply that philosophy in my business

 

Which option would you take? Super-successful businesses take option C. They have the mindset that looks for opportunity in every situation. They look to take other people’s experiences and apply them to their own business.

 

Thinking is important

How much time do you spend on your business? On average, business owners spend just two days a year working on their business. If you do the 90 minutes I talked about last week for just three days each week you’ll beat the annual average in your first month!

 

But how you spend that time is even more important. Even when we work on our businesses, we can all fall foul of being busy doing the wrong things, being busy without being really productive.

One hour of quality thinking is worth a month of hard work.

Why? Because that hour’s thinking shapes and drives what you do with that month of hard work.

Thinking alone is not enough. A well thought out plan is worthless unless it is implemented. Don’t over-plan or over-think – that just leads to procrastination and indecision.

That’s why I advocate doing your 90 minutes. Concentrated thinking married with focused execution.

 

Now having the right mindset isn’t about just one thing. It isn’t a case of doing one thing and you’ve cracked it. It’s about a whole raft of things.

  • It’s about how you think about yourself and your role
  • It’s about how you react to situations
  • It’s about who you hang around with

But most of all it’s about choice. You get to choose all the above and much more.

 

So mindset is about you and the choices you make. You have to mind about the choices you make. Because if you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.

 

How Successful Entrepreneurs Think is another key implementation plan in the Achieve 365 library. If you’d like to find out more about it let’s jump on a free 30 minute Skype call. Click on the link to my calendar below, select Implementation Plan introduction and book that call now: http://meetme.so/AllenRuddock

The 3 biggest challenges facing business owners

 

My first consulting business never really took off. I started it in 2003 with a former colleague and we were, frankly, naïve. We thought because we were good project and programme managers the work would come to us. A few phone calls. A bit of networking and hey presto, contracts would be signed.

 

The reality was so different. Some of out early discussions took over a year to come to fruition. Preferred suppliers lists got in the way. And when we did get some work, we were so focussed on delivery that we forgot about sowing the seeds for the next piece of work.  We suffered from the 3 biggest challenges that hold businesses back.

 

  1. Working in the business , not on the business
  2. Not dedicating some time on most days to getting and keeping clients
  3. Procrastination

 

Why are these the BIG three?

Let’s look at each one in turn, and then you’ll understand why I have picked out these challenges.

 

Working on the business, not in the business

Whatever your business, be it product based or services based, there is no business without a sale. No clients, no business.

Now, when you get a client, you want to make sure they get the best product or service you can deliver. So you focus your efforts on just that. Me and my first business partner did just that. And when the job was done, we were back to square one – without a current buying client.

We spent all our time working in the business delivering for the client and none looking for the next client. I started to realise this when I had a gap between clients and my partner was working on client site for his current client. I could never get any of his time to do stuff to develop the business.

 

Now a lot of people become business owners because they like doing what they do. They just want to do it for themselves rather than work for someone else’s company a give them all the profit.

But the reality is if you are constantly working in your business, doing the stuff that you like, but not growing it, not constantly finding new clients, hiring staff, putting in processes to make the business efficient and resilient, you will always go from feast to famine. You will always be trading your time for money. You will always be at the coal face.

 

Not dedicating time to getting and keeping customers

There’s always lots to do in running a business. Whatever line of business You are in you’ll want to keep abreast of the latest developments.

As project and programme management consultants my business partner and me needed to keep up to date with the latest tools and techniques. We had to get to know the latest software in case a client used it or might find it useful.

And then there’s the website to get up and running. There are brochures to write about all those new tools and techniques. And there’s the accounts to do.

The list goes on, but no mention of getting and keeping clients.

 

You see, we were busy. Very busy. But not with the right stuff. Without clients, all the other stuff was meaningless. Yet we didn’t dedicate any time on a daily basis to finding, getting and keeping clients. It’s the single most important task and we didn’t do enough of it. We certainly didn’t prioritise it.

 

Procrastination

When my first consulting business was struggling it wasn’t that I didn’t realise we were doing the wrong stuff or that we didn’t know we need to spend time getting clients. It was more that we didn’t really know how to go about things. We didn’t know what to focus on.

So we procrastinated. We kept busy. Very busy. But not in a revenue, or even lead generation, way. We found things to do to avoid the difficult stuuf. The hard conversations.

Classic procrastination.

 

And this is something I see an awful lot of with businesses I talk to. Procrastination is a bit like an addiction. To deal with it, you first have to admit to it and then seek help. For those that want help, I’m here for you.

 

How to tackle the BIG 3

Tackling the BIG 3 requires determination and effort. There’s no silver bullet, bio quick fix. You have to commit to doing things differently. After all, you’ll have heard me quote the old saying before:

If you always do what you always did,

You’ll always get what you always got.

A great way to do this is setting aside a specific amount of time each day to work on your business with a focus on getting and keeping clients.

 

90 minutes

Setting aside 90 minutes a day to build you business can have dramatic results. Nigel Botterill who owns and runs the Entrepreneurs Circle built 8 £1million + businesses using this discipline. He continues to use it today and almost every working day.

I follow this principle in building my businesses. When my business partner decided he’d had enough of our roller-coaster consulting business, we closed it down and I started again, on my own.

The first thing I decided was to learn about, and get better at, marketing. So I signed up for some courses, joined a mini-mastermind group and then joined the Entrepreneurs Circle, where I learned about Nigel’s 90 minutes philosophy.

 

So as I built my new consultancy, I would do my 90 minutes – split in to two 45 minute chunks corresponding to my training journeys into and out of London. In the mornings I’d craft blog posts, e-mail campaigns and product collateral. In the evenings I would engage my social media audience turning them from followers and connections in to leads and clients.

As a result I have had a near 100% utilisation rate in my new business with very little down time between client assignments. Often I have had training and SharePoint assignments running in parallel to consulting assignments. In fact I’ve often had to turn assignments away because I have had too many commitments.

 

In short, this stuff works!

achieve-365-logo

 

From the experiences Nigel and his team learned building those businesses they created the achieve 365 library – a series of Implementation Plans covering virtually every aspect of buildinag, growing and running a business. Each plan comprises a series of checklists, templates and how to videos taking you through the subject step by step.

 

One of the core Implementation Plans is Getting (Loads) More Stuff Done…. and it’s all about your 90 minutes. If you’d like to find out more about achieve 365 and the Implementation Plans and how I can help you keep yourself motivated and accountable, let’s get a free 30 minute Skype call set up. Click on the link to my calendar below, select the “Achieve 365 30 minute call” option and book that call now:

Allen’s calnder link

How to get stuff done in your business

Sport is a great analogy for business.

Anyone can take part in sport at one level or another. For example, you can just turn up at a track and run a race, or pop down the tennis club to play a set or two. But without any preparation don’t expect to get a call up to the Olympics squad or The Davis Cup Team. Getting to those events requires a great product (your talent), lots of planning and hard work.

 

Just like business.

Just as in sport, anyone can set up a business and sell products or services. There may be some regulatory or industry specific constraints (food safety, hygiene, health and safety laws etc.) but otherwise, you can pretty much go for it.

But if you want to be a business Olympian, if you want to win medals, you need to have a great product or service and then you have to plan for success and work hard to deliver it. You need to get stuff done!

 

Can you succeed?

Can any business succeed with the right planning and hard work? That depends on two things.

The first is your definition of success. If success means £1m turnover, staff and six figure profits, not all business can achieve that. Some business will only ever be part-time kitchen table ventures, but if that is what you want from your business and the expected level of profit is commensurate with that, then it is a success.

The second is having a minimum viable product aligned to your definition of success. Some products or services are just never going to make it commercially. If yours is one of them, accept it and move on rather than pouring good money and time down the drain.

 

Success through focus and application

But with the right product success can be achieved. Let’s use the sports analogy again. A few years back we were rubbish at cycling. Then the powers that be decided to do something about it. They started by breaking down the problem of winning. Everything from improving the bike, fitness regimes, diet, etc. we examined. Changes were made, tested and adjusted. Every little detail right down to even taking mattresses to improve sleep between Tour de France stages.

In a few short years we had our first Tour de France winner in Sir Bradley Wiggins and now a three times winner in Chris Froome. Besides that, we have serious medal expectations at every cycling event around the world.

You can apply the same approach to your business.

 

Is there a switch?

The UK’s cycling success didn’t happen overnight and nor will the changes in your business. There’s no magic switch that turns a business into an instant success. But a switch is required for success longer term. It’s a switch in the attitude of you, the business owner. A switch from an attitude that says it’s all someone else’s fault to accepting that it’s down to you. It’s a switch from a ‘can’t do’ or ‘can’t be bothered’ attitude to a ‘can do’ attitude. It’s a switch from seeing endless problems to looking for and finding solutions. From saying why you can’t to asking how you can. From procrastination to ‘let’s get stuff done’

 

Are you up for the challenge?

You’re reading this blog so  you already have the attitude to learn. But learning is only worthwhile if it translates in to action.  You have to implement what you learn. You have to implement the plans to make your business a success. That is the key to achieving your targets and goals.

 

Setting goals

The first step is setting goals for you and your business.  They might be financial. They might be about getting more free time. They might be about having fewer clients, but of the right type. Whatever they are, they need to be ambitious.  Break them down from the longer term goals into annual, quarterly, monthly and even weekly goals or targets. Read my blog from 7th July 2017 (http://www.arra-li.com/leadership/goal-setting-dont-aim-for-mediocrity/) about setting goals.

 

Planning

Next, you need to identify the key things that will enable you to achieve your goals and then create a plan to do them. Focus on the short term, most immediate goals. Then take incremental steps. Rome wasn’t built in a day and you don’t need to change everything in your business immediately. Have somethings that will deliver short term gains whilst you work on the longer term, potentially bigger changes.

 

The secret to success

Implementation – without it the rest is a waste of time. But don’t think that you have to do it all yourself. If you have a team of staff much of what needs to get done can be delegated, allowing you to focus on the critical stuff you are best at or on the stuff only you can do.

If you don’t have a team, get one. With Vas (virtual assistants) available by the hour in most aspects of business support it’s now much easier to get cost effective support for your business as you grow towards needing, and being able to afford, permanent staff. It’s all about empowerment – of your team and yourself.

 

What if I make mistakes

Mistakes are ok if you learn from them. Don’t get frightened by them. Ask any very successful entrepreneur what they would change on their journey and most would say they wished they had failed faster. Failure taught them the lessons to be successful. So give yourself permission to make mistakes.

 

Get stuff done

This is the first in a series of blog posts about implementing critical stuff in your business. Marketing stuff, process stuff, control stuff, management and leadership stuff. Each post will be about fixing something important in one aspect or another in your business. There will be tools to help along the way, holding your hand through each aspect of building your business. But for now, start thinking about those goals I talked about earlier. Here’s the link to the blog post again: http://www.arra-li.com/leadership/goal-setting-dont-aim-for-mediocrity/

Re-visit, re-write or even just create your goals and prepare for next week’s blog. Let’s get stuff done together.