How an Australian business struggled for 2 years before blowing up. Story from the experience
A couple of years ago, we started working with an Australian company, a supplier of B2B services for the jewelry industry. Their idea was simple: provide retouching services for jewelry product photos so they look professional.
The company initially came to us with a small website and small client flow. Today, the company is widely successful and scaled up to provide its services worldwide.
I’m going to tell you some mistakes that were made early on, but could have positioned this business for its current success much sooner, if solved earlier.
Read on to find out if you’re following the best practices.
Problem 1: The website was incredibly slow and defective
It's great that our client decided to change their website developer, but why do companies like this wait for so long? In most cases, a client doesn’t have benchmarks set which can inform them if their website is functioning properly or not. Instead, they hope for the best outcome.
If you have a buggy site that runs at a snail's pace and your developer can’t resolve this after multiple attempts, they most probably lack the technical skills needed to complete this task. This is usually a strong indicator that you should terminate the contract with the developer and start looking for a new one.
Don’t fall into the trap of hoping that problems will get resolved on their own. You need to be proactive and intervene. To learn how to avoid such situations, check out my other article: what you should know about hiring remote developers.
Problem 2: The website was poorly designed and complicated to use
Too often, UI/UX design is an afterthought. In the case of my client, the company’s website was too difficult to navigate and use. That's because the website was not created with the user experience in mind.
The result? A lot of lost visitors who could have been potential buyers left the site without giving it a second thought.
First impressions are important so you should take your time finding a designer who can deliver a website that drives engagement and motivates visitors to take action. Carefully vet your talent to ensure they can craft a site that provides the best user experience possible.
Problem 3: Having an ineffective sales funnel was a problem for the company
This is a problem for tens of thousands of businesses across the globe — not just our client. Business owners expect visitors to buy products or services from their website, but visitors lack the motivation to even scroll down and continue reading.
An effective sales funnel builds a chain of user actions to smoothly warm up interests instead of expecting clients to buy on the first visit.
Our client implemented a sales funnel that incorporates warming leads, and their sales saw an immediate jump. Yes, it’s more complicated, but the rewards are much greater.
Problem 4. The company picked the wrong web hosting service
I’m going to write an extended post on this area later. For now, I’ll just say that choosing shared web hosting (the cheapest one) is one of the most common mistakes that businesses make. Unfortunately, selecting the wrong host can hamper a business ability to execute their planned goals.
Many business owners use websites built with WordPress, and use WP-managed web hosting (e.g., WPEngine, SiteGround, etc). This hosting type is faster but it’s too expensive to host several websites under the same account. The ideal hosting is to use cloud server instances (e.g., AWS EC2 or Digital Ocean) with a custom configuration.
Setting up cloud server instances requires a one-time expense for a DevOps expert to configure everything properly. But after setting it up, it only costs about $40 per month to have strong hardware, host unlimited amounts of websites, and maintain higher speed than with other hosting types I mentioned earlier.
I have more content in the pipeline that I’ll continue to release in the near future. Follow this blog to receive upcoming insights on how to cut down on waste.