Construction Business Management

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Bricks are from Venus, Clicks are from Mars

AN ARTICLE FROM:
The RCD SWOT Team monitors trends in the AEC sector to provide targeted information about strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that may impact your business.

For many brick and mortar firms, creating a website is a one-time task. The owner or Marketing Manager hires someone to build and host the site, or worse yet, they design it themselves. 

After the site is launched, it sits statically unchanged until death do they part.  It’s the couch potato approach to web marketing.  

Quick, where’s the exit?
Many firms fail to realize that a website is the virtual equivalent of the business, and therefore an extension of the firm’s culture and business model.  Much the same as an awkward blind date, if the design or content lacks chemistry, the inevitable escape call is around the corner. 

Web designer Steven Scott advised that “the home or index page is similar to a magazine’s table of contents.” It should be a quick and easy way for visitors to determine where to go to find what they need.

Lorem  ipsum anyone?
The fact that this is a problem is odd since most leaders agree that first impressions count in conducting business. Yet, that line of thinking is frequently checked at the door of the World Wide Web.

The Internet is cluttered with business sites that do not provide a clear road map for who they are or what they do. These sites have page after page of words that basically say nothing. It might as well be written in Latin or worse yet, Klingon.

Your site, as well as your strategy, should answer these two questions as concisely as possible:

  • What do you do?
  • Why should visitors do business with you?

Harvard Professor Michael Porter theorized, “A company can outperform rivals only if it can establish a difference it can preserve.”

Once you know the answers, how do you let the world know?

It’s not you, it’s me.  Actually it is you, not me.
In relationships, the infamous “It’s not you, it’s me” line is the kiss of death.  It works the same way in business. Which one would you trust - the organization that focuses on itself or on its customers?  Customer-centric organizations listen first, and then provide valuable resources for their stakeholders.

Patricia Staebler, CEO of Staebler Appraisal and Consulting, uses her blog and social media channels to network with and inform prospects.  She believes, “A website without a blog is a dead website. Blogs make the site current. People connect because there is a real person who is putting thought and valuable information on the web.”

Returning to the blind date analogy, could your website be “THE ONE,” or the virtual equivalent of the guy with spinach on his teeth? Let us know - we’d love to hear from you.

Deborah Reale has twenty years of experience in business management developing strategies that covers the construction, retail, public relations industries. Currently, she serves as the social media strategist at Reed Construction Data. In addition, Deborah is pursuing a doctorate degree in Business Administration with a concentration on Information Systems and Marketing.

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