Give yourself a pat on the back if you are an accomplished web designer in Kenya. Nowadays, it looks like every dude in the streets of Nairobi does ‘web design’. This is actually good for you. There is nothing wrong with being ambitious. And since it is that boom time for websites in Kenya, you might as well go ahead and cash in on clients who are looking to put their business on the web!
The number of people who are in need of websites in Kenya is actually growing by the day.
This year alone, I have come across a lot of businesspersons who want websites for their businesses and are willing to pay a tidy sum for my services. The trouble with most of them is that they don’t seem to know ANYTHING about how to use a website to grow their business. If you have run the web design services for a while, I am sure you must have encountered that client who wants you to put up a site for their business within a week. They will quickly email you their company profile and other pertinent details. You do your best to design a website that will ‘work for their businesses. You follow up with creating email accounts for them using their domain names. So far, so good.
Forward to one year later when it is time to renew the domain name or the website hosting plan and your ‘clients’ develop one of the following characteristics:
- They want to pull down the website
- They wants to renew the domain name (not the hosting plan) because they still want access to the email addresses associated with their domain name, or
- They are suddenly not available by phone or by email.
So, what exactly went wrong?
It is pretty simple to diagnose the problem here. Most of the clients that I work with want to get a website because it is ‘cool’ to have a website. The strong urging to place their business online however ends with the launch of the website. They simply do not know what the heck they are supposed to do with the new ‘thing’.
If you want to test the truth of the above hypothesis, ask those people who you know run a website when is the last time they have made a shilling from their websites this year. Try to get them to reveal how many unique visitors their website had in the previous year. You will even be lucky if they know how to check the visitor statistics.
This is the sad reality with many businesses in Kenya. We forget about our websites the moment we build them. We get caught up with ‘running the business’ that we even forget we had a website until the webmaster comes calling the following year.
I think it is the high time to reconsider whether your business really needs a website. What is your website bringing for your business? Are you contented with simply having the address of your website appear on your business cards? If you are, then I am honestly happy for you.
If your answer is no, you are in some big trouble. A website is supposed to sell your business and to give you a wider customer reach. The ROI from your website should be quantifiable. Above everything else, you should always be reviewing how much of the sales you are making are as a direct result of having a website and what you can do to increase the direct sales coming from your website. If no leads are being generated from your website, you seriously need to reconsider.