How to Convince Your Boss to Invest In the Website
You’re reading this, so you’re already convinced that a new (or improved website) would be good for business.
But the boss is holding out. Or maybe you haven’t even brought it up yet because you’re already convinced of the answer. “Not right now.”
To complicate things, you may be in a situation where the boss is also someone with whom you have a family relationship. Your wife, husband, father, mother, sister, uncle… Whatever the case, you need to move wisely if you want to see positive change any time soon.
We’re glad you’re here, because improving websites is what we do. We know that every small business can benefit from an effective relationship website. Here’s how you can convince the person in charge that now is the time.
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Keys to this Process
Before you get started getting your boss on board with this whole website improvement thing, there are some critical things you need to keep in mind.
It takes time. Rarely is this a one-and-done conversation. As we go through the steps, you may find that each step is essentially a separate encounter. You may even find that some steps have to be repeated to get past them. That’s okay! This process will work and it’s going to be worth it!
Secondly, you’ve really got to separate why you want a new or updated website from why your boss will want an improved website. From here on out, you’ve got to focus on why a new or improved website will benefit your boss. It’s not that your reasons aren’t valid or important – they are! But we’re not talking about convincing you, we’re talking about convincing your boss! And you can’t use your values to change his or her mind.
So throughout this process, work hard to make it all about him or her. Focus on really inquiring, listening to, and understanding their desires, their goals, and their concerns. Take time to make sure you fully comprehend the reason for any hesitancy. Be clear that you agree that those are important and that you’re committed to finding a solution that addresses any valid concern.
Lastly, make sure you’re “speaking his language”. If you think about it, you already know their language. Do they want short summaries and spreadsheets to review? Do they prefer face-to-face hour-long heartfelt dialogues? Make sure you approach each step with their “language” in mind.
Step 1: Understand Your Boss’s Priority
In order to convince your boss that it’s time to update the website (or get a new one) you’ve got to first establish a reason that THEY value that would be supported by a new or improved website. You might already know the reason. You might be able to uncover it in office chit-chat. You might discover it by simply paying more attention to their conversations with others, texts , or emails.
What might their motivation be?
Here’s some common ones:
- Current website is outdated
- Not getting many leads from current website
- Current website is ineffective
- Not getting many millennial customers
- Need a website for Google Ads
- So office staff can get more done
- Paying someone who “does our website” but not sure what they actually do
- It’s a pain to update
- Need a website to list on job bids
It could be more than one. It could be two leading the way. Whatever the case, the first step is to understand what problem an updated website could solve for your boss, or what benefit it could bring that they will appreciate.
If the answer wasn’t obvious from this list, then it’s time to start paying attention. Maybe work your way down the list with a question here and there sprinkled innocently into conversation. Such as “It seems we’re always a little slow this time of year – is that because we get less leads from our website this time of year?”
Remember our keys to success in this process: take your time, focus on them, and speak their language.
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Step 2: Describe the Benefits of a Refreshed Website
With a firm understanding of your bosses challenges, and their priorities surrounding the website you can begin to talk to them about how an updated website would help.
This step can be quick, or take several visitations to be successful. So here are some things to keep in mind.
First, this is the “emotional investment” step of the process. (Hence why it can happen quickly or slowly.) The point is, don’t get buried in the details and the challenges, those come next. Instead focus on painting a picture of the end result: their priority satisfied.
Here’s some “before and after” examples:
- Current website is outdated => A modern website kept current.
- Not getting many leads from current website => A website that helps us build better relationships and generate more customers
- Current website is ineffective => A website that’s ideal for a micro-business like ours.
- Not getting many millennial customers => A website that exceeds the requirements of millennials
- So office staff can get more done => A website setup with tools that save staff time
- Paying someone who “does our website” but not sure what they actually do => A website that makes sense for a micro-business with monthly check-ins & more.
- Need a website to list on job bids => Check the box without unnecessary “fluff”
Step 3: Make It Visual
While your boss might be willing to consider a change at this point, usually there’s still some convincing to do. Especially if you want to get anything on this actually done in the next year, right?
A picture is worth a thousand words, right? What better way to move things forward than a warmly, casually introduced visual.
Here’s a few ways to do this, organized once again based on your bosses main motivation. Of course it might make sense to mix and match two or three of these.
- Current website is outdated => Show your boss a custom mockup of your website. We’ll even do one for you for free!
- Not getting many leads from current website => Request a (free) website review video where we’ll show you your website and suggest changes to get more from it.
- Current website is ineffective => Print out the Relationship Website comparison sheet. (image/jpg) (pdf)
- Not getting many millennial customers => Show them a free custom mockup of your website.
- So office staff can get more done => Show your boss the examples for these office time saving suggestions.
- Paying someone who “does our website” but not sure what they actually do => Show them our straightforward Products & Pricing page or request a free custom quote.
- Need a website to list on job bids => Share some our StarterWeb projects by visiting our Portfolio and then clicking StarterWeb.
The critical point here is that the physical act of putting a visual in front of their eyeballs is what’s needed to get the ball rolling again. We’re all human. There’s just something about seeing it that makes it different!
Stalled? Not sure what to do? If you feel stuck, or like your boss is unresponsive, request a free website mockup. Or, give us a quick call. Sometimes you just need a fresh perspective from someone who understands the challenge you’re facing!
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Step 4: Show Them the Math
Despite how convinced they may be that a new or improved website is a logical step, your boss still needs to justify the expense.
The good news is that this part is really easy. The bad news is that if you skip it, you’ll dramatically increase the chances that all your effort up to this point was a waste of time! Don’t let that happen. Do the math, and then discuss it with your boss.
There’s usually three pieces to the equation. What you’ll save + what you’ll gain – what you’ll spend.
What You’ll Gain
There quite a range of things you will gain when your company gets that updated website. Most apply to every business, others apply only about 40-70% of the time. Some are easy to calculate and others, not so much. Here’s a list of the most common benefits.
- A current, modern, attractive website
- An effective website
- A better impression on new referrals
- A secure website that’s guaranteed
- Comprehensive website maintenance
- Updates handled by our experts (Where’s that Staples easy button!?)
- The peace of mind granted by the three prior benefits
- A website that saves your team time and headache
- A steady stream of happy customer reviews on Google, Facebook, etc
- Corrected and current business listings
- A monthly newsletter for your customers
- A consistent social media presence
Add them up and it’s really quite a lot!
What You’ll Save
If you’ve already got any website, digital marketing, social media or “seo” expenses, most of those can go here. Maybe not all of them, but most of them in most cases.
For example, in 2019 we redesigned the website for a local company in the home maintenance and improvement business. They were paying about $7,800 every year to an agency. They thought maybe it was for SEO or maybe for social media. Well that money goes into this equation because that should all go away!
So if you’re paying for website hosting, maintenance, support, changes, social media, review building, or business listing management, write them down. Those savings become a positive part of the equation!
What You’ll Spend
To say our pricing is reasonable is quite the understatement. Still, you’ll need to finish the equation. You can find all of our prices on our website. We’d also be happy to entertain your questions or provide a custom quote so you can present these numbers with confidence!
Totaling it up
You’re not quite done! Before you show this to your boss, there’s one more step.
What’s the average value of a new customer? You want to count what they spend on average on the first job, but also how much they spend over the average customer lifetime.
For example, let’s take the landscaping and lawn care business. You might get paid a couple thousand dollars to design and install an attractive front yard. But if you also offer pruning, seasonal yard cleanup, and bi-monthly lawn cutting, and if your customers stay with you for 7 years on average, then you add that all together to find the Customer Lifetime Value (CLV).
For your purpose here, you don’t have to get this number perfect. A rough idea is sufficient.
Your final comparison is your Total Investment versus your Customer Lifetime Value. When you do this, in most cases its a no-brainer. In many business one or two more customers covers the entire investment.
Sharing the Numbers
With your ammunition in hand, it’s time to approach the boss. To help you be successful with this step, consider the following advice.
- Revisit what got you here: their priority, the benefit, the visual.
- Focus on the bosses goals and priorities.
- Speak in their “language”.
- Listen carefully to their response, objections, and concerns.
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Step 5: Answer Questions and Address Concerns
You might think “How could there be any questions or concerns? Look at all the work I’ve done!” You’d be right. And you’d be wrong.
It’s not that you haven’t done a good job. It’s just that there’s often something more to consider. Here are answers and tips to questions and objections you might need to address before your boss is ready to get that website upgrade.
Q: How long will this all take?
A: About 6 weeks from start to finish. We’ll have three 90-minute meetings and maybe some homework in between the Kickoff Meeting and the First Review. Check out our Project Roadmap for a clear walk-through of the proven process we follow every time.
Q: How much does it cost?
Tip: Revisit the numbers: What you’ll save + What you’ll gain + What you’ll spend = Total Investment. Then compare the Total Investment to the LTV to paint a complete picture.
Q: How long is the agreement?
A: Just one year. For a more in-depth answer, see How Long Is The Contract?
Q: What do we need to do before we start?
A: Nothing really. If we want, we can find three websites we like and jot down notes. Or we can do this short online Website Questionnaire.
Q: Will we still own our website?
A: Yes, absolutely, 100%. For why this matters see “Will I Own My Website and Why Does It Matter?”
For more questions you might get, visit our FAQ page.
Stumped? Let us know the question and we’ll be thrilled to help you answer it!
And that should do it. If you’re unsure, want an example, have a question, or want some advice – give us a call or shoot us an email. We’re love to help you convince your boss that it’s time for a new website.
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