Once you settle on a particular franchise concept from the thousands of choices available, you may begin thinking about what your presence on the web is going to look like. A good deal of franchisors already have a built-in solution where your location is a page located in the main franchisor URL link. If your franchise agreement doesn’t preclude it, you should check into developing your own microsite that includes a web domain address unique to you and your new business. We know what comes next…
Yeah, but how much will that cost?
Luckily for you, FranNet is never short in the advice department—and we love to dispense it. When it comes to building a custom website for a franchise, the pricing of such can end up all over the place. So please—slow down and do a little research. If you do, you’ll literally be paying yourself for the time spent doing due diligence. Here’s the takeaway—you don’t have to spend and arm and a leg to have a very decent website which has style, functionality, a conversion point or two and is mobile-friendly.
Before you go seeking a quote, it’s handy to have a rough sketch of what you want the site to look like, how many pages it will include and which conversion points you’ll need to sell a product or service. A great tactical approach is to build a set of “Wire Frames” of what your site will look like. Just think of it as a simple flowchart, with the home page at the very top and all of the menu pages underneath. Connect the lines to show the navigability. If you complete this stage, a web designer will have a much better idea of how many hours of billable time will go into developing your new website.
Here’s a pro-tip—steer clear of advertising agencies and marketing design firms. Web design may not even be their specialty, but they likely won’t have much trouble padding an estimate. Believe it or not, with some good interaction, you can hire a freelance web designer for much less money. And guess what? There is no shortage of them. Worry less about the design and look of the site and focus on the content and navigation. At a minimum, you’ll need a landing page, about us, products/services, and a contact us page. Most of the design elements are packaged in anyway, much like a Powerpoint presentation.
When it comes to finding a (more than) willing freelance web designer, follow the “at least three bids” principle. See if there is a big difference in the pricing you’re offered. Ask to see examples of previous work the web designer has created. You may even spot something you’d like to add to your own site build. A good place to start searching for the right web developer can be found on sites such as Upwork.com and Freelancer.com.
When you discuss your project, be up front about your time frame for getting the job done. Ask how often you’ll be in contact with your hired help. See if they will commit to servicing any future problems with the website functionality. You can even discuss hosting options with them if you’re selecting your own domain name.
Your website presence is your literal window to the world. Treat it as such.
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