As a business owner you probably already know that not only is it important to plan for whatever you’re working on right now, but it’s just as important to plan for what will – or might – happen in the future.
The same is true of your ecommerce site, which is just one aspect of your business. Planning the site is great, but while you’re at it, you should also be planning for what happens after the site is done.
And that’s what this next tip is about.
Tip #6: Choose A Maintenance Option
If you run a retail business, you know that things change. No sooner do you publish your product catalog than you take on a new product or discontinue another. Perhaps you’ve decided to offer a sale this month, or want to spruce up a description to sound better than the one you read on a competitor’s site last week.
Whatever your maintenance needs, someone’s got to sit down and do the work. The question is: who?
One tempting option for busy business owners is to hire someone else to do the maintenance work. But this can be costly and increase the lag time between “new product” and when that product appears on your site.
Imagine the bill from your developer every time you add a new color t-shirt. Imagine that your customers can’t wait to pick up your new holiday tableware but your developer can’t schedule you in until sometime around February.
A more cost-effective and efficient solution to your maintenance needs is a web site content and inventory management system. An in-house management system will allow you to make updates on your schedule and in real time. It will also save you time and money.
During the project planning phase, decide down to the very last detail what you want to manage. Carefully outline your business needs and then seek out a content management system that will accommodate them. It may be a prepackaged solution or it may be a custom one.
However you plan to maintain and manage your site, it’s important to plan for this inevitability by choosing a solution and then allocating the appropriate resources for the task. Remember, a management system alone is not enough. You also need the human resources to do it, and that may require both scheduling and training.
Increase your chances of success by having a maintenance plan in place before you need it.
How do you maintain your ecommerce site? What could make it easier?