Typically companies we work with are either
- concerned about weaknesses or threats to their businesses, or
- they are looking to take advantages of opportunities by building on their strengths or developing new ones
Responding to threats
With companies increasingly dependent on their websites and internal systems to run their business, the threat of downtime is becoming greater and greater. Understanding the factors that could bring your systems down is key. In parallel to this, a company should understand the true cost of downtime.
For example, WordPress is a popular platform for small to medium-complexity websites, which allows the administrator lots of control to update content and administer the site without the need for technical support.
However, WordPress’s popularity has made it a growing target for attack which could result in:
- Catastrophic brand damage if your site is hacked and used to send spam and host marketing material for offensive products
- Potential for personal legal liability for loss of customer data if your site generates enquiries and that contact information is stolen and used in identify theft.
- Downtime and subsequent loss of revenue with your site not available while it is being fixed
Often this is a result of:
- Not setting the website up correctly in the first place (file permission errors, weak passwords, default usernames etc.)
- Not maintaining the site and doing the regular security updates that are now essential
- Not running effective threat mitigation systems in parallel with WordPress’s basic security
At Rare Earth Digital we do audits of security and hosting for clients to ensure that they know what they have and that it’s set up properly.
We regularly take over sites that have been hosted elsewhere, usually when they have broken or been hacked. At this point companies sometimes find out that they don’t have access to the system, or that their original developer has disappeared. Don’t wait until things break and the damage is done. Let us help you understand your systems and plan to make them stronger and more effective.
New web and app technologies are developing at a fantastic rate. This opens up enormous opportunities for your business that weren’t there even a couple of years ago. If you are not looking to take advantage of them you can be sure that your competitors, or flexible new startup companies, are eyeing your markets and looking to use new technology to drive new revenues or massively reduce the cost of doing business.
At Rare Earth Digital we have years of experience of running and advising businesses. We understand the realities of business and the need to prioritise investments where there are always more things that could be done with the money.
We also have deep technical understanding of what is possible and the true long term costs of using different technical solutions.
We bring this together with your knowledge of your particular market, your business, your clients and suppliers to get a full understanding of your situation and where you sit in your markets.
Then we look at the opportunities:
- increasing the number of new leads into your business
- improving the efficiency of your internal processes through, e.g. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, or systems to enable more effective communication with suppliers. Getting more control of your website via simple intuitive Content Management Systems (CMS) that mean you can update your website whenever you need without the need to pay or raise support tickets.
- Reduction in cost
- Freeing up time of key staff to do more valuable things with their time, rather than admin
- More effective as data is not lost and leads are not squandered.
- Better integrated with other systems
- Building new website that more efficiently channel visitors through to provide contact information, make a sales, whatever the marketing priorities for the site are.
- Ensuring that your websites are fully responsive and optimized for phone, tablet and desktop. For one client of ours this resulted in a 30% reduction in PPC marketing costs due to the increased conversion rate from this alone.
- Ensuring that your websites are fast, secure and comply with SEO best-practice
Supporting personal referrals, e.g. a simple app to showcase a videographer’s skills so that their contacts could easily show their work to potential clients
Bringing it together
Whether the initial impetus was to guard your business against risks, improve efficiency, or drive more sales and new business, the next step is the same.
Having identified the areas of your business that would benefit from systems investment we would want to make sure that the cost of investment would be offset by the benefits over a reasonable timescale.
If as a business owner you have the true figures for the costs of downtime, or the value of saving 30% of a salesperson’s time, or the value of a 5% increase in lead conversion, then you can confidently commit to the appropriate investment.
At this point you will have a clear and costed plan, ready to move into the next stage: Create & Deliver.