Lessons Learned In Business

Building a Company Website – Wholesale Course Module 3 Part 3

How to create a company website

This Post is part of the “FREE Wholesale Training Course”.  You can view the entire course listing and introduction to the course here.

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Module 3:  Value Propositions

You can click on each of the links above to go directly to the area of the module the best interests you.  That being said, lets get right into the content!

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Building a Company Website

One of the first things I would recommend doing when purchasing wholesale is to get real about it.  Not that you haven’t been running a “real business” already, but it’s time to let the outside world know you are too.  No, don’t hop on top of the tallest building in town with a megaphone shouting “I’M RUNNING A REAL BUSINESS!”  The locals might think you are crazy, and may try to throw you into the loony bin.  What I’m talking about is this:

It’s time for your own company website and email address.

Why would you want to waste your time on this? One word: credibility.

When you send an email to a supplier, having a company email address may raise your credibility to them.  Will it make or break you from getting an account?  I don’t think you’ll ever know that answer, unless a supplier says to you “yeah, I didn’t contact you back the first time because your email address was an AOL address.  I knew we weren’t in the 90’s anymore, so I figured it had to be spam.”  Look at it this way:  it can’t hurt, it can only help.  Not to mention, it’s cheap.

Having your own company website can be used as your silent sales tool to close wholesale leads.  I recommend creating a website that shows what value propositions you offer, along with other information about your company.  Of course it should also have a contact button, so potential wholesale leads can reach out to you!

Before we dive into how to setup a company website, let’s look at some large Amazon sellers, and how they approach company websites.  You can view all the top Amazon sellers on Marketplace Pulse, which is where we found some of these top sellers.  A few examples, which includes Marketplace Pulse ratings over the last year:

Etailz is currently #3 on the Marketplace Pulse rankings.  They are known for recently being purchased in 2016 for $75 million.  Let’s look at their site.

etailz main

They have a top section that links to Multiple sections of the site labeled “what we do”, “who we are”, “careers”, and “contact”.  When you hover over each of them, you see even more content:

Etailz Menus

Under the “Services” page, they have broken out their value propositions to “premium service”, “marketing services”, and “creative services”:

etailz premium service

etailz marketing services

etailz creative services

The value propositions they use are extensive.  They’ve built out quite a large amount of them as the years have passed.

Let’s take a look at another site that is much more basic – MetaRetail.  MetaRetail is currently ranked #80.

metaretail main

This one has 6 links on the top, but none of them are drop down boxes.  Each page is simply laid out.  The home page immediately shows visitors their vision, and how you can partner with them.  It also has their award of being on the Inc 5000 list as a testimonial.  Let’s see what the “Partners” page shows:

metaretail partners

They specifically tout their main value proposition of “MAP Brand Management”.

Finally, let’s look at one more – Big Fly.  Big Fly is currently ranked #16 on Marketplace Pulse.  Their site is probably the simplest of the three examples, as they just have a one page website that displays all the info.

bigfly main

Two specific value propositions immediately on the front page, focusing on simplicity and eliminating confusion.  Scrolling down the page, we see some more value propositions:

bigfly value props

The other propositions they focus on are specialized service, product forecasting, and cash.

If you are interested in one more example, check out NetRush who is ranked #50.

You don’t need to copy any one of these sites, but it would be wise to take some of the best things on each of these sites, and incorporate it into your websites.  At absolute minimum, I would recommend you have the following on your site:

  • Value Propositions
  • About Us
  • Contact Us

Now that you have an idea of what the company website should include, let’s get crackin’ on creating that website!  These are the steps I would recommend:

  • Determine what your website name should be.  This is otherwise known as a “domain name”.  In most cases, it may be your company name.  If your company name is difficult to spell or really long, think about ways to shorten up your name so it is easier to type.  When contacting suppliers on the phone, you’ll get asked for your email address, and it’s a lot easier for them if your domain name is short and easy to remember.  Otherwise, you’ll spend time having to spell the website out every time.  Example – if your company name is Apple United States Distribution, you may want to shorten it to AppleUSD.com.  It’s recommended to pick .com over .net, .org, .biz, or any other top level domains.  It’s more memorable to most people.
  • Determine if you are going to pay someone to create your site, or if you will do it yourself.  I will go into detail one these options below.
  • Create a basic outline of what you want your website to look like.  If you are good at sketching things out, do so.  At minimum, do a generic outline with the text you want to have on the website.  It might look something simple like this:
    • On All pages of site
      • Logo left center, Links to other sections on right center.  This is on every page of the site.
      • Footer at the bottom has company contact information, and our tagline.
    • Home Page
      • Top headline: We are here to solve your problems!
      • Under headline, list our value propositions
    • Services Page
      • Top headline: We can serve you in many ways!
      • Under headline: Show our value propositions in a nice, formatted manner with pictures
    • About Us Page
      • Have picture of our warehouse on left side
      • On right side: We are a multi-channel business that can skyrocket your sales.
    • Contact Us Page
      • Have a form on this page where they can email us.
  • If you are going to pay someone to create your site, hand them the outline so they have a base to work from.  The contractors will usually help you buy the domain name, setup hosting and create the website for you. At this point, you should give them your basic vision of what you want on the website.  Make sure you have all the actual content fully written out, so they can put it on the site.
  • If you are doing the site yourself, these would be the next steps:
    • Determine what kind of platform you want your website on.  We will discuss the different platforms you can use further below.
    • If you are using a hosted platform such as Wix, you can purchase your domain name directly through them.  It is recommended to do so for ease of use.
    • If you are using a self hosted platform such as WordPress, it is wise to purchase your domain name with the company you plan on using for hosting (such as BlueHost).  It makes it easier to setup this way.
    • Follow the steps further below to setup your website.
  • Setup your email address.  Something simple like first initial and last name works well.  Like this: cpotter@AppleUSD.com.  If you are used to using something like gmail for your emails, you can setup your new email address in google as an additional account.  Use these instructions to do so.  We’ll discuss more options further below.

I want to pay someone to create my website.

If you want to pay someone to create your website, there are multiple options to do so.  Here’s a few recommendations:

  • Post an ad on Upwork.  Upwork is a site where contractors from all over the world can bid on your job.  The quality and price can range all over the place.
  • Post an ad on Fiverr.  Fiverr is a site where contractors offer “gigs”.  Do a search on Fiverr for “website design”, and you’ll see a lot of different contractors offering services to create your site.  The quality and price can range all over the place.
  • Post an ad on 99Designs.  99Designs is a site where you post a “contest” of what you want done.  Multiple people will issue mock ups of the website you want, and you can choose the “winner”. The winner finishes the site for you.  The prices and quality tend to be a little higher on 99Designs.
  • Reach out to your network, and ask others if they have a recommended designer.

When paying someone else to create your website, here are recommendations to help choose a correct partner and have a successful relationship:

  • Always look at previous work that has been done by the person / company.  Make sure they have done work in the past that meshes with the website style you are looking for.
  • Get multiple contractors to bid on the project.  Don’t just get stuck on one person or company.
  • Ask these questions:
    • What kind of training will I receive on how to use the website when it is complete?  If you can’t make minor changes yourself, be prepared to pay for them.
    • How much does it cost to make changes after the site is done?  Is it by the hour, or by the job?
    • How many revisions am I allowed to make as part of the initial price?  You want to make sure you really like the website.  Less revisions means less changes you can make to get it perfect.
    • What is EXACTLY included in the price?  You are looking for an all in one solution: development, design and implementation.
    • What are the ongoing hosting charges?  There are always maintenance costs for the website.  Make sure you know exactly what they are.
    • Do you use custom design websites, or use pre-made templates?  If you are looking for a cheap website, it’s guaranteed they will be using a template.  It’s wise to ask, so you can compare apples to apples.
    • How long will this project take?  If the contractor doesn’t meet that date, what happens?  Look to build in discounts if they are taking too long.  Or, the right to cancel the project and get your money back.
    • Are you personally working on the site, or is a team member doing so?  If a team member is doing it, specifically ask for work they’ve done themselves in the past.  Great designs from a company may draw you in, but those great designs may be done by someone else.
    • Do you provide the images for the website?  Most designers will have royalty free (or paid for) images they can use for the site.  Ask to make sure you won’t be breaking any copyright laws.
    • Will my website be compatible with smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices?  Otherwise known as “responsive” websites.  You want to make sure your site looks good on everything.
    • Can you create a logo as part of this price?  You will want a simple logo for your website.  If they are unable to include a logo, you can post a job on any of the sites mentioned above: Fiverr, 99Designs, and Upwork.  Make sure the contractor gives you a copy of the logo in vector format. This allows you to easily scale the size of the logo for print advertising and business cards.

As with anything, make sure you are totally satisfied with the work before you sign off on payment for it.

How much should something like this cost?  It can vary widely.  These are the factors that will likely impact price:

  • Is the work being done in the United States?  US workers will cost more than if you hire someone from India, Bangladesh, or the Philippines.
  • Are they using a template, or doing a custom design?  Templates are perfectly fine for most simple company websites.  If you want something truly custom that no one else has, it will cost a lot more.
  • How many pages are you having them create?  More pages you have them create, the most expensive it will typically cost.
  • How long have they been doing this work?  If you find someone that has more experience, it will cost more.  For the type of site you are creating, you can go with someone with minimal experience if you want to.
  • Where are you finding the person to do the work?  Fiverr and Upwork tend to have cheaper talent than 99Designs.

On the low end, you can have logos created for as little as $5 – $20.  Just expect something incredibly simple and unoriginal.  Custom logos can cost $250 – $2000 depending on complexity.

For website setup, you can expect to have it done on the low end for $120 – $250.  Most people can likely get away with a site on the low end.  Custom websites can cost $1,000 and more.

I want to create the website myself.

There are two ways to create a website yourself: hosted or self hosted.  Here are the differences:

  • Hosted: You create a website with a company such as Wix or Squarespace.  The website is created directly within their system, and they handle all the hosting and domain duties.
    • Pros:
      • It’s extremely easy to create a website with a hosted platform.
      • You don’t need to know much about creating websites, in order to create one.
      • They handle most of the maintenance issues that can be involved with a website.
    • Cons:
      • You are limited to the constraints of the platform you are using.  If you want to do things with your website that isn’t allowed by the platform you are using, you are out of luck.
      • Some platforms add additional costs for features that are standard on self hosted platforms.
      • You mostly have to stick to the themes given to you by that company, which are limited.
      • Overall long term costs may be higher than self hosting.
  • Self Hosted: You host your own website with a company such as BlueHost.  This allows you to choose which website platform you want to use.  WordPress is by far the #1 self hosted platform, because it’s free and has an amazing amount of options.  The pros and cons below are specifically on a self hosted WordPress website.
    • Pros:
      • You can choose your own hosting service.  This means if the service you are receiving from one hosting service is poor, you can easily switch.  This is impossible with hosted services.
      • Customization options are endless.  You can choose different themes, and there are plugins for nearly anything you want to do for your site.
      • You have total control and ownership.  If you want to add things to your website later on, it’s much easier.
      • You can heavily optimize your site, and be able to tweak specific features.
    • Cons:
      • If you have problems, you have to fix them yourself or pay someone to do it.
      • Options create complexity.

Now what should you choose?  It really depends on how much interaction you want to have with your site.  If you think at any point you will want to have a blog on your website, it would be wise to go with a self hosted WordPress account.  If you want something that is incredibly simple and want it up quickly – go with a hosted option like Wix.   All of our non – e-commerce websites are setup with BlueHost and WordPress, including this website.

One thing to note: If you aren’t hiring anyone to create your website, I would recommend having someone create a company logo for you.  You can use the same services mentioned above for website work for logos: Fiverr, 99Designs, and Upwork.  If you want to play around and try making your own logo, try a site such as GraphicSprings or Logo Maker.  When you do make a logo, make sure you have a copy in vector format.  This allows you to easily scale the size of the logo for print advertising and business cards.

Once you’ve made the decisions of which option you want to use, it’s time to set up a website!

I’ve created a video to show you how easy it is to setup a basic company website with Wix.  It took roughly 18 minutes to setup a very bare bones website with Wix.  If you have all of your content prepared ahead of time, you can have a website up in under an hour with no experience.  It’s an extremely easy way to get a website up quickly.

Setting up a WordPress website with BlueHost is extremely easy as well.  It’s not 100% as easy as Wix, but it gives you a lot more flexibility.  BlueHost themselves has put together a training video series to show you how to setup your own company website:

Setting up Email

Depending on which option you use to setup your website, you want to make sure you can use an email address for the company.   First, lets discuss what name you should use for your email address.  Let’s say your website is AppleUSD.com.  You could use the following options:

  • First name, Last name, or some combination of your name.  Examples: cpotter@AppleUSD.com, c.potter@AppleUSD.com, chris@AppleUSD.com, potter@AppleUSD.com.  These are good for emails you want specifically to come to you.
  • Generic department names.   Example: purchasing@AppleUSD.com, sales@AppleUSD.com, accounting@AppleUSD.com, customerservice@AppleUSD.com, careers@AppleUSD.com.  These work well if you have more than one person handling a task.  If you have multiple VA’s that are handling your accounts, separating accounts by department may make sense.
  • Nonsensical names.  Example: kittykat123@AppleUSD.com, ilovewhales29@AppleUSD.com, ibeawesome84@AppleUSD.com, 2legit2quit@AppleUSD.com.  I wouldn’t recommend anything of the sort.  It looks a tad bit unprofessional.

Once you have decided on the email address you will use, it’s time to set the emails up in the service you are using.  If you are paying someone to do your website for you, you can ask them to setup your emails.  If you are using the hosted or self hosted options, there are different ways to setup emails depending on the service.

For Wix, they use Google Cloud for email addresses.  You will need to be subscribed to one of their premium plans.  Once you’ve connected your domain name,  Wix will walk you through an easy step by step procedure to setup your custom mailboxes.  After it’s setup, you’ll be able to access your business email through gmail.com.  You can read more about this here.

If you’ve setup a WordPress website through BlueHost, visit the new email help page.  It has specific instructions on BlueHost on how to setup your email accounts – including a video.  If you want to setup your emails to be accessible through gmail.com, simply follow these instructions.

Finishing Things Off…

Setting up your own website really isn’t very hard.  It can provide a lot of long term value for your company, so why not do it?

Now that you have your website setup, lets work on your social media strategy.

Be The First To Know When The Next Module is Released!

Be The First To Know When The Next Module is Released!

Need help creating your website?  I can help you with it in our Mentoring Program.

Continue on to Module 3 Part 4: Building Social Media Accounts

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Chris Potter

Chris Potter is an internet entrepreneur that loves working on businesses and helping others with their businesses. He has operated businesses that have sold over $25 million in retail sales, bought and sold a blog design business, and started websites from scratch. Skyrocket your business by joining his Mentoring Program!

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