By Robert Craven, MD at Directors Centre.

The art of mismanaging and sabotaging your own website has been crafted to a fine skill in the UK. Most small business websites do not add value to their businesses, so why bother?

I have spent the last two years collecting fine examples of how not to run a website and feel that it is time to gather my wisdom in one simple list. Hopefully, my words will be heeded and businesses will start to redress the balance.

What not to do:

- Treat the website like a brochure.

- Cut the marketing budget.

- Rely on the website to generate new business.

- Rely on search engines to get people to find your site.

- Use an ugly and forgettable website address.

- Only advertise online.

- Ignore the cachet of 'online'.

- Forget to use traditional 1960's assumptions about what marketing is i.e. talk to customers about the benefits that they can derive and use proofs to demonstrate them.

- Make your website load up so slowly (because you use fancy graphics and photos that eat up download time) that people go elsewhere.

- Fail to speed up your logistics.

- Fail to connect your staff to the internet.

- Or even block your staff's access to the internet (and therefore stunting your staff's ability to generate new ways of seeing or thinking about doing business).

- Be too formal (especially you UK companies who think being full of pomp and ceremony is clever!)

- Forget to reorganise the rest of the business to trade as an internet business.

- Forget to differentiate between what the customer wants (outbound communication) and what the organisation wants (inbound communication).

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