12 Sep 2022
  • Website Development

Transitioning from a Website to a Thriving Web Business

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By Tyrone Showers
Co-Founder Taliferro


A website is not a business, but it can certainly be part of one. Websites perform double duty as online identity and an opportunity for sales and leads. But what if you want to go from website to web business?

What makes a business?

When I think back on my experience building web businesses over the last twenty years, there are three things I've learned: first, that starting any new venture takes more than just having an idea; second, that traditional wisdom like "start small and then scale up" isn't always right; thirdly — and most importantly — it's critical not to let yourself get bogged down in policy debates or committee work at the early stages of developing any new enterprise.

A website is not a business

It's a tool that can help you build and grow your business, but it is not the end goal.

If you want to be successful with your website, you need to have a clear vision of what you want to achieve and how it will support those goals. You should know what is important to you and what matters most to your customers—whether they are current or potential ones.

What makes a business

So, what is a business? When starting, it can be hard to tell the difference between your interests and those of a potential company. Whether you're interested in something purely for its own sake or because of the money you want to make from it (or both), know that there are two primary components:

  • Businesses create value for people who need their products or services.
  • Companies sell their goods and services for more than it costs them to produce.

Building the web business

Building the web business is a process of trial and error. You will make mistakes, but that's okay because you won't be the first person to do so.

Here are some steps for building your web business:

  • Identify your target audience. Who is your ideal customer? What are they doing right now, and how can you help them with what they need?
  • Define the problem that you are solving. What problem do you solve for your customers? Why should they care about it enough to pay for your product or service? What makes it a better solution than what else is currently available on the market (or on someone else's website)?
  • Figure out how you are going to solve it. If there isn't an existing technology platform available off-the-shelf, build one. Once again, if no one has done something similar before, then there isn't any competition either.
  • Understanding your customers
  • Understand your customers' needs
  • Understand your customers' problems
  • Understand your customers' expectations
  • Understand your customers' preferences
  • Understand your target market's culture and values (if you're selling to a particular group)

Exceeding customer expectations

Customer service is the most critical aspect of creating an online business. You must understand what your customers want and give them more than they expect. If a customer buys a product, you have to make sure that they are happy with their purchase and that it delivers everything it promised.

You can also exceed expectations by providing additional value for free or a small fee. For example, providing your customers with valuable resources like eBooks, videos, or PDF guides will make them feel good about their purchase because you are giving them something extra without charging.

Providing value through all customer touchpoints

Providing value through all customer touchpoints is essential to building a successful business. There are numerous opportunities along the customer journey where you can impress and delight your customers to improve your brand awareness and create evangelists who will help spread the word about your company.

To accomplish this, you'll need a strategy that looks at each step of an individual's purchase process: what they see when they visit your site or social media page; how they're interacted with after submitting their information; how they're contacted by sales reps; and finally how they receive their product or service once purchased.

Focusing on quality and standardization

Once you have the basics down, focusing on quality and standardization is essential. Quality is a competitive advantage in any business; if your products are made better and last longer than the competition, customers will return to you.

Standardization is also vital for efficiency and customer satisfaction. The fact that many websites use common standards (like HTML) makes it much easier for users to feel safe buying things online—if something goes wrong with their purchase, they'll probably be able to find help easily enough by looking around on Google. For example: If every online store were using its proprietary software system (and additional payment platforms), it would be difficult for customers to navigate from one site to another with ease or trust that their information was being kept private.

Create an environment for success

When starting, it's crucial to create an environment where everyone can work together to do their best work, even if they don't have the same title or level of experience as others on your team. This includes giving them autonomy and freedom in their jobs—but it doesn't stop there. You also need to provide them with a purpose: what is the goal? Why are we doing this? And how does this contribute toward goals for the company overall? You'll also want to establish clear metrics for each project so that everyone has a shared understanding of progress and can understand how their contribution affects those metrics."

Hire people who are more intelligent than you and understand what they do.

There's nothing worse than working with someone who knows more than you do about your business but doesn't have the experience or skills to help you grow it.

When hiring people, the first thing to consider is whether they know their job better than you. If so, hire them. The second question is if they can teach others what they know. If not, don't hire them.

Create a culture of innovation and change

This can be a hard thing to do, but it's crucial. In some organizations, change is met with resistance and fear; in others, it's welcomed with open arms. Either way, there needs to be an environment where you're always trying new things (even if they don't work out) because failing fast is better than dying slowly by not being innovative enough in the first place.

Flexibility has two parts: the ability to adapt quickly (change direction) and the ability to innovate (make changes from within). You have to make decisions on your feet—and sometimes those decisions will be wrong. But what matters most is that you learn from them and keep moving forward toward your goals.

Set priorities, but be flexible

When you're a business owner, it's your responsibility to set priorities for yourself and your employees. But sometimes, those priorities change. And that's okay—you don't have to be rigid in your approach to running a business, especially when there is so much flexibility available to you as an entrepreneur.

The key is giving autonomy to employees who can use their judgment and make decisions on behalf of their team or department without having everything go through you first before it gets done. Letting them have a say in how things get done will give them more motivation and ownership toward achieving goals, which can only lead to success.

Be mean and lean as a startup, but don't stay that way

Lean is a mindset. It's not just a way of thinking about cost-cutting and efficiency but also continuous improvement and empowering people to get things done.

Lean is not just about cost-cutting. The goal of lean is to improve the process you are currently using to reach your goals to reduce waste or unnecessary steps to produce better results at lower costs (which may mean higher prices).

You should never stay lean for too long; if you do, it will become a hindrance rather than an asset as your business grows.

Don't try to decide everything in committees — that takes forever, doesn't work anyway, and you'll lose everyone's goodwill in the process.

Decisions are little like rides at Disneyland — if you wait too long to get on, you'll miss the best parts. That's why it's essential to know how to make good decisions quickly and efficiently.

For those who've never been in the position of having hundreds or thousands of users clamoring for updates on a website, it can be easy to think that "making good decisions" is just making sure everyone feels included in the discussion and all ideas are heard out loud. But this isn't actually how consensus works! In order for people to be able to come together around one decision, they need time not only for discussions but also for figuring out what their priorities are—and whether their priorities align with those of others involved in making decisions about where their community should go next as an organization or project.


I hope you find this article useful in your quest to build a successful web business. The key is to keep the focus on the customer and make sure that every decision you make works toward meeting their needs. It's also important not to get stuck in one way of doing things — if something isn't working as well as it could be then don't feel like there are no options other than doing nothing.

Tyrone Showers