I blame Facebook and probably Al Gore, but there is a very odd perception that doing business online should be as close to – if not at – free. While it doesn’t help that the majority of my day is spent using tools and apps online that are free, when it comes to business the shift has to move away from that way of thinking.

Yes, your website is free. Free to be awesome. Free to be something so unique and helpful to your business even you would be shocked. Free to be your very best and most loyal lead generating employee you’ve ever had. Free to connect you to business around the world in a way that was not as easy not too long ago. 

In that same vein, you have to treat your website and pay for your website in the way you would at a minimum your lowest paid employee. Think about that for a second. Let’s say you have someone on your payroll who is making $30k/year. Add on all your taxes and fun stuff that comes with having an employee and you’re looking at a minimum of $39,000 per  year just to have 1 person sit in your office for 40 hours a week.

Now think of what you spend on your website every year. I’ll take it by your silence that the point has been made…

Yes, I am in the web technology industry and so enjoy a living by the very nature of people paying for web work to get done. But that’s not my only reason for the post. I look around and watch business, especially small business, trying to compete with the “big guys” and yet refuse to truly invest in their sites to make a difference online.

Here’s a big secret the “big guys” don’t want you to know: they really have no idea what they are doing either and have so much bureaucracy / political junk / other projects to deal with they just throw money at their to-do lists and don’t really know whether they are doing the right things. You could totally compete and should compete with that head on as a small business and dominate.

So next time you are in that budget meeting discussing headcount, don’t forget about your website. You’ll thank me later.


With over a decade of experience, I have managed online marketing for a wide range of industries including biotech, high-tech, financial, higher education, non-profit, manufacturing, hardware providers, and startups. My specialty is helping business make the right turn with their online efforts focusing on lead generation and analytics.

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