This last week has seen the launch of a client’s e-commerce website – an absolutely brilliant business brought online so that the whole nation can avail of it.

The work in getting it to launch was epic. At least two meetings with minimum 6 people in each meeting every week plus so many side meetings. For months. An almost-vertical-it’s-so-steep learning curve on how to translate a bricks and mortar operation to a clicks and order web business had everyone’s heads spinning right up to the wire.

A phrase was thrown in at the last meeting – a few days post launch. “Hey, let us send you an SLA proposal for site maintenance.” The client didn’t know what an SLA was – why should he? He is an expert in his business, not in website. What site maintenance?

It dawned on me – this is something we should have been looking at from the briefing stage.

If your business is like most in Ireland, you don’t have a marketing department – you may have a sales manager who looks after marketing. You may even have an IT guy who looks after “web stuff”.

To make a website successful, it needs to be nurtured every day from launch and this will take resources. Think about who the person or people are in your organisation who will be best placed to take this on. Allow them the time in their day to devote to the web business in order to do the job properly. Get them well trained.

If you don’t have a person already in house, think about getting a freelancer who knows your website software inside out, who will be part of the team and available to help evolve the site, grow its visitors and improve its performance on an ongoing basis.

Anyone investing in an Ecommerce website should do a business plan at the outset. Include the cost of the website development agency and brand marketing consultant, if you don’t have the skills in-house, for the build of the site.

My advice to you is to also include the cost of website marketing and maintenance as an overhead cost for the site that will be ongoing. This is just the cost of doing business.

Digital transformation is going to be great for your business, just be prepared for your organisation to transform too.