Learning from other people’s web hosting mistakes

As the new series of Dragons’ Den on BBC2 starts it seems that some people in this world are doomed to keep repeating the mistakes of others without learning anything from them.  Every year it is the same without fail, someone will make a pitch to the Dragons and their website instantly becomes unavailable – robbing them of publicity and more importantly, customers.

Even Worse…

It gets even worse when the website is your business!  Last night you may have seen The Present Club do their pitch to the Dragons, like thousands of other people I thought I’d take a look at the website – although more to see if it was still working than anything else.  Unfortunately like so many before they had not prepared themselves adequately for what is probably the largest amount of publicity they are likely to receive in the short term, loosing themselves many potential customers and showing themselves in a poor light to any potential investors – You have to remember that an offer on Dragons’ Den is not binding and may not go ahead once due diligence is completed, but other people may be thinking they are a good business to be involved with (Despite what Duncan Bannatyne may think, you need to keep your options open to get the best deal if things don’t work out).

What can be done?

If you find yourself in such a situation, where you’re going to appear on TV, or your product/service will be featured prominently on Radio/Magazine/Large Event then you need to talk to your web hosting company as soon as possible and ask them what they can do to help you cope with the increase in visitors to your site – of course some of these things will not be free, but as a business person you have to work out the cost of lost customers.

The Maths

If your appearance on TV brings in 200,000 visitors to your site and you usually convert 3% of visitors to customers then that’s 6,000 new customers for you – But only if your website is up and running.  Maybe 5-10% of those will come back the next day to take a look at your site, so now you’re only talking about 300-600 new customers – that’s a significant drop.  If your average sale is £20 then that’s a difference of £114,000 at the worst case (£120,000 – £6,000).

Can You Afford To Throw Away £120,000?

If so then you probably don’t need to be reading this blog post at all and congratulations, you’ve done very well for yourself.  If like the majority you can’t then you need to sit down with your web hosting supplier (or better yet, give us a call about our business web hosting and dedicated servers) and work out a plan – even if it’s only for a temporary increase in capacity for your website.  There are a great many things that can be done, quite a few of them for free that can help your website survive an increase in visitor numbers and help you capture new customers – for <1% of that £120,000 of new business you could potentially increase the capacity of your website by 3-4x, if not more in some cases.

I’d Like To Know More

If you’d like to know more about how we can help you with your web site hosting problems then please get in touch with us to discuss our business hosting solutions.

Don’t miss your big opportunity…

I’ve just been sat at home watching High Street Dreams I thought I’d check out the web sites of the two people featured on the program and unfortunately for both of them they appear to have missed a massive opportunity by not being prepared with their web sites.

First up we have Beryl Ware – which unfortunately greeted me with a “Service Unavailable” message. Whilst they may have got their product in order, they’ve neglected the massive opportunity of being featured on BBC1 at 9pm, by not having adequate web hosting in place – Rule #1 if you’re going to be featured somewhere major, talk to your web host, make the most of every person who puts your name in Google.

Next up we have Claire English where the situation appears to be even worse, not a trace on the first few pages of Google – The only Claire we get is Claire’s Accessories. Even if you don’t think you can meet the massive interest an opportunity may generate, don’t alienate potential customers – If you can’t meet their demand/order right now, be honest with them, they may wait or they may come back some other time for another of your products, but not if they can’t find you.

As the old saying goes, “fail to prepare and prepare to fail” – Taking every opportunity presented to you is vital, especially in the current economic climate, you can’t afford to miss a marketing opportunity like this.