A Guide to Building a Successful Business Case for Your Website Development Project
Why do you need a business case?
Embarking on a new website project is a big investment and getting the budget approved by key decision makers can be a challenge. Therefore, you must build a strong business case for your website transformation based on the facts and figures. But don’t worry, whether you want a whole new CMS or some smaller fixes, we’ve got some top tips to get the finance team on your side.
Building blocks for a strong business case:
Illustrate the problem and articulate why you need this website development project
Outline the practical steps you will take to implement this project, and the risks involved
Present the benefits and expected return on investment (ROI)
Supply anticipated costs
We will expand on these building blocks in more detail below:
1. Illustrate the problem
Firstly, you need to identify the problems that you are having with your current website. For example, your website might keep crashing, it might have a poor user experience, the design might be outdated. All of these are reasons to invest in your website.
With the problem(s) identified, you then need to express the negative impact these are having on your business.
This is often more difficult to articulate, but, as an example, if your website suffers from slow load times, this could be costing the business in missed website conversions. Studies show that 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load, so poor site speed could easily have a very tangible impact on your business.
Do you need evidence to support your business case?
ClerksWell can carry out a health check on your website, where our experts will review your current website and write up a report of the issues we have found. We will include an impact report and our recommendations for reducing the affect of these problems. Read more about it in our blog.
2. Outline the practical steps
So, you have introduced the problem - now it is time to introduce your proposed solution and the steps involved in getting there.
As per the example above, if you want to improve your site speed, you might decide to build a brand-new website on the latest technology. Therefore, the objective of your business plan would be to develop a new website on your chosen CMS, in order to increase page speeds and ultimately customer loyalty.
If you yourself are looking for a new CMS for your website, be sure to check out our pages on Sitecore and Umbraco. They could be ideal for your business. Or if you’d like to chat to somebody about which CMS might be a good solution for your needs, get in touch.
With a solution in mind, explain how you’d go about implementing your new website project. Illustrate the technical viability and timelines of the plan. As with most things in life, there are some potential risks involved; therefore it is important that you carry out a risk assessment for your project. You must identify the risks, the probability of these risks, and how you would manage these to your audience.
3. Present the benefits of your website project and the expected return on investment (ROI)
Now it’s time for the punch of your business case. This is the section in which you are really going to win the decision makers over. Explain in detail how your new website development project will contribute to the business by creating more customers, efficiencies, and revenue; and how it will contribute to the overall business strategy.
Come with projected numbers and costs. The budget holders always love tangible digits. Work out roughly how much it’s going to cost to implement a new website project and then work out the projected increased revenue from such an investment over a certain number of years. Show them how your digital strategy saves the company time, money, and resources.
For example, if it’s going to cost £100,000 to build a new website on a new CMS, but the increased revenue per year is going to be around £30k, it’s going to take just over 3 years to start making a profit on that investment. In financial terms, that’s a reasonable venture.
If you need help calculating the expected financial benefit, drop us a line and we’ll be happy to give you a hand.
While financial benefits are the real winner, it’s also important to look at the not-so-obvious impacts.
Productivity and operational benefits
Having a better website, with better tools, allows your team to be more productive and do their jobs more effectively, with less work. This means that they can spend additional time on the important things and produce a higher quality of work.
An example of this would be if your company chooses to use a certain CMS, say Umbraco, which has a superb and easy-to-use content management tool. This means editors can manage the site without the need to pester IT for help every couple of hours.
Another key consideration is whether your chosen CMS will allow the business to move to a Cloud-based infrastructure model. This is always appealing to the decision makers because it can save money and improve security.
Don’t forget to remind the decision makers of the negative business impacts of falling behind with technology. Cite your competitors who may have a better website than you and go on to stress how detrimental it can be to the business if you don’t invest to stay ahead of the crowd.
You need to stress the importance of user experience for customer loyalty, and ultimately consumer revenue. If a customer prefers using a competitor's website, they will most likely use it over yours. Your site needs to provide a simple, and up-to-date customer journey, and if it doesn’t, this will have negative financial impacts. This alone will justify your website development project.
How can ClerksWell help?
We hope this guide has helped you to start thinking about building your business plan for your website development project. As you can see, a strong business case is essential to any digital project, but it can be difficult to know where to begin. At ClerksWell, we’ve been helping our clients formulate solid business cases for years, so we know what we’re doing and, if needed, would be happy to help you get started with yours. If you require any assistance, please fill out this form and you can talk to one of our experts about your project.
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