Healthy Business FinancesMy business is 4 years old (nearly – but I am an accountant so I round up!). I am about to release into the world my third website in 4 years. Am I crazy, or have the updates been necessary? Is a website still relevant in this digital age? Well let me give you my perspective on whether an accounting or bookkeeping business NEEDS a website.

Last year, I attended the MYOB national conference at the Gold Coast. No, I did not go just to work on my tan (although that was certainly an added bonus). I went to network with other accounting and bookkeeping nerds (I mean friends), to learn about industry trends, what is on the radar, software updates, best practice, how to service clients efficiently, marketing for us numbers nerds – and well – pretty much everything in between.

One of the topics that was discussed was websites and what was the point? Is a website necessary? Is social media enough? Is a website a waste of money?

When I first started my business nearly 4 years ago, I came from a corporate background – where websites were the only digital form of existence. Now, lets face it, traditional accounting websites are BORING* (disclaimer – personal opinion, but you know you agree with me). Chunks of technical jargon, boring headshots, no personality, suits everywhere – and often not reflecting the actual employees at all.

“But my mindset was “I want what she’s having” – so I wanted the boring, traditional website because that is what I thought I needed. I thought that was the only option.”

I had an amazing website developer who delivered just as I asked. And, being a bit naive (OK maybe a lot), I went out into the world to conquer the bookkeeping market armed with my boring website. I was proud as punch.

12 months into my business, I decided I didn’t “LOVE” my logo anymore (OK so maybe that was to do with it looking too similar to another logo which was already trademarked – but minor details). So whilst I underwent a bit of a rebrand, I thought it was a perfect time to get rid of the boring and input some personality into my website. It was time for “Stacey” to appear.

I wanted people to see me – my smile, my personality, my story – no suit or traditional accountant in sight. In came videos, details of my packages, more about my story, my passions – and shock horror – corporate headshots that are not against a boring white background wearing a black suit (thank god for Jade Wisely – my photographer extraordinairre).

However, whilst I updated the website with a bit of help here and there, it was a bit of a mixed bag. Still containing far too much information, a bit overwhelming for the end user, and let’s face it – I am not a designer so creatively it was not very schmick.

“Sure it did the job, and it was a step in the right direction, but I know in order to grow and attract the right clients, it needed to be streamlined and refined.”

So, website #3 in 4 years is about to be launched. Why did I relaunch, why didn’t I just tweak the current site?

Why did I invest thousands of dollars to create a website in a digitally fast moving society?

I personally believe that whilst social media is a great tool, it is just that – a tool. It is not everything and for all we know, Mr Zuckerberg can remove Facebook off the planet tomorrow and what would we be left with?

My website is how people research me (Google stalk me – call it what you will), how they understand my personality and the way I think (from my blogs – yes my opinionated blogs is the real me and if you work with me that is what you get – the real me) and they can see what we can help with. Do I think that is important – hell yes.

That is why I am relaunching my website (well not me per se – but the website designers under my very close control freak eye).

The new and improved Healthy Business Finances 3.0 will have links to online software choices, explains my team of amazing employees, has resources at your fingertips, clearly outlines our packages and has easy links to book appointments directly into my diary. Launching Feb 2017 – so keep your eyes peeled!

Simple, Clear, Concise. Made for the end user – not for me.

I am hoping this is my “Forever” website. Like a Forever Home – where you love it so much you want to grow old with it.