Why buy your B2B website when you could lease it?

Verity Dearsley, managing director of The B2B Marketing Lab, HubSpot’s largest and most successful partner in the UK, explains the concept of Growth Driven Design and how it is changing the world of web development and digital marketing.

Affordability remains one of the biggest challenges to any small or medium B2B organisation when it comes to developing or redesigning their website – how many startups and SMEs have £40,000 lying around?

Being able to afford to web developer to design a brand-new website is a luxury many cannot afford. As a result, most will put off their website project or go for a cheaper DIY option, which often never looks as good as it should.

The result of either option is usually a website – your digital shop window – which looks out of date and doesn’t show your business at its best.

Put this into a traditional business model; are you going to walk into the shop with the well designed, professional looking window, or the one that looks like it’s been thrown together a few hours before opening time?

Some entrepreneurs, trying to keep costs down, are forced to reconsider crucial elements of their website to keep things on budget and on track, and end up with an ineffective website which does nothing to attract to convert visitors and turn them into leads.

That’s not even to mention that traditional builds usually require 50 per cent to be paid upfront and can take anything from six months to two years to go live – assuming nothing changes or goes wrong in the process.

But, in a world when most consumer journeys start with a Google search, putting time and effort into your SME’s website is step number one in the ‘growing your business’ playbook.

The answer, then, is to build a professional website at a cost an entrepreneur can afford.

Don’t buy your website – lease it

Sitting next to a consumer market where everything from cars, to TVs, to laptops can be leased rather than bought outright the question arises – why not lease your business’ website?

Leasing your website might sound strange, but it is effectively the next ‘logical’ step in clever website design and search engine optimisation. You take out a contract with the digital marketing agency responsible for the website build and they manage and maintain your website on your behalf – allowing you to focus on running your business.

How does website leasing work?

When you lease a car, for example, you typically pay three months of payments upfront and then a monthly fee over a fixed period.

For the buyer, leasing a car is far more manageable than purchasing, as it allows the buyer to return the car and select a new model when the lease expires. The costs arising from maintenance, repair and servicing are all paid by the car provider and the buyer can get the best value for their money.

This process is exactly the same for your website

With ‘website leasing’ you can pay three months down payment at the outset, a massive reduction, and then pay a monthly fee over an agreed period. The leasing company – or in this case, the digital marketing agency – looks after your website on your behalf, analysing its performance, optimising it, growing it, and developing it while you go about your day-to-day business.

All the issues that would normally take you away from actually running your business – like SEO, content production, page optimisation – can be taken off your hands along with the benefit of costs being spread over a longer period.

Like renting a car, upgrades or changes can be charged as part of the fee and – more importantly for your business – you can ditch the old, lazy out-of-date website much quicker than you could with a traditional project structure.

Future proofing

Another benefit of a lease structure in B2B web development is that, unlike traditional builds – which are usually only refreshed every couple of years – a lease approach means you can use actionable data and insight from web analytics to plan your website’s next phase and gradually expand and improve it using information – rather than taking a punt of a massive cost and hope for the best approach.

Businesses know they cannot ignore their website anymore.

Rather than owning an expensive anchor which drains time, resources and shows no real results, maybe it’s time businesses take a look at leasing the most important part of their business.