Website or Just a Sign?
The King stood in front of a majestic wide format sign that was
on the side of the Castle's rock wall overlooking the market
Slide Rule, of Building Blocks Inc., the architect of record for
the Castle, and Igor, the King's favorite builder and owner of Moat
Designs Ltd., stood on either side of the King, looking up at the
"So, Igor, what do you think of Slide's new sign located on my
"I'm duly impressed," said Igor. "Good location for all traders
and buyers to see."
"How about you, Slide?"
Slide was becoming a bit worried. "Your Majesty, I thought I
would put up the sign to try and get some business. I should have
asked for your permission."
"Oh, don't worry Slide, I'm not mad that you used the Castle
wall to promote yourself without asking me. I just wanted to talk
about the sign."
Slide breathed a sigh of relief. "Do you have any comments about
my sign, your Majesty?"
"Actually, yes. I think you could have improved
your company's message."
"Well, you're not identified as the lead architect and primary
"Good point. I should have put that on there."
"Also, there's no real explanation of the services you
"You're right again. I should've thought of that." Igor had been
listening to the conversation.
"Slide, how long do you expect this to be up here?"
"I was thinking around two to three years."
"Really?" said the astonished King, looking at Slide.
"What's wrong with that?"
"Well, the problem is you're making the same mistake that the
majority of companies make regarding their business website."
"You know. That future electronic thing where people can see
what you're all about."
"What kind of mistake?"
"Well, many companies complete their website, and then it sits
there for years as if nothing was happening in their business. Just
like your sign."
"So, are you saying that these future websites need to be
updated on a regular basis?"
"Yes, exactly. But there's more. Most websites are like your
rather boring sign; they don't provide any value. Give someone who
sees your sign a reason to contact you."
"That's very interesting. I had never thought of that."
The King continued. "Make it a place where people come back to
get information. For example, list the speaking engagements of the
people in your business, including the principals. That's very
impressive to the target market. Or, provide copies of articles the
principals have written for construction trade magazines. Feature
new press releases. There are so many things that can be done."
"Are you saying I should do the same thing with my sign?"
"Yes, but in a different way. Signs get old. If you replaced the
content, and kept your logo, you would have a fresh looking sign,
and start to establish a brand at the same time. Prospects would
start to identify you with the services you provide. Most
businesses just put up some flashy graphics and then leave it there
forever. Signs should talk to the reader."
"Like the websites you keep talking about?"
"Yes, exactly. Most construction websites are just like a
"So, if I may," said Igor. "What you're saying is, if you're
going to do a job, do it right."
"Very good, Igor."
"Do you have anymore examples of value that should be
"Simple. It's a website, not a sign. Demonstrate your company's
unique value. Show them that you can help them solve their problem;
that you can save them money, because you care and have expertise
that others don't have. Be up-to-date with technology. For example,
a slow-loading website will make prospects go to the
"So, while a sign is a static communication device, a website is
meant to constantly change and provide reasons to come back to
"Yes. Perfect. So, what do you call a website that's like a
"A cobweb," answered Slide.
With the exception of an occasional guest appearance by the
author, any similarity to actual events or people living or dead is
Ronald A. McKenzie is president of COMPASS
Consultants Corp., a strategic planning and marketing company
specializing in developing business growth. He is a published
author and has made nationwide presentations on the subject of
strategic planning and marketing. He resides in Las Vegas and can
be reached at email@example.com and