You’re in the hospitality business, not the website business…
I’ve been working on the Nimble Bar website off and on for about 4 months now. While I’ve made some pages that look really nice, the truth is that I’ve spent WAY too much time on this thing. It’s like I engage in some masturbatory form of WordPress theme researching.
Truth is, many small business owners, including restaurant and bar owners, fall into the same trap. Working on your bar website feels productive, but it’s less important than providing your patrons with an amazing experience.
In this article, I’ll share some lessons I’ve learned the hard way. I’ve made a list of some of the key time sucks I experienced building the Nimble Bar website, and how I’ve learned to overcome them.
Parkinson’s Law: Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”
Time suck: Perfectionism
We decided to build the Nimble Bar website on WordPress (WP). At the time of this writing, WordPress powers something like 25% of the internet . As a consequence, it’s the best supported web framework in the world. Thousands — maybe even millions — of themes, plugins, articles, and tutorials await the novice developer. Researching all this could easily consume a person’s entire life.
I’m often tempted to waste hours looking for the perfect theme or the perfect plugin. And I could justify the time waste. I’m learning a new skill, right? Well, yes. But I’ve got more important things to do.
Time saver: Time limits
For any bar website task, I’ve set a limit for myself. If I’ve found an answer but I’m not sure it’s the perfect one, I pull the trigger with the answer I’ve got after 20 minutes. If I can’t find the answer in 20 minutes, I outsource (hire a freelancer). And then I make sure my freelancers know they have a specific timeframe to complete the project, too.
As a result, I give myself those 20 minutes to build and learn, but I never waste a whole day in the WordPress development time suck.
Time suck: No accountability measures
When we started developing our consulting business several months ago, we were individually ‘power-consuming’ the web instead of ‘power-producing’ for results. We each went about the day doing as we pleased, and we didn’t achieve what we needed to. As lone guns contributing to the same project, we wasted time.
Time saver: Teamwork
Now we have an accountability system: each other. We focus on production, share hard deadlines, and hold each other accountable. Together, we’re more disciplined and we get more done. Now when I’m working on any particular task, I’ve got my team to keep me from wasting time.
Time suck: Ignorance
When I started working on the Nimble Bar website, I thought it would be as simple as picking a theme and filling it with content. Turns out that really isn’t the case, particularly if you’re trying to build something unique. I didn’t know what I didn’t know, and learning was going to take time.
I found that I wasted a lot of time trying to figure out how I could squeeze our ideas into the theme I chose. But user experience suffered. I’ve learned that I have to put content first, and build my infrastructure around that.
Time saver: Outsourcing
Outsourcing is the dream for any small business owner. Delegate your weaknesses to a freelancer and then focus on your strengths. For example, at the Nimble Bar Company, we’re hospitality experts, not WordPress experts. But thousands of WP experts are waiting to help us and can be found through sites like Upwork and Fiverr. So we hire freelancers to help us with our Nimble Bar website. They know the ins and outs of WordPress so I’m able to dream up the story and user experience, sketch it out, and find the right expert to build it for me.
I’d rather spend my time early on finding the right freelancers and outsourcing to them than spending hours and hours every week training myself for a job that ultimately I shouldn’t be doing.
Then again, if you don’t want to learn WordPress OR hire anyone, then there are always services like Wix and Squarespace which are not to be underestimated as business building tools. They aren’t quite as customizable, and end up being a little more expensive, but plenty of folks do just fine with them.
Wondering what to put on your bar website?
It just so happens that I know a few guys who specialize in helping businesses tell their stories. We’re called The Nimble Bar company. Contact us if you want to chat. Or sign up for our newsletter (below) if you want to take baby steps and get to know us a bit first.