One of the best ways to thrive in the modern global economy is by becoming an entrepreneur. The global jobs market is shaky, at best. And, regardless of your students’ course of study, there is no guarantee they will maintain employment with one company for the duration of their working years.
In fact, most millennials either decide to or are forced to change jobs seven times before they turn 30. Then, there are the robots–slowly, but surely taking over many jobs from manufacturing to drivers. So, it is really important to either have a side gig or become a full-time entrepreneur. There isn’t any reason why teachers can’t teach students how to use website builders to help them engage in the economy and understand money. One of the first things you must do–after you come up with your idea–is to build your website.
Why do you need a website?
Well, it is one of the quickest and most cost-effective means of getting your product or service out into the world. You don’t have to spend time, money or labor building a brick and mortar location. In addition, you don’t have to worry about rent. The only thing you will pay for is a domain name and hosting. Even if you have a Facebook page, you still need your own site on the web. It makes you appear more legitimate and professional.
Even on a personal level, you wouldn’t want to send prospective clients to your Facebook page. There just isn’t enough space to list and describe all of your products and services. Plus, how will they be able to make purchase? Furthermore, you need control over your products and services. Not to mention, a website makes your business seem more trustworthy and authoritative than sticking only to Facebook.
You don’t need a degree in computer science
The good news is with site builders such as Wix, Weebly, WordPress and Squarespace—your students can publish their sites in under an hour. You don’t need to have extensive coding skills whatsoever. In the past, you needed to have an understanding of Web hosting, site registrars and HTML–not so today. Although, not all sitebuilder sites are free.
Prices can range from about $8 per month to around $25 per month if you are selling products. That seems pretty reasonable given the alternative of renting out a physical space. If you go with the free option, you will have to contend with including branding from the provider. That will make your site seem a bit less impressive to knowledgeable web surfers and shoppers.
You need to decide on your domain name and a template. You can get your domains from a domain generator tool such as the one provided by Nominus.com. This is essential for testing out domain names that make sense for your products or services. Remember, this is the starting point of building a brand–so, it should be something both catchy and relevant. Then, you need to decide on a template. This is the interface of your entire site.
The good news is most sitebuilders give you preview options so that you choose the template you think looks best. Again, it should be relevant. If you are selling candy, you want your site to be bright and eye-catching. If you are offering tutoring services, the template should appear more professional and cerebral.
The majority of Internet surfers perform their searches from their phone. The good news is your students are already probably very mobile savvy. So, your site must be optimized for mobile. Test it out on your phone before publishing. Can you read your text clearly? Do your products and services pop off the page? Do all of the buttons work from your phone? Is there anything that needs to be optimized?
You want people to have the ability to interact with all of the important aspects of your site through their phone. This is especially true of the ability to make a purchase. You may have what they want, but if they can’t get it on your mobile site, they will head towards your competitor. Not to mention, search engines care that your site displays suitably on mobile screens. Wix is one sitebuilder that offers a mobile-site preview.
It goes without saying that images can make or break your site. Just put yourself in your shoppers’ shoes. Would you buy something that looks fuzzy? Since you know that you can’t actually see or feel the product in person, the images must be as crisp as possible. One of things most people like best about the Web is looking at images. Why do you think Instagram is so popular?
If you need images to spice up your site, Squarespace, Wix and GoDaddy all offer many stock photography options you can use. If you decide your current sets of images needs an update, you can change them easily. Although, don’t change them so often that your visitors no longer recognize your site.
Monetizing your site
You’ve got things to buy and bills to pay–so, you need to monetize your site. You can do so by adding a Web shopping cart service. Do your research for the top 10 to figure out which will work best with your line of products and services. On the other hand, you might just start out with a Paypal button. While, some sitebuilders offer credit card processing, shopping carts and checkout pages.
If you have to start out small and build your way up, that is fine too. In order to make it for the long haul, you want to make sure you don’t take on more than you can handle. Once you get into the swing of making sales, you can update your site’s functionalities to enable more sophisticated options.
Building your website is one of the first steps to either making money on the side or becoming an entrepreneur. It really is critical to have if you want to come across as trustworthy. Plus, there is nothing more enjoyable and rewarding than being your own boss. Teaching students to become young entrepreneurs is truly empowerment at its finest.