If you’re thinking of starting a membership website for your business there‘s some things you need to know.

Over the last few years the membership website business model has really boomed. More and more businesses are leaping on the bandwagon. But should you join them? Is a membership site really right for you?

A membership website can be a brilliant way to grow your business and give you a steady residual income stream. But, it can have it’s downsides too.

In this blog post I’m going to share with you the pros and cons of adding a membership site to your business model, so you can make the choice that’s right for your company.

The Pros

It Can Add An Additional Income Stream To Your Business– A big pro of course, and usually the one people are most interested in. A membership site can allow you to add an extra income stream to your business, making it more profitable and more stable. Great for all businesses of course, but especially useful if your business is usually a one-time sale model.

It Can Help Stabilise Your Cashflow –  If your business has a seasonal nature or depends on long lead times and invoicing terms, then adding a membership site can help even out your cashflow. This allows you to be more comfortable in your low season, predict and plan more accurately and help to make your business more financially secure.

It Can Give You A Residual Income – If you get it right then a membership website can give you a regular and residual income. Meaning you’ll always have cash coming in to your business, even when you don’t make new sales. Who wouldn’t want that?

It Can Help You To Build Your Tribe – Establishing a core group of customers, who know you, like you and love what you do, can have a massive impact on your business. With a membership model your customers are interacting with your business regularly. They get to know you better and buy into what it is you do, so that they’re more likely recommend you and to buy from you again in future.

It Can Solidify Your Position As The Expert– Having a membership website helps you to show off your talents and establish yourself as an expert in your field. By consistently providing people with high value content you’ll build a relationship with them and position yourself as the go to expert for your service.

The Cons

It Can Take A LOT Of Time To Get Set Up – Once your membership site is completed then it’s usually a pretty low time commitment to keep running. But the initial set up can be very time consuming. There’s lots you need to do, including testing your market, planning your content, creating your content, choosing the right software and creating your sales funnels. So you need to be sure that there’s definitely a market for what you plan to offer and that you have the time available to dedicate to setting it up correctly.

You Need To Provide Ongoing Technical Maintenance & Support – Whilst you may not need to add more content to the site once it’s complete, you will have to provide ongoing support for your customers. They may have issues logging in, your site may crash or they may have lots of questions about your programme. Be sure that you have a plan in place to handle these needs or you’ll end up with unhappy customers and a whole load of stress.

It’s a Long-Term Commitment – Before you jump into a membership model you need to be sure that you are willing to commit to it long term. Your members will want you to be consistent and they won’t be happy if you stop delivering or just disappear. So it’s important that you think ahead and be sure that you’re willing to keep providing the content and support for them into the future.

It Can Be Hard To Find The Right Software For Your Needs – There are lots of options available when it comes to creating your actual site. From fully hosted, ready built membership sites that you just drop your content into, to plugins that run on your own self-hosted WordPress site. They all have different features, benefits and restrictions so you’ll need to spend some time figuring out what you need and finding the solution that is best for you. A big factor in the tool you use will be it’s ability to integrate with your CRM.  You don’t want to get halfway through building your site just to realise it won’t do something you really need!

It Requires As Much Effort To Sell Memberships As It Does Any Other Product –  If you’re heading into this thinking the sales will be easy, then you need to rethink. It takes just as much time, effort and convincing to get someone to buy into a membership as it does for any other product. You’ll need sales funnels, traffic and a sales process just as you would with anything else. This shouldn’t be a deal breaker of course, but you need to know what you’re getting yourself into, so you can plan ahead and be sure to have the time and resources available to make your membership a success.

Conclusion

So that should give you a good overview of the pros and cons of having a membership website. All businesses are unique and only you will know if it’s the right step for you. It can be a huge success or a major waste of time.

Give it some thought and make the choice that’s right for you. If you need help putting your new membership site together we can help. Click here to find out more about our membership site service