Do you need a web site? Are you considering getting one but are unsure? Here we take a look at the main reasons why a web site could be beneficial to your organisation.
1) It will give you the competitive edge
If you do not have a web site people cannot visit it ? an obvious point you might say. But if your competitors have web sites people will be visiting them! These people are your potential customers! Remember also that many businesses have yet to get online, therefore a web site will give you the competitive edge.
2) It will be an effective method of advertising
A web site is not a substitute for other advertising media but works very successfully alongside it to enhance your image. You can add your domain name to other printed media - flyers, business cards, signs etc; these are places where many people expect to find your web site details nowadays. They will then expect to go to your web site for further information.
3) It will enhance your credibility
People these days will expect you to have a web site. If they hear about your organisation the first thing many of them will do will be to look on the Internet to see if they can find your web site. If you do not have one they may perceive you to be less credible and may not believe you are a 'real' business. Even worse they may stumble across your competitors and forget all about you.
4) It will enhance your communication efforts
Communication with potential customers and clients is of huge importance. A web site can provide all of your contact details, including email addresses. Many people prefer to make contact via email, as it is quick, easy, cheap and convenient. You can even include interactive features, such as feedback forms and customer query forms. People can sign up for a mailing list to receive information on your latest products and services.
5) It will be available around the clock
Your web site works for you day and night to give you constant coverage. Internet users can access your information regardless of whether or not it is business hours. You can reach current and potential customers 24 hours a day. It is almost like having an extra office that is always open!
6) You will have a global audience
You can reach out to a worldwide audience. Your services will be available for viewing locally, nationally and internationally, creating a much broader awareness of your organisation and potentially a larger customer base. Other more traditional forms of advertising reach a very small geographic area in comparison so a web site is potentially a very powerful marketing tool.
7) It can be easily updated
The information on your web site can be quickly and easily updated to include changes to your products, services, special offers or contact details. These details cannot be changed on brochures, flyers, business cards or any other existing print based advertising medium ? they will all have to be reprinted.
8) You can trade online
Your web site can act as an online brochure, putting your products and services where people can see them. People can find your products and contact you by email to make enquiries, and you can provide online order forms. You can even have an online shopping cart where the customer proceeds to a virtual checkout and pays by credit or debit card.
9) You don't have to carry lots of stock
You can have pictures and descriptions of your products and services on your web site. When you receive a request for a product you can order it in specifically for the customer. You don't have to buy lots of stock upfront; money is not tied up. Some suppliers will supply the customer direct so you don't even have to see the stock.
10) It will make the most of impulse buying
People can look at your online information straight away when it suits them. People are impatient and impulsive and may not be prepared to wait for your other advertising efforts to reach them. For example, if they have to wait 3-4 days for your brochure to reach them through the post, by that time they could have found another product from somewhere else.
Armed with these facts, you should now be in a position to tell if a web site is the solution for you.
About The Author
Copyright, Sharon Kirby
Sharon Kirby, MSc, BSc provides affordable web site design services to small businesses. She believes everyone should have the opportunity to raise his or her online profile. To learn more please visit http://www.featuredesigns.com.