Using a website to boost your profile
Woe unto any business owner who has not taken the time to realize the full benefits of having a web site! It is no coincidence that the proliferation of business web sites has increased in direct proportion to the amount of global growth within the business sector. What started out for many as a personal cyber-profile (i.e. www.IamaCapricornnamedAngela.com) has transcended into one of the most effective forms of business communication to come along since the Public Address system. It is always curious to encounter a business owner who has not invested time and energy into researching how having a web site will make a significant difference in how their business in perceived.
“So, why should I have a web site?” asked a participant in a recent workshop sponsored by a small business association. As trite as the question may sound during the early years of the 21st century, it is still a question that thousands will continue to ask as they step onto that entrepreneurial stage. Let’s start with the obvious benefits:
Profits: Traditional modes of profit generation (i.e. low cost, high quality) are typically linked to the bricks and mortar to running a storefront operation. Profit generation and collection had more to do with hands touching hands in an exchange of money for products and services. Having a web site allows for a more accurate and efficient means of measuring dollars to impact. The expediency of product delivery is realized in real time as customers log on to cyber shop from the comfort of their laptops. As a space saving device, a web site minimizes the amount of money invested in capital outlay while diverting those funds into more important components of the business.
Branding: In a highly competitive field where products and services are indistinguishable, the use of a brand name goes a long way toward providing a visibly recognizable face/logo in building customer retention. In much the same way the certain slogans make us think of a brand (“Just Do It”) or a jingle stays with us (?), a web site provides a visible reminder of the unique elements of a business without having to catch it at a certain time, on a certain channel, on a specific day. Rather than have to compete for time during a major event, your web site is always there waiting for the next potential customer to log and view what you have to offer.
Dissemination of information: A web site is an ideal holder of content. Any and all critical elements of your business that needs to be known, including its history, can be captured, summarized and viewed at the convenience of the customer. There is no need to rush through the content since the web site sits on the computer screen for as long as the customer thinks it is necessary. This requires the web host to keep the customer informed of fee changes, service upgrades, product changes, personnel realignments, etc… By building that relationship with the customer through the web site, it allows for a long term interaction and creates an ongoing feeling of trust between the customer and the business owner.
Capturing E mail addresses: The moment a customer submits their email address to your web site, they are agreeing to enter into a relationship with you. They trust you to protect that commitment by only sending information relevant to their needs and to not increase your profits by selling their email address to the bulk of spam scam cyber cons. Though email addresses are easily changed, they are still personal, intimate peeks into the mind and pockets of a customer.
Creating a web site need not be an expensive venture. Its basic design and mounting onto the internet can be achieved by through self-taught software, classes at the local community college or through the assistance of someone looking to do web design as a career. The real trick is finding a good web hosting company that can provide a number of these services without breaking the spine of your wallet.