Whatever the size of your company, whatever industry it’s in, however long it’s been running, having a presence on the web is an inescapable part of running a modern business. Your competitors are no longer just down the road, they are in the next city, the next state, the next country. With an effective web presence, your business could have this same kind of reach, connecting you to a wider market and creating more sales. A website also promotes your company’s brand identity, and shows your customers that you are both professional and forward looking.
A website can be accessed 24hrs a day. This means that customers can access information and make purchases outside of the normal nine to five. Not only does that gain you 16 hours of extra business, the customer can do all of these things independent of you, giving you more time during the normal working day.
Email communication is faster and less costly than snail mail and telephone. With product and service information shown to them in black and white it can prevent the confusion that may result from a prolonged telephone conversation. It also reduces the need for lengthy product brochures which can be expensive to print.
Better customer service
Your customers have complete control over when and where they access your material, and any questions that they do ask can be dealt with very quickly.
Things to Consider
Maintaining the site
An effective website is a changing website. New content will need to be added when new products and services are introduced. If you are offering internet based customer support you will need to take the time to consider each customer’s queries and needs and give them an engaged and helpful reply.
Define your product or service
Have a clear idea of what you are providing and who your potential customers are.
Consider what impact a website will have on your staff
You may need to take on a new employee to look after the website, or you may prefer to retrain a current member of staff.
Check out the competition
Think about how to distinguish yourself from your competition. Why should a customer choose your business over another’s? What is your Unique Selling Point?
Decide on the type of website you need
If you’re a real estate company your website would work best as a brochure style one; providing information on your services and the various residences you have available. If you are a beauty product manufacturer you are more likely to need a fully interactive site with a shopping cart and credit card facility.
The look of the thing
The design of the site is reliant on its function and on your brand identity. It is always a good idea to have your logo designed first. As a visual representation of your brand, your company logo is the starting point for color and style choices. If your logo is colorful and quirky then your website should reflect this, equally if it is a clean, graphic design in blue and green, your website needs to match. This will give your company a sense of professionalism and cohesion.
So if you decide to get your business on the web, make sure you choose the right designer – one who can take all these considerations on board to create an attractive and effective website for your specific needs.