Archive for Business

The Shopping Cart

The other aspect relating to the value of a web page to a retail sector business, small or large is the shopping cart. For these businesses customers can, not only research your business, they can complete the whole customer experience through the click of a button. So your store could be working hard in the shopping mall or in a back street of a suburb somewhere, but in the background your website is driving even more footfall and translating internet hits into dollar signs. It is easy for you once the mechanics are designed and tested; there are minimal overheads other than postage costs, which can usually be passed directly to the customer; a greater profit margin on products can be enjoyed due to the savings in overheads; and your market suddenly becomes limitless, not constrained by geographical boundaries, just by courier company coverage!

It really may seem to you that your business is not yet ready for a web site. Maybe you think you can’t afford it just now, or you don’t have the time to think about it too much, but it is on your list of things to do. In reality your business cannot afford to not have one.

Social Networking

The use of social networking also aids you as a business and web site owner, as once you have a website and a networking page, your website advertising your product or services can in itself be advertised, increasing footfall and internet traffic.

The Advert

From large corporate entities to small sole traders, business owners have a shared problem: they need a way in which to promote what they do. In these days of extreme competition, customer choice has never been greater and the job of business marketing and winning their business is an exciting challenge. In many ways, the Internet has opened up a wealth of opportunity.

For example just by using Google AdWords to pin point your business address and business type you can reach anyone who happens to search in that zip code for your type of services or products accordingly. A business listing alone is not always all that enticing though, the ‘sexy’ part of your marketing campaign comes with the business internet pages you create to represent your organization, and it can be the definitive point of difference between you and a competitor.

For example if a prospective customer looking for business accounts has two businesses to choose between; one with a web site and one without, they are likely go with the one which has one.

The fact that they conducted a Google search in the first place shows they have access to and trust in the Internet. Even a simple, basic functionality page can look amazing with the right graphics and wordings. The customer can get a head start on what it is that your business can do for them, if it suits their needs, and information on how to contact you for further information.

The customer may also make on some level, a psychological contract with a prospective business, when comparing websites. Take for example a wedding boutique, the bride to be researching on the internet comes across the ideally located wedding dress store, providing her with a broad range of dress designers, bridesmaid dresses, and accessories; it has an amazing web page with beautiful photography and links to other useful websites and she is, frankly sold.

She may find it very hard to change her mind and will want to get to that store of her dreams and find the dress of her dreams. Of course the store staff have to be able to translate that passion and energy into a sale and that is something the internet cannot do for you.

For reasonable costs you can buy a domain name and by using a web design agency create an amazing, professional and on the money page to represent your business. There are no printing costs, and no need for the laborious task of walking around the streets of your neighborhood delivering leaflets. There is also no need for negotiating painful deals with local newspapers for advertising space: the advert literally hits a global audience as soon as the live button is clicked.

What is a Web Site to Your Business?

Many businesses operate large elements of, if not the whole of, their organizational function via the use of the World Wide Web. Whether it is as a means of attaining orders literally or promoting what they do, it has for many become an indispensable way in which to reach out to customers and win their belief in the product or service, and ultimately their business.

Time Saving, not Consuming

For many of the businesses that feel they are too busy to go about creating an online presence, the solution to creating more time to focus on the day to day running of the company may well lie in having a well designed website.  Many business owners find that the majority of their time is spent answering the same customer service questions over and over again, easily solved by having them prominently displayed on your web page.  From the location of your business to its opening times, the types of products you are offering to promotions that you are running, the truth of the matter is that in the 21st century the majority of customers will check you out online before they give you a ring or call into your store or offices.  With the rise of mobile internet people will be checking you out even when they’re on the go.  By regularly updating video, audio and pictures you can create the most up to date image of your business and get instant feedback without the massive overheads of traditional print media.

One thing is for sure, though.  The only thing worse for your business than not having a website is having one that is badly designed and lacking in usability.  The beauty of the World Wide Web is that it allows even the smallest players to stand shoulder to shoulder with the big boys, but if your website looks unprofessional, your business will too.  The very fact that so much business is now done online means that you really need to invest the time in creating a website that reflects what your company stands for and creates an aura of professionalism and respectability which will make customers want to use your services time and time again.  Your website is a necessary platform for your business allowing you to network effectively and present relevant information to boost profits whatever sector you are working in so it’s important to get it right.

Online Presence is Essential

While it might look like there are many good reasons not to have an online presence, nothing could be farther from the truth.  And it’s not just a case of generating online sales; in fact this is one of the least important reasons for having a presence online.  Far more important is the need for visibility in a competitive market, the ability to keep customers updated and to provide a platform from which to shout about what makes your business stand head and shoulders above the competition.

No matter what your business is or what kind of customer you are targeting there are numerous ways that a website can make your business more profitable and free up your time to concentrate on taking your company onto the next level.  For example, if your company offers business insurance you can set up online forms which will provide potential customers with an instant quote without the need for spending hours on the phone.  As a business owner you then have all the details you need to follow up an enquiry with the relevant information, as well as the option to add people to your mailing list to help further your business and customer relations.  While your website may not result in an instant sale, your ability to collate useful information about your customers in order to effectively follow up and close the deal while maintaining excellent levels of customer service.

Does Every Business Need a Website?

The rise of the internet has completely changed the way we do business but it may surprise you to learn that there are a large number of companies that don’t feel they need to have a website, especially in the small to medium business sector.  The reasons for this are varied.  Some people believe that the product or service they are offering doesn’t really translate well to online sales.  Some are busy enough with the amount of custom they have that they don’t feel  it necessary to take on any more and some are just too busy to take on the extra responsibility of running and maintaining an online presence.

According to the BBC as recently as 2007 over half of small to medium businesses felt there was no need for them to have a website.  With the economic down turn this is certainly a big mistake on the part of hundreds of businesses of all shapes and sizes.

Cool business card design part 2

Cool business card design part 1