business owners who are approached about getting their
own web site usually consider an Internet Presence
as not needed. To some extent, this question is still
valid for a "limited" number of business types and
a short while ago, an Internet Presence was not necessary
for a small business. Now a Web Presence has quickly
become a necessary investment in a companies overall marketing
strategy. The fact is that the Internet has expanded
so rapidly that not having a web site would be throwing
away a VERY GOOD marketing tool. The smaller the business,
the more critical a web presence becomes. The Internet
is currently the least expensive means of establishing
a business image and enhancing your client services.
A Web Presence and Strategy becomes an investment in
the future of any business. An Internet Presence can
Portray an established business image
by providing email "departments"
by providing email addresses for each employee
by displaying high quality
web site design
Reduce customer and technical support costs
Provide customers with information
about products and services when they
Provide inter-business information
Provide sales staff with current information
and even online ordering tools
Serve as an inexpensive, but effective,
LESS THAN THE PRICE OF A MAGAZINE AD, YOUR BUSINESS
CAN HAVE A WEB
SITE DESIGNED AND HOSTED FOR 3 MONTHS!"
With just a few brochures and background information
about your company as a start, we can design a
web site that portrays your products and services
best. If you feel comfortable with adding more
functionallity, we can offer many features and
additions to the site to meet your needs. Contact us
now before you put it off any longer. Your clients
are already using the internet for email correspondence
and to find the products and services they need.
Why not use this to your advantage?
Here is a very comprehensive list of reasons why
a business should get a web site.
can you put on the Web:
Basic Company/Organization Information
Pricing and Rates page if
Case Studies, example work
People in the company
Business partners, either
financial partners or working
Any advertising that you currently
use can be used in your web site.
Your web site can include a
product catalog, complete with
pictures, sound, or video. You
can also include a searchable
index of products.
Customers can order and
use their credit cards
to pay for products at
your web site. You can
even create a "virtual marketplace" or
online shopping mall.
Customers can get directions
to your business, and can even
a map to take with them.
Customers can print coupons
from your site, or you can send
them coupons through electronic
Customers can send feedback,
requests for information, or
orders through your web site.
You can also send information,
offers, and promotional materials
to all of your customers.
Customers can use electronic
mail to contact you for support,
when they need it. You can also
provide support through automated
means, such as a Frequently Asked
Questions (FAQ) page, or discussion
groups where your customers can
help each other.
With the introduction of Java,
web pages can take on a whole
new level of interaction. The
web can host business applications,
providing distributed applications
to users worldwide
out for these problems when you decide to get a
Domain Name Registration
The only fee you should pay
for your domain name is that
charged by the registration agency.
Some hosting services charge
extra fees for this which is
a poor business practice as they
have no overhead costs as well
as no business charging for it.
Domain Name Administrative Contact
Ensure that your name goes
in as the administrative contact
for your domain name. Otherwise
you may run into trouble later
on if you decide to change hosting
services or you have a falling
out with your service provider.
The Internic have
a complete legal outline of the
rules, regulations and procedures
that are applicable in such a
Make sure a CLEAR scope of
work is included in correspondence
between your site design firm
and you. Include the fact that
final content, design and layout
must be approved by you before
they are posted to the web site.
Have the hosting and design
firm clearly specify the pricing
arrangements including a description
of what each price in the breakdown
Set unit prices up front
before you sign to establish
whether minor changes to the
web site will be chargeable
as well as possibly unit pricing
on other aspects of the web
10 of the most common mistakes
when companies decide to build
a web site.
Do's & Don'ts
in setting up your own Site
Choose your Business Model Carefully
Make sure you have thought through your business model for the site before
you implement. Think about what you want from the site, in terms of increased
awareness, pre-sales support, customer communication, subscription and
advertising revenue, or direct selling.
Choose your Business Partners Carefully
Particularly if you are new to the Internet, you may want to form a relationship
with a consultancy or specialist software house to bring your service to
market. The closer this relationship, and the more common interest there
is in the commercial details, the more chance you have of success. You
should have your partner involved at an early stage; look for a company
that can help you develop your business model and is prepared to share
in the risks and rewards of your enterprise, rather than one whose only
interest is in selling you disk space on their server.
Make your Site Uptempo
To be successful, your site must be useful and compulsive.
Stimulate Initial Visits
You must make the existence of your site well known. This can be achieved
through use of the traditional media, press releases, contacting existing
customers, soliciting links from related web sites and Usenet newsgroup
Encourage Repeat Visits
You want your prospects to return to your site after the first visit. Make
sure that you have an easy to remember url for your front page,
and that it is easy for people to find the information they want, both
through page navigation, and free-text search. Consider running regular
promotions and competitions.
Make use of a range of Internet
There is more to the Internet than just http. Successful sites often make
extensive use of other protocols, such as ftp for program distribution and
mailservers for subscription lists.
Actively Maintain your Site
Make sure that there are no broken links, and that the information on the
pages is consistent with information given to sales, technical support
and other customer interfacing staff.
Make Comparisons with Existing
Check up on the competition, and look out for ideas in unrelated markets
that you can apply to your own.
Take Care with respect to Security
Ask your service provider about the steps he takes to properly secure your
site. If possible, use a provider who will give you an individual httpd
rather than one which could be compromised by other companies mistakes.
A hacked webserver is a very visible form of corporate embarrassment.
Be overly concerned about the
technicalities of transactions
over the Internet
There are usually ways and means to circumvent the difficulties involved
in secure payment over the Internet. Subscription services and encouraging
customers to set up accounts with you are two popular choices, which may
be commercially more attractive than individual isolated transactions.
Put boring or irrelevant information
on your site
Too many people make the mistake of putting voluminous and tedious corporate
profile information, or naive Hello, we're here pages on their sites.
Put your site on a Server unless
it provides a full range of protocols
If your site is to be useful, it is inevitable that you will want to do more
than simple web pages.
The opportunities available today will not last forever.