Why do you need a website?
   
Web Sites
are the
Great
Equalizer
a The Internet provides equal access to it users, whether you are a small business or a Fortune 500 firm. Everyone gets the same amount of screen space, and the most important factor is the image you project with your web site. A well designed web site costing a few hundred dollars can make a better impression than a poorly designed web site costing millions.  
Image a Surveys have shown that most small business and organizations do not yet have web sites, so putting your business or organization on the web puts you a step above the rest.
a
   
Marketing
 
Low Cost
Advertising
a When compared to the costs associated with traditional advertising methods such as direct mail, newspaper or magazine ads, or radio and television, the cost of a web site is nominal.
 
Dramatically
Reduce
Recurring
Printing Costs
a The most common problem with printed advertising materials is that they quickly become outdated, as new products and services are introduced, incurring tremendous costs in revision and reprinting. Web sites offer the opportunity to provide your customers with up-to-date information when they need it, and allow you the freedom to change your products, services and information when necessary.
 
Build a
Customer/User
Database
a With a web site, you can build a customer / user database to save contact and demographic information about people who visit your web site. This can enable you to gain a better understanding of who your online visitors are, and create complimentary marketing strategies (direct mailings, etc.) customized to their interests. This is also a great way to keep in touch with customers who have purchased your products, leaving you the ability to send a follow-up e-mail, or occasionally sending them information about new products.  
Customer
Coupons at
Zero Cost
to You
a Give your customers an extra incentive to visit your store or purchase from your web site, by providing them with "coupons" and information about sales directly on your Web site Customers can simply print the coupons from your site on their own paper, so you get a wide distribution without incurring any printing or postage costs.
 
Increased
Free
Advertising
a One of the greatest features of the Internet is the ability to link to other web sites, and, more importantly, have them link to yours. This allow customers to find your web site through several different channels, increases the potential for traffic to your site, and essentially provides free advertising for your business or organization.
 
Supplement
Your Current
Advertising
a Having a web site is a great way to supplement your current advertising. By displaying your Internet address in other forms of advertising media, you let your customers know exactly where they can go to get more information about your business right away.
 
Public
Relations
a Make information about your business or organization available to millions of people or just a select group through password protected areas of your web site.
 
Great
Demographics
a Surveys have shown that the average Internet user is 36 years old, has a college education, and an annual income of $65,000.
 
Universal
"Findability"
a Thanks to search engines, someone looking for the products, services, or information you offer can find you in a matter of seconds, no matter where they are. With a well-designed web site and a few good marketing techniques, you can broaden your customer base to anyone with Internet access.
 
   
Customer Service
 
Give Your
Users Printable
Information
They Can Use
a A visitor to your web site can download and print anything that appears on their screen. You can take advantage of this by displaying: a map to your place of business, application forms that can be filled out which require a signature (which can then be mailed or faxed to you), product literature, assembly instructions for your products, diagnostic flowcharts, dimensional drawings, etc.
 
Improved
Customer
Service
a Your web site is a great place to publish your own list of "Frequently Asked Questions", or even the rarely asked ones. Well thought out questions and answers, in as much detail as you like, and exactly as you'd like it stated, can provide your customers with immediate help with their question, as well as provide customer service staff with a reference tool.
 
Improved
Technical
Support
a Additionally, you can provide up-to-date technical information, such as user manuals, product specifications, or detailed diagrams, allowing your customers immediate access to such information, and possibly saving yourself the cost of extra technical support staff.
 
Immediate
Feedback
a A web site is a great way to get immediate feedback from your customers, through customer surveys, contact forms, and e-mail addresses for your contact personnel. This type of feedback can allow you to provide great customer service based on what your customers really want!  
Your Clients
Expect It
a With over 400 million users worldwide, the Internet is getting more and more publicity every year. As public awareness increases, the public will expect even small companies and organizations to have web sites.
 
   
Sales
 
e-Commerce a Setting up an e-commerce site has never been easier. Allowing your customers access to browse and buy your products online gives your sales a boost with no direct involvement from you.

 
Open an Online Store for a
Fraction of the Cost of a
Physical Store
a Along those same lines, an e-commerce web site allows you to display all your products, complete with photographs, audio and video clips, and detailed written descriptions, without the need for a physical store. This means no rent, no utilities, no property and liability insurance, no property taxes, no repair and maintenance, no supplies, and none of the associated labor costs. If your suppliers will drop-ship, you don't even need to maintain an inventory.
 
24 x 7
Availability
a The time of day is now irrelevant. With a web site your products, services and information become available to anyone with Internet access 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
 
Reach Very
Specialized
Markets
a A web site can help you to reach very specialized markets because of the sheer volume of Internet users, now estimated at over 400 million worldwide! Customers looking for rare or specialized products, services, and information often rely on the larger Internet marketplace to find what they are looking for, rather than limit themselves to their local area stores.  
Product
Availability
a Save your customers and your sales reps time by tying your web site to your product database, so your customers know instantly if the product they want is in stock, or when it can be expected to be available.  
Product and
Service
Demonstrations
a Use your web-site as a tool for demonstrating your products and services to customers. Multimedia presentations allow you to provide your customers with an in-depth, interactive experience with your products and services before they buy, and ultimately make them feel more secure about purchasing your product online. This could also be extremely helpful as an in-store sales tool for your local customers.  
Your
Competitors
May Have
Web Sites
a As more and more businesses and organizations get online, those who don't will increasingly be putting themselves at a competitive disadvantage.

 
Your
Competitors
May NOT Have
Web Sites
a This is even better than the reason above!
 
   
Networking
 
Networking a The Internet makes business-to-business networking as easy as clicking on a link, and your web site serves as your "business card" to introduce yourself to people around the world. By establishing relationships with other business and organizations you can provide industry-related information to your customers, employees, or colleagues, or provide issue-related resources your members, as well boost your user base through reciprocal links.
 
Host a
Discussion
Board for
Your Users
a The interactivity of the Intranet also offers great opportunities for user networking. Hosting a discussion board where visitors can post and reply to comments and questions can be a great way to generate interest in your web site and your organization.
 
   
Staff Management
 
Employee
Recruiting
a Do you have a position open in your business or organization? Announce it on your web site. The Internet has become a driving force in recruiting qualified and quality employees. By posting your job opportunities in the largest market you can, you make sure you're getting the best people out there.  
Faster Sales
Force Training
a A great way to promote faster training and product knowledge for your employees is through the use of a password protected area on your web site. Your employees can access it from anywhere, so you can ensure they always have updated prices and product information, as well as details about any time-sensitive issues such as a "Labor Day Weekend Sale" or next weeks staff meeting.
 
Education /
Distance
Learning
a If your organization offers educational services, consider putting your entire course online. Materials can be place in a password protected area so it can be accessed only after tuition has been paid, and the online setting provides a great way for students and teachers to interact.
 
Good for the
Environment
a In a world where our diminishing natural resources are an ever-mounting concern, the Internet is becoming a constant and "recyclable" resource. Every business that uses the Internet for marketing, advertising and commerce helps alleviate the need for printed information and advertising, in turn conserving the energy and resources it takes to print those materials.  
     

 

Leslie Haugen - Graphic Designer