Internet for your business

Of the many questions from those not already on the Net, these three seem to be the most popular: “Why should I have a website?”; “What use is the Internet to my business?”; and, “How do you grow using the Net?”.

The answers come from yourself, when you analyze your business needs and values.

What is the real value of the Internet to your business? Can it reduce your expenses; generate new business; help develop new business opportunities; and improve operations? Yes. Will having a website answer my business needs? Can it: provide customers awareness of my products and services; offer ready information and support; extend my trading hours capability; expand my markets; increase my income; and, ensure private and secure communication between me, my staff and my best customers? Yes.

With paths already well worn, the benefits to having a website are apparent everywhere. Amazingly though, only 6% of the world’s population are participating. We like to appreciate this information as positive, proposing huge market growth to come over the next two years. Businesses, who are just awaking to the fact that they are being left behind, realize that they must have at least a minimal of presence on the Internet.

Some of the many benefits to having a website are: the ability to display a catalogue of products and services; that ability to extend your business hours to 24-7 without a physical presence; and, to update information which is seen by the world, immediately. This gives you an equal status with more affluent companies, providing easy communication with current and prospective customers. This is an excellent means of generating sales leads, while keeping present customers aware of new products and services.

There are the benefits of close interaction with your customers. A good website will incorporate smart visitor interaction: this will include basic elements of e-commerce, such as forms, surveys and other data acquiring applications. With Secure Socket Layer (SSL) capacity, one can offer safe and secure online transactions.

What instantly comes to mind is the ability to offer credit card facilities, so to allow immediate online sales: more income 24-7. The long-term benefits are clear too. With unlimited space you can convey your entire message for an unlimited time; it is more affordable and economical than the Yellow Pages; the market is greatly increased, even reaching internationally; and, once an audience is established, new ideas can be tested in real time, with instant results.

There is good practical value in having a website; for instance, a map can provide your local location; statistics on who is visiting your site can determine where you should spend your dollars; of course, no shoplifting; no staff; no insurance; no air-conditioning; and, less time on the phone.