Why need a web site?

1. Your customers and potential customers are already searching the Web.

Even as you read this there will be someone on the Web looking for a business like yours.

More and more people are using the Internet to purchase products and as a means of gathering initial information about products and services. The attraction to this medium is that the customer is relaxed because he can read and research the information at his own pace and without any “hovering salesmen”. It is quite feasible that the surfer will visit a number of sites before he decides on his final choice of product. You need to be certain that you are one of the sites that he has visited if you are to stand a chance of gaining his business. If you have no web site, you have no chance.

2. Your competitors are already on the Web.

They’re attracting the people who could be YOUR customers! What frustration, because you know that your products and services are superior to those of your competitors!

3. A website makes it easy for people to refer new customers to you.

For many businesses, referrals are a crucial source of new customers. Having a website makes it easy to encourage referrals, because customers can simply send friends and business contacts to your site. Website addresses are easier to remember than phone numbers. Plus, giving people multiple ways of contacting you makes it more likely that they will do so.

4. Your web site will promote your business 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Even when you’re sleeping your web site can be working for you. But so is The Yellow Pages - so why have a web site too? Yellow Pages is generally only available on a local basis; not to mention the fact that unless you can afford a very large advertisement the information you can present is very limited.

Your web site can be viewed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 52 weeks a year. If you are selling your products internationally then this is a major advantage as visitors in North America and South America can, for example, view your products or services while you are asleep! An email enquiry will be waiting for you when you get up in the morning!

But even if your business is restricted to the US, you will be amazed at how many people research for products and services at the weekend and in the evening. They are busy business people and very often this is the best time for them to concentrate on researching for a new product or service.

As of April 2002, there are roughly 165.8 million people online in the US alone. Some of them are looking for your products and services. With a website, you open yourself up to a world of opportunity in reaching people who might not otherwise find you. With the click of a mouse, anyone can get to your company’s website 24/7.

5. Your customers can buy your products and pay for them while sitting at their computers.

It is estimated that it costs 8 times more to sell a product from a shop than from the Internet.

Selling online has to be one of the most cost efficient means of doing business. Night or day, you can do business with a customer in any part of the world, and his payment is made directly into your bank account -without you even knowing! All you need to do is to print off and process the orders. Of course if you have a product that can be sent via the Internet (such as software, documents, written material) you don’t even need to do this.

6. A website increases the value of your advertising.

You can have pages and pages of information about your company and your products or services - in much more detail than you’d ever be able to pay for in more traditional media.

You can put an enormous amount of information onto your website.

Adding your website address to all your advertisements, business cards, and company literature is a great way to draw potential customers to your company. Providing a website gives people a way to act on your message whenever they hear about you or see an ad for your company. Going to a website is easier than writing, visiting a store, or even making a phone call. Customers get the information at their convenience and don’t have to wait for a salesperson to help them. Also, it’s often more comfortable to visit a website, because there is no obligation. Visitors don’t feel pressured.

7. Your website can reach potential customers locally, nationally or worldwide - at no extra cost to you.

In fact you can adapt your website to the needs of your business.

There is absolutely no doubt that the Internet is the answer to the small businessman’s prayer. For the first time you have at your disposal the whole world market for whatever product or service you happen to provide. In fact the more niche your product, the more successful you will be with your Internet business.

You can take your products to totally new markets. You may have been restricted to selling your products to customers who passed by your shop in your local high street. Or perhaps you may have been able to expand beyond that limited marketplace by doing targeted (and expensive) advertising in specific magazines. However, for the first time you’ll be able to take your product across the world.

8. Your website can save you a lot of money.

Lower printing costs because you need much less printed letters and brochures.
Lower postage costs for the same reason -email becomes a major (and much cheaper) distribution method.
Lower advertising costs because your web site lasts longer and produces greater results than adverts.
Lower wage costs because your web site can be like an extra person with the automated processes it can carry out.

9. Your website can work like a kind of robot, Sending information to customers, replying to emails and even making sales - day and night.

You can reply to your customers or potential customers automatically without you having to get involved at all. With simple devices called “auto responders” you’re able to set it all up whereby specific targeted replies are sent out to different people, night or day.

10. Your web site can help you give improved customer service.

Providing information visitors can access. For example there can be a list of ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ about your service or product.

This is an area that is often overlooked by web site owners. The simplest example of this is putting up a FAQ page (frequently asked questions) on your web site. Not only is this very helpful to customers because it provides instant answers to their “frequently asked” questions, but it also saves you and your employees considerable management time in not having to answer a string of e-mails/phone calls/faxes. What this usually means is when you do receive that e-mail/phone call/fax it is an actual order rather than an inquiry!

You can make information readily available to your customers. For example, new information has suddenly become available concerning your products. Put it on your website and communicate via e-mail to your customers — it’s that easy!

How about a Free downloadable sheet with helpful tips. Your visitors will love it!

11. A website is a powerful sales tool.

Selling your products through an online store is often a killer way to expand your business. You have a perpetual, easily-accessed storefront–one that costs a fraction of a brick and mortar store and can reach many more people. Effective sales copy can do an incredible job of hooking visitors on your products and compelling them to click that “buy” button.

Even if you can’t sell your services directly over the internet, a website is still a powerful asset. It’s a primer that you use to convince visitors of why they need your services. You get them salivating to buy and invite them to contact you through your site.

12. A website helps you stay in contact with potential customers.

There are frequently people who are interested in what you have to offer, but they might not be ready to buy right now. You need to stay in contact with them so that you immediately come to mind when they ARE ready. A website is a great way to facilitate this. You can use your website to collect email addresses from visitors. Then you can periodically send out promotional emails or a newsletter. Staying in contact keeps your company fresh in visitors’ minds.

Well, 12 Reasons for Having a Website. Do you want to leave this opportunity to your competitors? Surely not! Each day you wait, you’re letting them establish themselves online as THE resource in your field. Stop giving them that advantage! Build up your own web site now!