"The future is spinning before your eyes"
Why Do I Need A Website
|There are lots of reasons why you should at least consider having a website, and a few of them are set out below to spark ideas for you. Mostly they provide a more cost-effective way of communicating, and widen your horizons to a global community.|
To use email
To generate awareness
To do business online
To improve communication
To receive information
To improve competitive advantage
To Use Email
Most people get connected to be able to send and receive Email. With email you can send an electronic note or letter to someone at 9.00 am and get a reply by 9.30 the same day.
Sending an email takes only seconds.
You can send the same email letter to say, 100 customers, for less than the cost of one ordinary letter, and if you send it at after 6 p.m. or at weekends, that one letter will cost no more than 5p (with BT). Daytime rates for email are the same as a minimum rate local phone call, but you can send to hundreds of addresses for the same cost as the one.
The cost is no different if you want to send an email to Australia, America, Amsterdam or Accrington. It costs next to nothing.
Not only that, but you can send software programmes, sound files, photographs and even video files with the email at the same speed.
To Generate Awareness
The next most important reason is probably that a website of your own will promote your organisation 24 hours every day, seven days each week, and to the whole world.
Nothing else offers this flexibility.
If your business relies on the acquisition or distribution of information, you can't afford not to be online.
Your customers can have a current parts list or delivery schedule or price list for your goods or services at any time, just by looking up the relevant page on your website. Just imagine, one price list alteration and the whole world can see it, instantly. No reprinting and distribution of expensive catalogues.
To Do Business Online
|Direct sales over the web are also possible via credit card purchases. Alternatively, one of your website pages can be structured as an order form for the customer to print out at home and send back with a cheque or their credit card number added.|
Although it is possible to establish real-time sales via credit card purchases, we believe -- at present -- that it is better for small and medium sized businesses to take orders over the web, with payment received by phone, fax or mail. In the UK people are still nervous about the web and credit cards. That will change in time, and if you plan selling on line, you need to see our E-commerce section for details.
The sort of things that sell well over the Internet are (obviously) computer related products, together with information such as books and music.
Other markets are in development stages, with groceries, wine and flowers by mail order being amongst the first to show.
In the service sector, travel agents, insurance, financial advice, solicitors, consultants, engineers, travel and holiday agencies, recruitment and training, and brokerage and agency work of all kinds, are the front runners.
To Improve Communication
Some of the larger businesses use a website to keep employees such as sales representatives around the country, or even around the world in touch with head office.
As teleworking grows, this is likely to become increasingly important.
To Receive Information
You might also want to get connected so that you can receive information from the Internet.
Using a Web browser programme, finding new suppliers, comparing prices, and getting product specifications are all quite easy.
You can even plan your train journeys from an interactive Railtrack website that asks you to type where you are gong from and to, and what time you want to leave or arrive.
It then provides a list of train times and connections for the journey that you can print and take with you.
It is as up to date as to-day.
To Improve Competitive Advantage
One of the reasons that small businesses go online is that a well designed website for even a one man business can have just the same presence on the web as a multi-national corporation.
Communication, marketing and printing costs are lower too, as is the cost of using full colour.
Larger businesses see it as a way to reinforce not only their brand (which is becoming increasingly important), but also as a way to reinforce an image of leadership and potential.
All businesses see it as the key to keeping ahead of the competition.
There are other reasons, too numerous to go into here. Don't think the web is not for you, it is the future.
It will change society, it will change our entertainment, and the way we do business.
It will also reshape our town centres as financial organisations, brokers, agencies and other businesses first merge, then abandon their overhead-laden town centre shops, and opt for access to a bigger market with lower overheads direct and live on-line.
As someone said of the web,
"There's no point in ignoring it,
it's as inevitable as the telephone".