16 Reasons To Put Your Business on the Web



1. To Establish A Online Presence
Worldwide ecommerce revenues are growing each year. No matter what your business is, you can't ignore the huge online market. To be a part of that community and show that you are interested in serving them, you need to be on the WWW for them. You know your competitors will.

2. To Network
A lot of what passes for business is simply nothing more than making connections with other people. Every successful business person knows, it's not what you know, it's who you know. Passing out your business card is part of every meeting and every person can tell more than one story of how a chance meeting turned into the big deal. Well, what if you could pass out your business card to thousands, maybe millions of potential clients and partners, saying this is what I do and if you are ever in need of my services, this is how you can reach me. You can, 24 hours a day, inexpensively and simply, on the WWW. If you move, or get a new number you still have your virtual location where people can find you.

3. To Make Information Available
What are your hours? What do you do? How can someone contact you? What methods of payment do you take? Where are you located? What is today's special? Next week's promotion information? If you could keep your customer informed of every reason why they should do business with you, don't you think you could do more business? You can on the WWW.

4. To Serve Customers
Making business information available is one of the most important ways to serve your customers. But if you look at serving the customer, you'll find even more ways to use WWW technology. Allow your customer to search for exactly what they want without hunting through the store, they can find colors, sizes and more without the help of a sales agent, its all right there at their fingertips. All this can be done, simply, quickly and inexpensively, on the WWW.

5. To Increase Public Interest
You won't get a national magazine to write up your local store opening, but you might get them to write up your Web Page address if it is something new and interesting. Even if Newsweek would write about your local store opening, you wouldn't benefit from someone in a distant city reading about it, unless of course, they were coming to your town sometime soon. With Web page information, anybody anywhere who can access the Web and hears about you is a potential visitor to your Web site and a potential customer for your information there.

6. To Sell Things
Many people think that this is the number 1 thing to do with the World Wide Web, but here it is number six to make it clear you should consider selling things on the Internet and the World Wide Web after you have done all the things above and maybe even after doing quite a few more things from this list. Why? Well, the answer is complex but the best way to put it is, do you consider the telephone the best place to sell things? Probably not. You probably consider the telephone a tool that allows you to communicate with your customer, which in turn helps you sell things. Well, that's how we think you should consider the WWW. The technology is different, of course, but before people decide to become customers, they want to know about you, what you do and what you can do for them. Which you can do easily and inexpensively on the WWW. When you are ready to sell, make sure you have the best in current Web technology without paying so much that you won't make a profit until the next century. That's smart business.

7. To Release Time Sensitive Information
What if your materials need to be released at a certain time? A contest winner, a special promotion, the fall coupon. Now the information can be made available at midnight or any time you specify, with all related materials such as photographs, bios, etc. released at exactly the same time. Imagine the anticipation of "All materials will be made available on our Web site at 12:01 AM". The scoop goes to those that wait for the information to be posted, not the one who releases your information early.

8. To Make Samples Available
What if your widget is great, but people would really love it if they could see it in action? The album is great but with no airplay, nobody knows that it sounds great? A picture is worth a thousand words, but you don't have the space for a thousand words? The WWW allows you to add sound, pictures and short movie files to your company's info if that will serve your potential customers. No brochure will do that. You could potentially send out samples but the cost to do that would be overwhelming for a small business.

9. To Reach a Highly Desirable Demographic
The demographic of the WWW user is probably the highest mass-market demographic available. Usually college-educated or being college educated, making a high salary or soon to make a high salary, it's no wonder that Wired magazine, the magazine of choice to the Internet community, has no problem getting Lexus and other high-end marketer's advertising. Even with the addition of the commercial online community, the demographic will remain high for many years to come.

10. To Answer Frequently Asked Questions
Whoever answers the phones in your organization can tell you, their time is usually spent answering the same questions over and over again. These are the questions customers and potential customers want to know the answer to before they deal with you. Post them on a WWW page and you will have removed another barrier to doing business with you and free up some time for that harried phone operator or yourself.

11. To Open International Markets
You may not be able to make sense of the mail, phone and regulation systems in all your potential international markets, but with a Web page, you can open up a dialogue with international markets as easily as with the company across the street. As a matter-of-fact, before you go onto the Web, you should decide how you want to handle the international business that will come your way, because your postings are certain to bring international opportunities your way, whether it is part of your plan or not. Another added benefit; if your company has offices overseas, they can access the home offices information for the price of a local phone call. Plus, you can find markets for your products that could never reach you before at a reasonable cost.

12. To Create A 24-Hour Service
If you've ever remembered too late or too early to call the opposite coast, you know the hassle. We're not all on the same schedule. Business is worldwide but your office hours aren't. Trying to reach Asia or Europe is even more frustrating. But Web pages serve the client, customer and partner 24 hours a day, seven days a week. No overtime either. It can customize information to match needs and collect important information that will put you ahead of the competition, even before they get into the office.

13. To Keep Updated Information Available Quickly
Sometimes, information changes before it gets off the press. Now you have a pile of expensive, worthless paper. Electronic publishing changes with your needs. No paper, no ink, no printer's bill. You can even attach your Web page to a database which customizes the page's output to a database you can change as many times in a day as you need. No printed piece can match that flexibility. Its an instant online full color catalog that is updated in real-time.

14. To Test Market New Services And Products
Tied into the reason above, we all know the cost of rolling out a new product. Advertising, advertising, advertising, PR and advertising. Expensive, expensive, expensive. Once you have been on the Web and know what to expect from those who are seeing your page, they are the least expensive market for you to reach. They will also let you know what they think of your product faster, easier and much less expensively than any other market you may reach. For the cost of a page or two of Web programming, you can have a crystal ball into where to position your product or service in the marketplace. Amazing.

15. To Reach A Specialized Market
Sell fish tanks, art reproductions, flying lessons? You may think that the Internet is not a good place to be. Well, think again. The Internet isn't just computer geeks anymore. With the millions of the WWW users, even the most specifically defined interest group will be represented in large numbers. Since the Web has several very good search programs, your interest group will be able to find you, or your competitors.

16. To Serve Your Local Market
We've talked about the power to serve the world with a Web page. How about your neighborhood? Wherever you are located there is probably enough local customers with Web access to make it worth your while to consider Web marketing. Some local restaurants even take reservations on the web or internet order! You can make the Web a cost-effective retail location no matter where your market is.

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