Sunday, October 30, 2005

Ask Girl Geek: What Can a Website Do for My Small Business?

Hi Annette,

How do I know a website will benefit my small business?


Dear Carol,

The most common use small business owners have for the internet is to communicate with their current or prospective customers via email or to search for products and services they need for their businesses. I believe small businesses have YET to tap the amazing benefits of having an internet presences.

Some of the other ways small business might benefit from having a website are ....
  1. to sell products or services online 24/7/365 via an e-commerce site
  2. to give basic information about their business, i.e., location, products, hours, information about what they do and why someone should chose them over their competitors.
  3. to prospect for other words to give people searching for their type of business enough information to prompt them to decide to do business with call or come into the store.
  4. to extend their reach to a wider or larger market ...regionally or nationally or worldwide
  5. to set themselves and their businesses apart by being available online
  6. to save money on direct mailing and advertising by doing it all on the web. When your business is on the web you're not only saving the cost of the ad, but postage, time to do printing and stuffing envelops, etc. Plus, your clients can interact with you via email or chat.
  7. to communicate or interact with current or prospective customers via blogs, email newsletters, online questionnaires, chat
  8. clients can post requests for bids via an online form
  9. vendors can find your business and they can sell to you
  10. post answers to frequently asked questions and serve a customer service function.
  11. post diagrams or instructions for clients to download
  12. process credit card payment
  13. schedule appointments or reservations (such as for a doctor's office or for a hotel)
  14. post testimonials
  15. post photos of your products or showcase jobs
  16. establish your expertise
  17. to search for qualified employees to conduct customer satisfaction surveys
  18. to do market research to see if there's enough interest in a new product or service to provide it
  19. to open new markets
Thanks for asking!

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