When I start designing web
sites, many people asked me and still ask me “Why I need a web site and
how can it help me to promote my business?” I don’t give them just one
or two reasons, but 18 solid reasons. If you are asked the same question,
you can satisfy them with these 18 reasons:
18 Original Reasons to bring your
business on the World Wide Web (www)
1. To Establish a Presence
people worldwide have access to the World Wide Web (WWW). No matter what
your business is, you can't ignore 500,000,000 people. 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
Passing out your business card
is part of every good meeting and every business person can tell more than
one story 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.
3. To Make Business
What is basic business
information? Think of a Yellow Pages ad. What are your hours? What do you
do? How can someone contact you? What methods of payment do you take? Where
are you located at? 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 your 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. How about making forms available for subscription, or have your
customers remaining balance status available to check etc. All this can be
done, simply and quickly, on the WWW.
5. To Increase Public
You won't get Spider magazine
to write up your local shop opening, but you might get them to write up your
Web Page address if it is something new and interesting. Even if Spider
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 Release Time Sensitive
What if your materials need to
be released no earlier than midnight? The quarterly earnings statement, the
grand prize winner, or any immediate news? Well, you sent out the materials
to the press with "The-do-not-release-before-such-and-such-time" statement
and hope for the best. 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.
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.
7. To Sell Things
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. Then you
might be able to turn them into customers.
8. To make pictures, sound
and film files available
What if your product 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
companies info if that will serve your potential customers. No brochure will
9. To Answer Frequently
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 blockage to doing
business with you and freed up some time for that stressed phone operator.
10. To Stay In Contact With
Your employees on the road may
need up-to-the-minute information that will help them make the sale or pull
together the deal. If you know what that information is, you can keep it
posted in complete privacy on the WWW. A quick local phone call can keep
your staff supplied with the most detailed information, without long
distance phone bills and tying up the staff at the home office.
11. To Open International
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.
12. To Create a 24 Hour
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. Orders come in while you sleep.
13. To Allow Feedback from
You pass out the brochure, the
catalog, the booklet. But it doesn't work. No sales, no calls, no leads.
What went wrong? Wrong color, wrong price, wrong market? Keep testing, the
marketing books say, and you'll eventually find out what went wrong. That's
great for the big boys with deep pockets, but who is paying the bills? You
are and you don't have the time nor the money to wait for the answer. With a
Web page, you can ask for feedback and get it immediately with no extra
cost. An instant e-mail response can be built into Web pages and can get the
answer while its fresh in your customers mind, without the cost and lack of
response of business reply mail.
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 the Education
and Youth Market
If your market is education,
consider that most universities already offer Internet access to their
students. Books, athletic shoes, study courses, youth fashion and anything
else that would want to reach these overlapping markets needs to be on the
Web. Even with the coming of the commercial on-line services and their
somewhat older populations there will be nothing but growth in the
percentage of the under 25 market that will be on-line.
16. To Reach the Specialized
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 science
students anymore. With the 500,000,000 and growing users of the WWW, even
the most narrowly 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.
17. To Serve Your Local
We've talked about the power to
serve the world with a Web page. How about your neighborhood? If you are
located in Karachi, Lahore or Islamabad, there is probably enough local
customers with Web access to make it worth your while to consider Web
marketing. A local restaurant even takes lunch orders through the Internet!
But no matter where you are, if the big client has Web access, you should be
18. Tiny Budget & Rapid
This is only possible on the
WWW to start and promote a business with tiny-budget & rapid growth of
Tips for New Web Designers
For those of you that have not
experienced it, let me give you a few tips that will make the ride more fun:
1. Be Confident
Are you a good designer? Chances are there's someone out there better than
you are. When you go to visit a potential client, be confident -- but not
overconfident. Other designers may be bidding on the same job. You want to
be the most likable.
2. Keep it Simple
Keep what simple? Everything. Keep your designs simple. A simple design will
sell more products. Keep your business simple. A sole proprietorship may be
more equitable to you than a corporation (with partners) when you are first
starting out. Keep your overhead low. The more money you have to lay out for
your business, the less ends up in your pocket.
3. Study the Work of Others
Be open to new ideas and concepts. There is nothing wrong with getting
inspiration from someone else as long as you do not steal their work.
Studying other's work will help you to grow creatively.
4. Get 50 Percent Up Front
When starting a new job be sure to have a thorough, signed contract and a
deposit. If at all possible get a 50 percent deposit on the job. Requiring a
deposit lets the client know that you are a serious professional and it
locks them in the project. Now they have an investment at stake. They will
be more open to your suggestions and will place more value on your services.
5. Keep a Notebook
Ideas come at the strangest times. Keep a small notebook nearby to note
thoughts down. Sometimes great things start there. Care must also be given
to keeping good records and an accurate calendar. The more organized you
appear, the better reputation you acquire.
6. Develop a Portfolio
Don't just tell people you're good, show them. Print out samples of your
work and have it available to show at a moment's notice. Put your portfolio
online so that people can browse it at their leisure.
7. Introduce yourself
Your best jobs will probably come from word of mouth. Therefore, meet as
many people as you can. How do you do that? Attend seminars and trade shows.
Carry several of your business cards wherever you go and be ready to hand
When you visit a potential
client, it helps to bring a gift. It doesn't have to be elaborate; something
useful is usually best. If the client offers you something to drink, always
say "Yes." If you accept their hospitality, the odds of getting the job
8. Write Articles
Writing editorials is an excellent way to get your name out to the public.
Is your method of design unique? Tell the world about it. Getting your
articles published establishes you as an authority in the field. If the
reading audience is large enough, you may even have the ability to influence
the way the industry grows.
9. The Day is more
Start work early and get to bed at a reasonable hour. If you will work till
3:00 a.m., this, of course, renders you useless in the morning. It became a
vicious cycle, which had to be broken. The day is much more productive.
10. Put Family First
Spouses and children are more important than careers. Yes, you may be
working hard to support your family, but they also need to spend time with
you. Be sure that when you finish up work for the day, you leave your cares
and stresses behind and enjoy what you're working so hard for.
tips are not a guarantee for success, but if you apply them you will be a
step ahead most independent Internet designers.