It is obvious that big business understands the importance of the Internet – they spend millions of dollars on web sites - keeping them up-to-date and performing well in search engines has provided positive effects to for their marketing campaigns as well as investor relations (GE, American Airlines, Ford, etc.). And that is not to mention the virtual companies that started with a simple site that exploded into success beyond expectations (Amazon, eBay, etc.). Once unknown companies are now talked about in everyday conversations around the world.
So how does a small business begin taking advantage of the benefits of competing in the global economy via the Internet? Having a well developed web site is the key to getting a foot in the door. Sounds pretty easy, right? But as many businesses will tell you, it is not effective enough to throw together some information on a web site and expect great results. An effective web site requires attention to detail, planning, good design, search engine optimization and continuous improvement. Not as easy as it seems. That is why it is helpful to partner with a web development professional to get the most effective site possible for your budget. And yes, it can be done affordably – you don’t need a budget of thousands of dollars to start.
With that said, the benefits of small companies having the opportunity to compete around the country and even around the world are obvious. With minimal investment, an effective web site can bring in business that would never be possible using other methods. Remember, Internet users are looking to find your company – and with a web site, your company can be found 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. Dollar-for-dollar, it would be hard to find any advertising program that could match the exposure & return on investment of a good web site.
Even small businesses that don’t ship products or that just deal with local customers can have something to gain from a well developed web site. As more and more consumers turn to the Internet for product & service research, the better opportunity the small business has to get noticed! As an example…I need a box of widgets - today. I can go to the Internet, do a search and then begin to narrow my search to find local companies that can fill my need. By the time I have done my 5-10 minute research on-line, I can easily identify & immediately contact the companies that have the widgets I need – today – all locally.
Of course, there are a few assumptions involved in my example above. Obviously, the local companies have to have web sites. Those web sites have to be developed well in order to take advantage of key terms, details and products / services offered. The web sites also have to have clear, concise information and easy-to-find contact details. And lastly, those web sites have to offer enough of the right information to entice the researcher to contact the companies to make a purchase.
So the benefits of an effective web site can be seen across the board – regardless of the type of business you have. A helpful web site development professional can partner with you to create a web site that takes advantage of these benefits and provides your site visitors with the details they need...and hopefully turns those visitors into customers!