ICBS, Inc. ICBS, Inc., Professional Web Development Company

ICBS, Inc.
Reasons For and Ways of Having a Professional Website

If you do not have a website for your business, here are several reasons why you should consider having one. (When you are ready to have one, we hope that you will hire ICBS to do it for you.)

It is easy (?) to make a website. Many high school students can do one for you. And many small businesses depend on their relatives to develop a website for them. What is not easy is building a successful business with it. 

Many business owners get discouraged when they do not get any results from their website. They soon lose interest and let their website sit there and gather dust.

Having an amateur develop your website is like opening a vegetable stand in front of your house during summer months to do business rather than doing business in a real shop. It is easy to do it and it will do some business. But a farm stand can only do much business. The same applies to an amateur designed website. If you want to get good results from your website, you should spend time with a professional to design, build, and host one for you. This will be like a store built on a prime location that will attract immediate attention. A professional developer will discuss ways to promote your website so as to attract visitors to the site. They will also program it so that search engines will find it attractive. All these take experience and education. It is more than just creating a website using a word processor program.

So how do you make an effective website. Start by partnering with someone with experience in developing effective websites such as ICBS, Inc. First, you need to be clear why you need a website. In other words, what are the objectives of the website. Ask yourself questions such as the following:

bullet Why do I need a web site?
bullet What is its purpose?
bullet What do I expect from my website?
bullet What will my website accomplish for my business?
bullet Who do I reach with my website?

Many companies want their own web sites because:

bullet They believe that having a website would be neat.
bullet Their competitors have one.
bullet They feel that their customers may look down upon them if you do not have a website… etc.

If you don't know why you want a website, it may be a waste of resource to have one. Spend some time brainstorming within your organization deciding on what you want a website to do for you. Without a real purpose, a Web site is just a complete waste of time.

To help you with getting your thinking process in the right direction, we will discuss some powerful reasons to have a website. Obviously, this is a general discussion. Each business is unique and you may have different reasons. 

Be Open For Business 24 hours a day

With e-mail, people can contact you anytime it is convenient for them. You can respond anytime that's convenient for you. Of course, it is important that you give a "timely-response" just as if someone called you. It is part of the customer service that will enable you to build a superior business that will get repeat customers. When you have a website, potential customers can find out about your products and services 24 hours a day.

So, having an eCommerce enabled website allows you to expand the service hours for your business.

Your website will be open 24 hours a day. Even when you are closed, it can take orders for you.

Expand your trading area - Global Reach

With a web site, you can reach customers from outside your traditional marketing area. A traditional brick and mortar business typically have a reach of 40-50 miles. People are not going to drive 200 miles to buy things from your store. (You can reach them by mail order, however.) A website allows you to expand your geographic reach. Now you can reach the whole world. For example, holisticonline.com, a website developed by ICBS, Inc. now reaches over 170 countries in 6 continents. Connectingtouch.com, another website developed by ICBS, Inc., had sales enquiries from Puerto Rico for massage supplies! Plus, we get orders from places like Alaska, which would have been impossible working in the traditional way.

The Internet is being used on a regular basis by millions worldwide. Many of the new users come from countries around the world. They want to buy the "latest and greatest" products. They have money. With the Internet they can become your customer! How much do you think it would cost you to advertise in the Times of London, the Times of India, the Tokyo Daily, Amazon Express, and the Moscow Today? Compare that to the cost of a website. The information you provide on your website is instantly available to every one of these users.

Give Information about your business without having to tie a staff person - Reduce staffing costs

Your website can easily give information about your operating hours, location (address) and driving directions to your store, etc. You can also provide them with detailed information about your products, your specials for the week, etc.

When you have a web site, you can offer your products and services without hiring any extra employees. This will enable you to provide superior customer service without spending extra money. You won't have to spend any resources on compensating or insuring your new staff members and still be able to maintain the same level of sales and customer service.

For example, ebanking was a life-saver for banks. Cost of a transaction drops from $1.07 per transaction when a customer goes to a branch fro his transaction as compared to $0.10 per transaction via the internet. Obviously, the savings are substantial. We have a local bank that has opened a special account for just transaction business via the internet. They found that they can reach customers far from their service area at a substantial savings by using the internet. Boeing does more than $1 million/day on the internet on spare parts. Citybank expects to get 900 million new customers in the next 5 years by web. They have estimated that it will cost them $10.7 billion to acquire 900 million customers in the traditional way, such as direct marketing, brochures, branches, etc. Web, on the other hand is practically free! Businesses such as UPS, Fed Express, Post Office etc. now use the web services to enable their customers to track packages without human intervention. Post office, for example, allows the customers to track all their parcel, priority mail, express mail, certified mail etc. using their website.

Improve your company's image or brand.

A well-designed website create an image of a well established company. Using the Internet, you can create any image of yourself you want. It is all in your hands: design a professional web site, add helpful content, and your company will immediately take a step up in the image it represents. No matter how small your business is, with the right tools and a great desire you can make it look like a big corporation on the Web!

Save on postage and printing costs.

Businesses spend considerable amount of money printing, and mailing brochures, manuals etc. By making this information available on the web, you can trim your expenses considerably. A website also allows you to make timely updates or corrections, much faster than you can by resorting to printing and mailing. Your information will always be current. (Of course, this means that you make timely updates to your websites. There is nothing more annoying to visit a website that touts a Christmas party that happened 3 years ago!) Use email and your website to improve your communication to your customers. Collect your customers' E-Mail addresses and keep in touch with them about special events in your store via E-Mail.

Unlimited low cost advertisement.

Advertisements in local newspaper, trade magazine, etc. are pretty expensive. Now you can use small advertisements in locals papers with the details in your website. This is very cost effective. On the Web, there is no limit to how much you can put. You can add pictures, articles, newsletters, rates, product images and so much more! With just one web site, you can have almost unlimited advertisement for the same low monthly cost.

Improve communications.

If you have employees or suppliers, your web site is the best way to communicate between you and them. Changes take effect as soon as you post them on the Web, and everyone can see updated information without having to wait for a new database of products, and without contacting you directly.

Impeccable customer service.

Provide personalized support for your customers with answers to common questions; assistance on specific products or services, provide a variety of ways in which you can be contacted, etc. Do all this without answering a phone or hiring additional staff.

Utilizing the Internet to educate your customers can translate to higher sales for you. For example, how many times have your customers said:

bullet I didn't know you sold that product.
bullet How can this product work for my application?
bullet Do you have some technical literature on this product?
bulletThis product I purchased didn't fit my needs.
bullet Can you tell me how your product can help me?
bullet What are the features and benefits of this product?

These questions can be effectively answered by your website.

Online presence - in step with your competitors.

Think of the Internet as a gigantic Yellow Pages book. More and more people use the Web to shop for information, services and products. If you are not there - your competitors are! Can you imagine not being in Yellow Pages and try to reach local market? Unless you spend a lot of money on newspaper ads and other local promotions - no one will know your business exists. The same is true with the Internet. If people can't find your company on the Web, you might as well not exist.

Provide an alternate purchasing method.

We covered this aspect before. Many people do not like to shop in the stores, malls and any other noisy places. They give several reasons for this such as:

bullet Afraid of long walks
bullet Hates the pressure from sales people
bullet Catching contagious diseases from other customers. (eg., sneezing customers)
bullet Afraid of damaging cars by the bumping shopping carts.
bullet Etc.

These customers, once they discover online shopping, will never go back to the stores unless absolutely necessary. Make it easy for them to shop on line with your website. By putting your products online, you satisfy the needs of such customers and therefore succeed in one more niche.

Reach customers that speak a foreign language

Your products may have a global reach. Do not restrict your market to the "English-speaking" world. Have your website translated into several languages. Offer a choice of language to the users when they come to your home page. This will increase your exposure.

Showcase your work.

Whether you are a real estate agent, construction business owner or a beauty salon specialist - you can put your work on display when you have a web site. Anytime a potential client wants to see your past work and projects, simply refer him or her to your site.

Specials

Say you just received a new product and you want to advertise a "special." Reaching your customers via the phone, sending a letter, or FAX would be time-consuming and expensive. With the Internet you can send out an e-mail to 500 of your best customers with the click of your mouse. You can put a "SPECIAL" notice on your website advertising the new product. 
Click here <quote.htm> to request a free quote on your web design project.

Test and try new ideas

Internet is a "brand-new" medium. No one really knows all of the ways you can make money from the Internet. You can use internet to test market new ideas with very little cost. If it doesn't work, you learned the lesson. You can modify your idea or improve it based on customer feedback.

 

How Can Your Small Business Benefit From Having a Web Site?

Here are some ways your business can benefit from a web presence.

Manufacturer- (eg., Tooling Manufacturer)

Many different applications for your tooling products.

Technical information (dimensions, etc.) that is essential to customers when selecting the right product.

Specific features and advantages of each product.

Technical charts and manuals that customers need to understand before considering a product.

Detailed ordering information on products (what is needed, etc.).

Pictures or shapes of the different products to better communicate with visual people.

MSDS/EPA/Regulatory Information about your products.

Installation/Service Information/Owner's Manual for products

Retailers

Increase your store traffic with a custom web site design.

Enlarge your customer base. Allow your customers to view your store and shop from the convenience of their home.

Special order. Low volume products can be ordered and drop shipped to your customers. This way you can broaden your offerings without increasing cost.

Check status of order placed with you.

Keep customers informed of new products, sales and specials.

Display a map and directions to your store. Post store information like hours and phone number.

Professional Services

Doctors, lawyers, CPA's, Dentist etc. can benefit from a web presence.

Post your qualifications

Advertise your business

Provide useful information

Describe your business specialty

Display accepted insurance plans.

Let your customers find your business and showcase your practice.

Charities and Non-Profits

Let the Internet help you to continue your valuable work.

Display your message 

Showcase your services

Post meeting and fund raising information

Display maps and directions

Important phone numbers

Communication (email, feedback, bulletin boards, etc.)

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