Does Your Business Need A Website?

We have covered a few general questions and raised some points on how a website may benefit your business. Now we will establish whether you really "need" a website. The following questions have different levels of importance, dependent upon your own industry and the nature of your business within that industry.

What are the advantages of having a website?�
These may be many of the advantages discussed on the previous page or perhaps some unique advantages to your current operations.

Are you able to maintain it?
Will it need updating regularly for new products? Can you access your emails easily? Do you require live customer support etc?

Do you have a unique product?
Is your product in demand? Is your product well priced etc?

Can you rescale your business?
Will a website relieve time consumption? Will it enable staff restructuring? Can your staff work from home at all, etc?�

Can you beat the competition?
Will your online business presence outperform your competitors? Can you supply a better deal to their customers? Is their customer service as honed as yours, etc?�

What kind of website would work best?
Would a straight forward brochure style site work best for your business or a fully interactive website with a members area, online chat facility, discussion forum, credit card facility, shopping cart, etc?�

The following questions are analysed in a little more depth�

What is the website actually for?
If you wish to simply cut down on your existing workload, the requirements of your website will be as an "information portal" These websites are similar to detailed brochures. They usually contain some company information, product information, telephone numbers etc. They are also frequently used to replace or at least minimise offline advertising costs. A well "optimised" web site will attract new attention from the search engines. More about optimisation in "building your site".�

If your website is to become your business centre, you will probably need to look at having something more interactive. This is the world of e-commerce.

Continued on the next page: e-commerce

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