Should My Business Be Online?

There is no quick answer to this question for every scenario. What we can do is help you make an informed decision. A look at some of the things that affect many businesses will highlight some common ground.

It doesn't matter if you have a small business or a multi-million dollar corporation, the same principles apply.

Your competitors: It is possible that 10 years ago the only competition you had was in the same town. With so many businesses on the internet now, is that still the same for your industry?

Extra sales: If you could reach a wider market, would this increase your sales? How about globally, can you ship your product to distant lands? Is there a massive demand for your product abroad?

Company Image: Could you improve your company image with a swish website? Typical examples of this are the many engineering companies we help that are based in a Nissen style shed covered in grease.

Branding: Could you improve the image of your product by having an online brochure? Perhaps reinventing your product like Cognos did would be beneficial. The full story is available here Branding Strategy.

A website can offer you many cutting edge advantages as detailed below.

Increased Productivity: Less time is needed to be spent explaining product or service details to customers. Information would be available to view 24hrs a day on a website. Automated transactions can be processed, eliminating time spent doing the same by your staff. Often most importantly, your business has a 24hr trading day.

Reduced running costs: Emails from customers are quicker to respond to than letters (Snail Mail). Detailed online product information negates the need for lengthy explanatory phone calls in many cases and can reduce misunderstandings. It can also negate the need for brochures and much offline advertising (more about this in "Building your site").

Enhanced customer service: Your customers can look up your products wherever they are and at any time of the day (more about this in "customer service").

Better customer relations: The psychological effects of a customer having access to a "members area" is profound.

The next page discusses the needs for your business: online business basics