If you are just taking the first step onto the Internet you will have questions and concerns. You may even be wondering whether a website makes any sense at all for your business. A website represents expenditure - both financial and of time (yours or somebody else's) to keep it up to date.
At its simplest, a website may be used to provide information to actual or potential customers. An information only website may not require much ongoing effort. For example, it may include directions or a map to your premises. It may include a brief summary of your what your business does - why a customer should deal with you, rather than a competitor. It may even include a partial, or complete, catalogue of the goods or services you provide.
At the other extreme, a website may include all of the information above, together with what is commonly referred to as a shopping cart. This is simply a way for purchasers to manage a "basket" of goods or services. Items may be added to, or removed from the basket until they are ready to go through the checkout. At this point the goods are payed for, your business is credited, and a purchase order is raised to enable you to fulfil the customer's order. These websites are often termed e-commerce sites.
A well designed and managed website is uniquely professional, immediate and cost effective. If you currently do any of the following, your business could benefit from a website. Do you currently (or plan to):
- Advertise in local or national press?
- Take telephone orders?
- Operate a delivery, mail order or customer collection service?
- Have a printed catalogue?
- Run promotions or change your offering?
- Want to grow your business out of the "high street"?