Websites can do so many things from hosting games, to generating personalised documents to keeping you in touch with your friends and although they can’t actually make the coffee, yet, you could order coffee through a website which is almost as good.
A website is a first and foremost a marketing tool, that’s simple. The amount of people who research and shop online has increased to an overwhelming amount, and your website will be a little fish in a big sea that gets people to look at your business, but it is possible to grow your website from that little fish into a big shark. Your website should answer any questions that your customers may have about you, such as;
- 1. Who are you?
- 2. What do you do?
- 3. How can they benefit from your product / service?
- 4. How much does your product / service cost?
- 5. How can they order? (See below – eCommerce)
- 6. How can they get in touch with you?
Your website should entice, engage and entertain your customers, and importantly, it should get them excited about what you’re doing. Somebody who is looking for a local office cleaning service will probably look through dozens on websites and talk to lots of people on the phone, after a while they will probably get a bit fed up of reading the same thing time and time again, which is where your website should differ. If your website is cleaner, more professional looking, more inviting and more informative than your competitors, you’re likely to get the business.
If you’re selling a product, could you sell it online? Customers like to shop online, it’s convenient, it saves time, its secure (if you take the right steps) and it can be done from the other side of the world. Some businesses just operate online or over the phone, examples of this include Dell and eBay, they are now multi-national, multi-million pound companies that have cashed in on the online revolution.
Website designers are regularly creating ‘eCommerce’ websites, these are database driven websites that allow you to have an online shop where you can display your products and information about them, as well have customers pay for them online using a multitude of payment methods from debit card to bank transfer to PayPal. This idea is brilliant if you want to operate a sales business from home, but is also great for businesses that have a shop and want to expand their target market.
Read through the following business ideas, and then make notes on how your business could benefit from an online presence and from an intelligent database driven eCommerce website;
- 1. If you produce documents for clients, could you use a website to automate the process so that clients can simply type in their personal data, make a payment and then download the generated document to their PC?
- 2. If you sell handmade greetings cards, could your customers order them online, specify some personalisation, make payment and have them delivered by post?
- 3. If you own a boutique, could you have an online shop that works with a stock system so that products are displayed online until they sell out?
- 4. If you’re a mobile DJ, could you showcase your equipment online and have an online bookings system where you can specify available times?
- 5. If you’re a sandwich shop, could you take orders for delivery and collection online, with a personalised sandwich ordering system?