Saturday, 2 June 2012

What on earth do you want a website for?

What on earth do you want a web site for?

Before you leap in at the deep end give this some consideration. Look carefully at the product you have. Is it likely to sell over the internet? We all know that CD's, books and software are prolific on the web and tend to do well but if you are selling brass candlesticks is this likely to be the next internet hot potato in terms of sales? possibly not, However, the internet is full of suprises so we could be wrong.

You need to consider the logistics of delivery across the UK and possible enquiries from abroad. How would you have sent those candlesticks to Ma Baker in Michigan? Is Ma Baker going to pay you in Ecu's ? No, she won't want to do that. She will want to pay online with her credit card.

Having said that, whilst the candlesticks may not be the best selling product on the internet they may be the best way of encouraging people to visit your shop having seen the beauty of their design and the keen prices that you offer.

So, if your web site is for selling a product then you need a lot of careful planning and consideration before you get started. Now, it may be that you fall into the category of the wannabee's who just have to have that web site because Joe Bloggs across the road has one and you are miffed because you don't. You feel out of touch and missing out on things and besides you want to dip your toes in the water and register your company domain name before someone else grabs it. That's fine but don't spend a fortune doing it. Start of with something very basic and read the rest of this article to find out more about how it all works.

Perhaps your company would like to save money over the internet? Does this sound daft? Well, a web site designed the right way and for the right purpose can cut company costs considerably. For example, if you send out a thousand leaflets by post this would cost you around £250. By comparison if you sent them by email and depending on the means by which you send them you are talking pence not pounds. The saving is enhanced every time someone rings your company and is directed to your web site to view your products rather than waiting days for the post to arrive and the chance of losing an order.

The internet is not just about web sites either. Email is the fastest and most efficient means of forwarding information possible. If you are skeptical about web sites please do yourself a favour and purchase a computer even if only for email purposes. In this day and age you will get left out without it. Your customers will not be impressed either. Personally, the very thought of walking over to a fax machine, inserting a piece of paper, dialling the number and waiting until connection and the slow trundling of paper begins just makes us come out in goose bumps. How old fashioned. We can send 20 emails to 20 different companies in the time it takes you to walk to the fax machine and dial the number. Now how important is your time?

You should also consider the cost difference between the sending a fax vs email. Consider the graphics designer in Solihull who was driving to Halesowen twice a week to deliver his precious documents for printing. Although a graphics designer he was just coming round to the wonders of IT and the internet. Costs for petrol and time per annum spent travelling were estimated at £2,200. Enter one low spec computer at a cost of £300 and an internet connection with a local ISP. No more travelling to Halesowen. The graphics were forwarded by email. Problem solved.

The golden rule in setting up your website is to establish what you want it to do for you. Time spent now in formulating a plan is money saved later.

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