If you’re reading this there’s a good chance that you already have
a website or that you want a website and you probably know all
the reasons. However….
Some of you might be thinking of creating a personal website.
Outstanding! I cannot think of a better way of organizing,
and sharing, family memorabilia than on a website. Put in
everything you know about your family and preserve that
knowledge for future generations. Publish it on the web to
share it, and put a back-up copy of it onto a CD for safe
keeping. Your family tree, your photos, your stories,
everything you add to your site can be saved for the future.
It won’t fade or rot like paper and photo prints. It can
be replicated in its entirety in a few minutes and it can be
sent around the world in a matter of moments. Start now
and in a generation or two your family will know their history
like very few of us do today.
Many of you, however, would like to either obtain or at least
supplement their income by creating web pages for others. There
is not often too much money to be made in producing web sites
for individuals to show off their family portraits, which means
the targets will probably be businesses. Most large businesses
either develop their websites in-house or outsource the job to
one of the many businesses that have been providing web site
development services for some time. This leaves the smaller
businesses. For every small business that has its own site,
there must be hundreds within a short distance that dont have
one, but could definitely use one. With the idea of providing
some food for sales thought, we take a look here at some of the
reasons small business use websites. The first reason might
seem to be the most obvious; on looking closer we might revise
our thought. Businesses want to sell something. This results
in first thought being that the businesss website should sell
something. This would suggest E-commerce. Such a site might
well be the answer for the business but is it really where they
should start? The process of selling something has several
stages to it. You have to have a product. You let people know
about your product, persuading them of its virtues. Once they
are considering purchasing, you have to close the deal. Finally
you fulfill. E-commerce can be involved all of these steps,
except the first.
In order to build an effective e-commerce site, you will need to be
able to obtain a security certificate to set up and use a secure
site. You will need scripts or software to provide shopping
cart capability. You will need to provide methods of receiving
payment by either incorporating credit card processing into your
pages or by providing hooks into processing services like Paypal.
Finally you will need to provide the product information, which
might well be contained in a database of items. All of these
things are very doable, and there are tutorials in our
collection to provide you with assistance, should you need it.
The question is, if you are going to sell a business on getting
a new website, are you going to be able to persuade them of the
virtues of all these things, as well as of your ability to
effectively provide them? I hope so; but in case there is any
doubt, you might consider starting with a simpler approach.
There is another, very compelling reason for a business to use a
website. Imagine this situation. You are driving along a
highway and you pass a billboard for Joes Autos. The billboard
indicates they specialize in classic Chevrolets. Underneath
that, you spot their address at fourteen twenty-seven North
Thirteenth Street, and their phone number is 373-555-9385. You
also see their website address at www.JoesAutos.com. As you are
driving along you remember your old buddy Bill is looking for a
classic Chevy to rebuild and you think he might not have heard
of these people. You decide to tell him about them. Can you
remember their phone number? (Dont look back now!) How about
their address? Now what about their website? I know you
remember that! In fact, website addresses tend to be much
easier to remember than either phone numbers or addresses. In
this way, the website becomes a back-up to the other forms of
advertising the business is doing a sort of extension to their
business card. If you tell this story to a potential client,
there is a strong likelihood they will see the virtue of what
you are saying right away. If they decide on a site, you will
have the advantage of only needing to build a relatively simple
one to get them started. Once they have experienced what the
web can do for them (and what you can do) you will find it
easier to come back and sell them enhancements to their site.
I feel that every business should have a website. I think of it as
being as important as their phone number being listed in the
phone book. Every business owner knows how important that is.
No I revise that I think the website is more important in
todays world than the phone number in the book because I’ll use
their website to look up their phone number or email address!
This world is changing!
If you are hoping to sell web development services to small business, I
wish you all the best. We are going to need a lot of people
like you in the near future!