A website can benefit small businesses in many different ways. A site address on a calling card, letterhead and other promotional material will give a business more credibility. A website can expand the information that potential customers can get from a business. And it provides additional ways for potential clients to make contact, like email.
Other benefits include selling products online.
The primary function of a website for a small business is to promote the business. When potential clients realize that you have a website they are able to visit the site and learn more about your company. They can find your website through promotional material or the search engines.
A web address added to other advertising gives can turn a single page ad into multiple pages. An interested viewer who desires more information on the product can visit the website and get that information.
People looking for goods and services today turn to the search engines regularly. Business websites that are found there will attract these visitors. Search engine optimization (SEO) helps you get placement in the search engines.
Before individuals do business with a company they have not dealt with before, they want to feel more comfortable about the company. Information on the company's website can provide that comfort by enhancing the company's credibility.
A range of information about a company can increase it's credibility. Text that includes some history of an established firm can make a potential customer feel more at ease. When the visitor sees that the company was established over ten years ago, they are more likely to approach that firm instead of one they know nothing about.
Links to referring websites, such as the local chamber of commerce, can also improve the visitors confidence. Many business have an "About Us" page that will list trade associations, vendors and other business connections that help the site visitor.
Many small businesses put pictures and information about their employees on their sites. For a company that is targeting a local market, this is a wonderful tool for enhancing credibility.
A company's website can serve as a place to get information on goods and services to existing customers. This is often done with PDF files for items such as:
Selling goods and services on-line can be a major project. But this is where many company's make their most money on the web. Selling on-line requires the setup of a shopping cart, the establishment of a secure payment system and regular management of the products being sold.
For a small company that has many products it wants to sell on-line there are many shopping cart systems available. Finding the one that is right for your business requires a little research.
Very simple shopping carts sell individual products, each with their own descriptions. More complex carts sell products with a wide range of options, such as clothing, which normally requires selections such as sizes and colors for each purchase.
Shopping carts on websites require a secure payment system. This can be done with existing services, such as Pay Pal. Or, a system can be set up through a business's bank.
Choosing what service you use depends on several factors. the primary one being what level you expect your sales to reach on-line.
After an on-line sales site is up and running, the operating company needs to manage it. The amount of resources required depends on many factors. For a company listing a few hundred products, this could be done with a website manager, like us. For a company managing millions of products, it could require the creation of a new department with multiple employees dedicated to on-line sales.