While there are many good reasons to create an Internet presence for
your small business, probably the most pertinent is money. The Web
can open up access to a whole new line of customers for you...750 million
of them, to be exact. There are that many people worldwide who use the
Internet today. You do not want to ignore 750 million potential
Now that you know the numbers, what are some of the other reasons to
brave the Web?
Make Business Information Available
Make your business easy to find and easy to understand. What do you do?
What are your retail hours? How can a customer get in touch with you?
Where are you located? Do you take credit cards? What is your shipping
policy? And, of course...what do you offer that your competitors do
Better Serve Your Existing Customers
Making your business information available is the first step. After
that, it's all about service. Make your site as helpful as possible. Allow
your customers to check on stock quantities of items they are interested
in, ask questions, and place orders. Give them the information they need
as quickly as you can, and your chances of landing that sale increase
exponentially. With the Internet, you can constantly update the
information available to your customers.
Increase awareness about your business and your services. Customers are
more likely to do business with you if they can easily find you. As you
know, sales aren't always immediate. Someone may find you on the Web
today, and remember you tomorrow when they actually have a need for your
Increase your sales, customer base, and revenues by selling more. To do
this you will need to enable your Web site for e-commerce activity. Take a
look at our article "To eCommerce or Not to eCommerce" by clicking on the
title in the right navigation bar.
Answer Your Customer or Potential Customer's Questions
Customers often have questions before they buy. Save time and employee
resources by making the answers to frequently asked questions available on
Stay Open 24 Hours a Day, Seven Days a Week
You can't physically be available to your customers at any time on any
day, but you can do the next best thing. Your Web site can be configured
to collect important information, answer questions, and customize
information to match your customers' needs.
Make New Product or Business Information Available
Let your customers know about a new product, a sale, or a change in
your business policy the minute you have the information. You can be as
flexible as you need to be...with no printing costs!
Keep Up With the Joneses
Don't let your competitors get ahead of you - secure your spot in
Get In the Game!
The number of small
businesses transacting on the Net increased from 1.8
million in 1998 to 2.8 million in 1999, representing an
increase of 55%, according to the study. It also
projects that small-business purchases online will
register $118 billion by 2001, emerging as a critical
driver of overall B2B e-commerce.
Statistic supplied by Access Markets
International (AMI) Partners, and Inc. Magazine