Why a Website?
TOP TEN REASONS TO HAVE A WEBSITE
Fame! Fortune! Vast riches! All your dreams come true! Yes? Well no, not exactly. Sure, it is possible to make good money from your website, but that is really only one of many reasons to get a website.
1. TIME If you run your own business, you know it is more than a nine-to-five effort. At the same time, more and more of us are seeking balanced lives – time to be, not just to do. A website can extend the hours of your business to twenty four hours a day, seven days a week by offering your clients information any time, day or night, while you are off hiking, playing with the kids, or contemplating your navel. And clients can communicate with you – via forms and email – asking questions, stating their desires, placing an order . . . while you are taking a bath or reading a good book.
2. SPACE Instead of limiting yourself to clients in your own town, expand your vision — as wide as it will go! While some businesses have definite geographic restrictions, many can serve clients equally well across the street or across the ocean.
BONUS: Your tiny storefront or even your garage office can have as much visibility as someone else’s suite of offices in the high-rent district!
3. THE ENVIRONMENT Do you really expect everyone to store (in a place where they can find it again) all the information they need to deal with you? Your catalog, your flyer, your order forms, your calendar of events? (Now where did I put that brochure on growing the rarest of orchids from that little company in Arizona . . . what was its name??) All your clients have to do is find you – ONCE – bookmark you, and they have you and your updated information always at their fingertips! Help minimize paper trash and clutter: get a website!
4. SOCIAL ACTION The Internet offers us the opportunity to interact in a way that is unprecedented in all of history. Perhaps the closest thing would be back when we lived in very small communities and gathered around the well and exchanged information and ideas. Now we have a way to communicate and to collaborate easily and effectively through cyberspace.
5. HIGH TOUCH Not only do we not live in villages centered around a well anymore, but we don’t even stay put in the towns and cities we start off in, so friends and family are likely to be scattered to the four winds. The web offers a way for families to share special occasions like weddings, graduations, special birthdays and anniversaries, and family reunions. Handwoven Webs can create a site for a wedding that can start with invitations, directions to the rehearsal dinner and the wedding, where people are registered, a private discussion group for organizing things, and then then actual photos can be put online along with vows, guest best wishes, etc. It is a wonderful way for those who attended to remember the event as well as for Great-Aunt Minnie in Chicago who couldn’t come. And when Great-Aunt Minnie turned eighty and all 8 children and all twenty-seven grandchildren gathered ’round, they made a humongous site for the party, the family tree, pictures of everyone at key stages in their lives, and so forth. (By the way, these sites can be password protected so they can only be seen by “invited guests”!)
6. ADVERTISING Small businesses know that paid advertising can be quite expensive. Research shows that it tends to take regular insertion of a print ad to be effective. You can make your advertising dollars go much farther if you include your website address in your paid advertising. And don’t forget to put it on your business cards, brochures, receipts, flyers, newsletters, a sign at your checkout, etc.
7. 1000 WORDS A picture, they say, is worth a thousand words. If what you have to say is highly visual, the web is the way to do it. Color photographs on the web cost no more than black and white text.
8. TIMELINESS Does your information change on a regular basis? Do you have a calendar you want to keep updated? It is easy to update a website!
9. INTERACTIVITY Do you want to serve as a gathering point for the exchange of information? Do you want to gather information from your clients? A website can make it happen.
10. YAGOTTALOTTASAY Do you have scads and scads of information you’d like to make available? Stories and essays and whole books maybe? A gazillion products? Databases full of information? Ya gotta getta website!