How Local Businesses Can Benefit from Business Websites

Posted by Winning Web Design on February 23, 2010 | No Comments

Winning Interactive’s local business web solutions are packed with tools and features that will help local small businesses increase revenue, decrease expenses, and provide your customers with a higher level of service and support. We are here to help you, the local business owner, to leverage the power of the Internet and gain all the benefits listed here with our turnkey website solutions. The goal is to grow your local business continuously.

Here are some examples of how local businesses will benefit from having a Web site:

Increase Revenue
- Open up a virtual storefront that creates an additional sales channel
- Sell products online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- Introduce new products to the market faster
- Compete with big corporations based on service, price, and quality
- Capture the impulse buyer
- Accept credit card orders online in real time
- Optimize existing advertising (add a .com to ads directing customers to your dynamic, informative Web site)
- Expose your local business to new markets you may not otherwise reach
- Establish credibility with potential customers

Decrease Expenses
- Create an additional, inexpensive form of advertising that costs less than mail outs, phone book ads, etc.
- Automate the sales process
- Eliminate costs typically associated with expanding sales–employees, rent, utilities, insurance, etc.
- Display your entire inventory without increasing warehousing costs
- Drop ship products to reduce inventory levels
- Reduce dependency/money spent on traditional advertising media
- Update documents and manuals online in one centralized location
- Replace mass mail marketing campaigns with bulk e-mail
- Make your marketing efforts highly targeted and efficient with e-mails through the Contact Manager and statistical tracking of promotions

Improve Customer Service
- Provide fast, personalized service to customers
- Provide answers to frequently asked questions 24 hours a day
- Offer special packages or deals through your Web site
- Display testimonials from satisfied customers
- Send customers exclusive online coupons or discounts
- Allow customers to set appointments online
- Facilitate pro-active communication between you and your customers
- Respond to customers’ changing demands faster

The following section provides several examples of industry-specific benefits for various industries.

Accounting Firm
- List the different services provided – small business, personal, commercial, estate planning, etc.
- Post preparer’s credentials
- Provide customers with tips and information regarding the latest tax laws
- Explain why and how services can assist a customer
- List partners and affiliates – enhancing credibility

Air Conditioning/Heating
- Company profile
- Post product line (product catalog)
- Post type of services residential/commercial
- List product manufacturers
- Post warranty
- Create a preventative maintenance or product upkeep page
- Create a frequently asked questions page regarding products/services
- Dedicate a page to the latest in product technology
- Conservation of energy page
- Online day timer – set appointments, create a to-do list, post upcoming job events (Contact Management Tool)
- Create mailing lists (Contact Management Tool, Feedback Tool)
- Sub-contract/employment page (Contact Management, Feedback Tool)
- Employee of the month
- Post a map to business/physical location
- Post credentials and city/state licenses

Auto Body/Paint Shops
- Before and after pictures of cars
- Sell salvage cars online
- Sell car parts online
- Types of paints and materials used
- Furnish customers with tips on maintaining their paint, finishes, etc.
- Special services like murals, pin striping, window tint, etc.
- Let your customers know that your shop works with insurance companies
- Post whether or not on-site estimates are available
- Post whether or not work is subcontracted out
- Attract out-of-towners who commute and work in your town and may not know where to go

Beauty Salons/Spas
- Online scheduling
- Post pictures of happy customers and their hairstyles
- Feature each stylist in salon
- Post rates
- Promote hair shows, bridal packages
- Feature seasonal packages, offer discounts for online customers
- Sell hair care products online
- Feature ancillary services offered by the salon such as facials, nail care, etc.
- Use site to acquire new stylists
- Provide hair, skin and nail care tips

Consignment Store
- Supports both types-where the objective is to acquire additional merchandise and where the objective is to sell more merchandise
- Acquire merchandise-post which items are/are not acceptable, seller’s percentage, and any applicable store policies
- Sell merchandise-display a wide selection of merchandise retail customers can expect to find through the store; feature any unusual items which may interest collectors; run promotions offering an additional discount to retail customers who mention Web site; shoppers can request an item specifically-if not available, request can be posted on the Web, then sold to the retail customer when located; charge customers an extra fee to post the products they consign on Web site

Employment Agency
- One of the most popular uses for the Internet
- Attract companies who need to search for employees
- Post an online application
- Search for potential employees
- List areas of specialization (e.g. engineering, marketing, technical)
- Post top 10 companies looking for employees
- Tips for preparing resumes
- Interviewing advice
- Provide a map to office for interviews
- Easy transfer of correspondence from companies to Web site
- Prospect out of state-not limited to local market
- Job hunters can e-mail requests for employment by using the Feedback page on the Web site

Mortgage Company
- Post prime interest rates
- Make recommendations for property appraisers
- Provide information for first-time buyers
- Feature approved lenders
- Pre-approve clients online through Web site
- Set up e-mail for referral business
- Implement online questionnaire for pre-qualification purposes
- Provide perspective clients with your company’s profile, credentials, etc.

Non-Profit Organizations
- History of the organization-how and why it was founded, etc.
- Attract additional members
- Save money on extra software tools and other computer management systems by utilizing features like the Contact Management System
- Save money on direct mail, dedicate a page to online donations
- Sell tickets to special events
- Feature organization’s mission statement
- Specify how the monies are allocated (what percentage of donations go to cause)
- Highlight past accomplishments-success stories
- Feature a monthly/current project, state future goals and objectives
- List affiliates and/or satellites, thank and highlight prominent contributors

Office Maintenance/Maid Service/Janitorial Service
- List bond certification and qualifications
- Devote a page to testimonials from most satisfied clients/ customers
- Provide customers with rate information
- Online scheduling
- Coupons for new and referral clients
- Post service area
- Companies can send you a bid for services using the Feedback page
- Feature special cleaning products for environmentally conscious clients

Optometrists
- Sell eyeglasses and contact lenses online
- List health insurance providers to reduce number of telephone inquiries
- Physician profile-post credentials-increase credibility
- Provide a “wear care” page for patients (caring for your contact lenses, etc.)
- Online scheduling for patients
- Provide the latest information on radial keratotomy
- Provide referrals to qualified ophthalmologists/surgeons

Painting/Photography/Design/Artists
- Display work on Web site
- Sell your work 24 hours a day, seven days a week
- Receive special requests for work/ consignments/ commissions
- Provide pertinent background information
- Feature any specialty work such as mural painting, faux finishing, etc.

Pool Cleaning
- Feature services offered
- Sell products like skimmers, heaters, and chlorine
- Provide helpful tips for preventative maintenance of pool cleaning
- Address frequently asked questions (Why acid baths? Why clean my pool? The proper pH balance for pool water, etc.)
- Furnish pool safety tips and emergency information
- Provide referrals to affiliates/partners like pool contractors and designers
- Customers can e-mail questions or problems
- Outline service area, request appointments

Restaurants
- Online reservations, post menus
- Photograph of restaurant/staff and best dishes
- Profile exceptional chef and his/her credentials
- Feature dinner and lunch specials
- Tribute to employee(s) of the month
- Provide a map to restaurant location
- Promote catering services
- Special events scheduling
- Provide an online tour of special facilities (banquet, private dining room)
- Provide online coupon
- Customers can place orders for take-out or delivery

Retail
- E-commerce capable; sell products 24 hours a day, seven days a week
- Post special product promotions
- Develop an extensive product list with thousands of items
- Develop affiliate relationships and partnerships
- Use Contact Management Tool to e-mail notification of sales and promotions
- Provide an online coupon that retail customers can print out and carry into the actual store

Veterinarians/Pet Hotels/Walkers/Sitters
- Banner exchanges with local pet stores and kennels, humane society, SPCA
- Sell ointments, leashes, eye drops, etc.
- Put online live video of dogs/cats in kennel so that pet owners can see their pets while on a trip
- Display vet’s resume and credentials
- Tell special stories (”I rescued a cat…”)
- Display rates, services offered
- Offer a “classifieds” area where customers can advertise (Free to good home, etc.)

There are many other industry-specific ways that a Web site will enhance your local business. Please contact us today to discuss your Internet marketing needs.

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