It’s This Simple…

At a cost of less than $100 annually for hosting (and with design for free) a web site is easily within the budget of small to midsize businesses and organizations of every kind. Retailers, restaurants, auto dealers, contractors, insurance and real estate agents, medical, legal and accounting firms, civic groups, clubs and even small municipalities all may use and benefit from this inexpensive and effective means of communicating with their constituencies be they customers, members, subscribers, employees, vendors or any other group with whom they interact.

The Obstacles

If its not the money, then, why aren’t more smaller businesses and organizations on the web? People tell me there are basically 2 obstacles:

Unfamiliar Territory: First of all, the technology and skills required to actually produce and maintain a web presence are unfamiliar. Everyone understands print or broadcast advertising because everyone knows how to write and speak. The Yellow Pages, Newspapers, radio and TV have been around for a long time: they are familiar to us. Even if the technology applied to produce traditional advertising or public relations material is handled by outsiders, the concepts behind traditional media are well understood by those who buy or place the material. Directory ads last a year and cost a lot, newspaper ads last a day, radio and TV ads last a few moments but are frequently repeated: Everyone gets it. Most people, if they had to, could produce their own material or come pretty close. But web site creation and hosting relies on technology and concepts that are really just a few years old, and frequently changing. Management often perceives (correctly, I think) that they either must invest resources to bring their own people up to speed or secure outside expertise; in either case there is uncertainty of the result or even of what is reasonable to expect.

What Good Will it Do?: Second, even if the technology and conceptual issues present no problem, many people aren’t quite sure how their web site would benefit them even if they had one. Many of the most popular web sites belong to entities that exist only or substantially on the ‘net, their reach is global as is their identity. The Internet, after all, is global. It is also densely packed and becoming more so. Your organization, however doesn’t operate on that model. If you pop up in someone’s computer 3,000 miles away, how does that help you? How do you make a web site relevant to your business, your geography, your customers or constituents?

What I Do

This web site is here to make your debut on the web as easy and as fast and as inexpensive as possible. We’ll waive the design fee, if you host the site through us. That’s what I’m selling. But, more than that, we’re here to help you actually make your site conform to your vision and your needs. We take the position that your Internet presence, however compelling its appearance, is just one among many of the business development tools you employ to build your business, improve customer service or advance your cause in the area you operate and among the people who are important to you -the groups of people we call your constituencies.

What You Do – Before Taking the Leap

Get the Big Picture: Download your copy of Before You Take the Web Site Leap. In non-technical language, this 15 page publication discusses web sites from the point-of-view of your organization’s leadership; that is, how it may be used to best serve your interests -how to draw visitors and improve service, how to make your operation more efficient and productive, and how to integrate your site into your over-all public presence. Equally important is understanding what a web site CAN’T DO, so you avoid unrealistic expectations and disappointment. These and other considerations are essential to design, creation and operation of a web site for any organization whose principal location is a physical place. Read the material now or later.

Do a Walk-through: Now, click on “Leaping Link” (or the porpoise) which will describe the whole process from start to finish. You will not be required to actually commit yourself to anything but you will come away knowing exactly what is involved when you’re ready -and knowing how to get ready.

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