|The Small Business Library|
February 2, 2001
How Local Retail And Service Business Owners Can Use The Internet To Get More Local Business To Their Establishments And Increase Sales!
If you want to keep your business local, your goal should be to make your business as efficient as possible by using the Internet. The first thing you must do is take inventory of how you spend your time. You probably spend more time running your business than actually servicing and selling to customers. Once you pinpoint where you spend most of your time (usually doing non profit-making activities), then you will know how to craft your website so that your website takes care of these non profit-making tasks for you.
Once this is achieved, then you can turn MORE of your attention to servicing and selling to customers... where the money is found! Let's go through a few non profit-making tasks that you probably do each day that you can use your website to manage for you:
People call and ask for sales information or to get more details about what you sell. They ask routine questions like:
These are questions your website should be handling for you. If you had a commonly asked questions section on your website, you could simply direct potential customers there. And, in all of your ads you would have your website address listed so that prospects could find the answers to these routine questions so they don't ask you.
Believe me, most people will go there first to learn more about your business. Especially, as your local area gets more connected to the Internet each day. This ultimately means less people will call you to ask these routine questions.
When preparing for the creation of your website, you should concentrate on the following critical areas:
Basically what I am saying is that your website should be an extension of you. It should be an extension of your staff. Look at it this way, your website should contain as much information to service potential customers so that you or staff will be of very little need.
The purpose of your website is NOT to sell your product or service directly. Do you understand what I am saying here? Remove all thoughts of selling your product or service directly from your website.
Most commercial websites are trying to sell a product or service directly online to an international audience. This is not necessarily your goal if you only want to sell to people in your local area.
The main goal of your website should be to EDUCATE your website visitors about what you sell and how you sell it so well, that when they do call you or come into your shop or office - they are ready to buy!
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The Author Christopher Sewell, enjoys showing beginners how to successfully build a business online. If you need valuable advice to help you get your online business going fast, or advice on how your local retail store can use the Internet to increase profits.