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Should Your Business be Selling on the Internet?

by: SBC Staff

You're running a successful business in the brick and mortar world.  Perhaps you have a "corporate presence" website (since most everyone is expected to have one).  You point out your website with pride to your friends and business acquaintances.  After all, it looks nice!  Very professional looking.  One day your friend Fred asks you how many hits you get per week?  You look back with blank stare.  You honestly don't know!  You decide to check with your ISP who shows you how to get reports from your site.  You check, your jaw drops.  Over the last six months you've averaged two hits per month!  How can that be?

Bottom line, if you're not actively promoting your site you're lucky to get any hits at all.  Should you begin to promote your site or is it okay just to have a presence you can point to, an email address for your own domain, and a web site address to put on your stationery and business card?

The maintenance of at least a corporate presence on the web is necessary today.  If you don't, your business may be viewed as backward and behind the times.  But you should not be satisfied with just a corporate presence.  No matter where you are located or what you sell, the web gives you the opportunity to expand your sales territory, possibly even worldwide.  Unless it is physically impossible for you to sell your products outside of the area where your business is located, you must use the web to expand your sales area or other businesses in your industry will begin to move in on yours!  You also need to be very careful before you conclude you cannot sell your products or services outside your area.

Let's say you sell consulting services like we do.  Most companies would think they couldn't sell consulting services in locations where the company had no employees.  But there was an invention that came along well before the Internet that makes this possible: the airplane!  There is no reason a consultant or team of consultants can't get on an airplane and fly to where the work is!  Additionally, most consulting services can be provided long distance.  Even though we have plans to open offices regionally across the nation, we have served clients in 20 states and several foreign countries over the last eleven years out of our offices in South Florida!  If anything, consulting and other services might be easier to provide over the Internet than physical products.

If you sell products that can be shipped, you have no excuse.  You should be able to accept an order from anywhere in the world and ship your products anywhere in the world.  Your single greatest competition in the coming decade may be from businesses like yours selling into your sales territories from thousands of miles away!

You should also consider selling on the web to your own local customer base.  Buying on the Internet is easy and saves your customers time.  They already trust you and since they have an existing relationship with you, they can place orders without using a credit card over the web.  Take their orders based on a purchase order and bill them like you normally would.  They will appreciate the convenience.  Ad some additional value added enhancements to your website like tips for using your products and your customers will appreciate you even more.  Make your site a resource for them to use every day and your volume of orders will pick up automatically.

If you've realized while reading this article that you need to move beyond a corporate presence, you may already be dreading setting up a storefront and the ability to accept credit cards from your website.  There's no reason to dread these tasks anymore.  There are a number of companies on the web that can supply you with a storefront, merchant account and good sales tools for very little money.  And best of all, you can be set up and operating within days, not weeks.  You can visit our ecommerce website at http://peakconsul.evsholdingco.com to see the solution we use.  You can set up your site there using the tools provided to see what it will look like without any obligation to buy.  There are no set up fees and the service is only $49.95 per month.  The storefront hooks into your website so there is no additional programming required to get up and running.

We highly recommend you move your business onto the web in a big way and that you do it right away!  Don't wait for competitors to begin encroaching on your territory to take action.  Be proactive and start reaping the benefits right away!

 

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