Five Reasons to Be On the Internet
by Jim Clayton
Trinity Marketing Group
1) Your Competition Is There Already
Shouldn't you at least be thinking about it? Businesses in virtually every industry are getting involved with the Internet in varying degrees. Some are testing the waters with a simple home page, to establish a presence and be on the cutting edge. Others are putting up elaborate web sites, with lots of information and even entertainment. Some retailers are putting their entire store on-line, and accepting orders and payments electronically. I have yet to come across a prospective client in an industry for which I cannot find similar companies who are using the Internet for their business. We will show you what similar businesses are already doing on the Internet. If you're not there, then guess who gets the business? Your competition, that's who.
2) Many of Your Customers Are There, Too
If you surveyed your customers, you'd probably be surprised at the number of people who have access to the Internet. In fact, why not ask some of your customers if they are on the Internet? The demographics of Internet users are very appealing. They are well-educated, make an average of $40,000 to $70,000 (estimates vary) and, contrary to popular belief, about 60%/40% male/female.
3) It Gives You a Competitive Advantage
Millions of people are turning to the Internet to locate products and services. If you're there, you have a distinct advantage over your competitors who are not. And if you're not, then the sale will go to someone who is. The sooner you get on the Internet, the sooner you can begin building up your on-line customer base. Which one would you rather be: One of the first companies in your industry on the Internet, or the one-thousandth company?
4) Find New Customers
Without the expense of cold-calling and prospecting. You can even pre-qualify them by asking them to answer a few questions on-line. They can request a contact or more information on-line, without having to pick up the phone. The net result is that you'll have new customer prospects showing up in your email! And you'll save money by using email instead of regular "snail" mail. With a web site, you can become an international company easily. You're not longer limited to local clientele.
5) Shorten Sales Cycles
You can make product or service information available to interested prospects 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Internet allows you to distribute information electronically, at a much lower cost than printing and mailing. And you can make much more information available than you would ever consider distributing through traditional methods such as mail and live presentations. Let's say you are a food manufacturer who makes barbecue sauce. In the past, you probably had a full color sell sheet or brochure that talked about how great your barbecue sauce is. It even included some mouth-watering photographs of your sauce on some nice-looking cuts of meat. On the Internet you could do that and much more. You could offer serving suggestions and recipes, and you could even give people a chance to submit their own ideas. Maybe your sauce is made with a special ingredient; let's say "ultra-spice." You could have a page that tells all about ultra-spice: where it comes from, why it tastes so good, etc. The beauty of being on the Internet is that, if done properly, the user selects what he or she sees. Each person that comes to your web site gets a customized presentation of your company by the choices made after viewing each page.
6) It's Just a Matter Of Time
Okay, this is the sixth reason. (Threw this one in for free!)
Eventually, virtually all businesses will be on the Internet. You see, as more and more people get access to the Internet, it is rapidly becoming a viable method of advertising and selling products or services. By some estimates, over one million new users are coming on-line each month. We estimate that there are over 100 million people on the Internet. Although we'll always use traditional methods to find business, such as telephone books and print and media advertising, more and more people are turning to the ultimate resource: the Internet.
Jim Clayton is President of Trinity Marketing Group (TMG), an Internet Marketing Consulting firm in Naperville Illinois. TMG produces quality, results-oriented web sites at reasonable prices, and counts several women owned and operated businesses among their clients. For more information, you can go to their website www.trinitygroup.com, send email to [email protected] or call Jim Clayton at (630) 983-1874 ext.122.