(originally published when Trivera was named “Websight Solutions)
The obligatory exercise at this time of year is to make decisions to change something in our lives that wasn’t quite right during the previous year. Typically, it means signing up for an exercise program at the local health club, resolving to finally quit smoking or to cancel your AOL account and get signed up with a real ISP. Most of the resolutions are made and broken within the first week of the new year, so we thought we’d wait till today to suggest a group of resolutions that you can make now even if you’ve already broken others!
Resolution #1 – Give your Web site a facelift.
Now is the perfect time to perform that makeover that you planned on doing last year. The folks at Frank Mayer and Associates were on the phone with us by 10 am on the first business day of the new year to set up the meeting to plan their site upgrade. Editran’s new look will be debuting in the next few weeks.
Of course, we can’t give you any advice that we aren’t willing to do ourselves. We’ve been working on our new Web site since November. Although the “official debut won’t be happening for another few weeks, you can go and get a “sneak peak” at the work in progress at http://www.websightsolutions.com/new/. Please excuse the empty pages and dead links while we finish it up…we have a ways to go, but we’re behind because we will always make our clients’ projects higher priority than our own!
Resolution #2 – Build an Online community around your Web site.
The reason for the success of the winning Web sites is the attitude of community their sites develop. Using an email list that keeps you in dynamic contact with your customers/visitors builds goodwill, friendship, a program of affinity and partnership. The more you build that, the more likely they are to do business with you. Family Values Network not only sends out emails when the site is updated, but they also send out bulletins to their community when there is a need by one of the other members of that community. When it comes time to update the site, feedback is sought via the email list, giving the recipients of that an email an ownership stake in the site.
Quant IX Software sends out an email to their list whenever an update or a new demo goes online. Ministry Health Care has set up a half dozen mailing lists (Physicians, Career Opportunities, Consumers) so visitors can decide for themselves which area they’d like to become a part of. This issue of Websight Insight marks the first anniversary of a commitment to make it a monthly newsletter (the result of Websight Solutions first New Year’s resolution form last year).
It is a tried and true sales axiom that, all other things being equal, people will do business with people they like. The Web is not about computers, networks, hardware or software. It’s about people. It’s important to maintain the functionality and infrastructure, but it’s still more important to build relationships.
Resolution #3 – Start looking at new ways to use the Web to help your bottom line.
Conventional wisdom says you put up a Web site to sell your products or services. The gauge of success of the Web site is solely the amount of those products and services you’ve sold. Conventional wisdom? Yes. Right strategy? No! To survive in today’s business climate, you also need to find ways to decrease your expenses.
Web-based functionality can do that by replacing personnel You don’t have to make social security contributions on a web-based Database interface. You don’t have to pay Worker’s Compensation Insurance on a self-service customer-support area on your site. A FAQ section never calls in sick. Virtually every company we talk to has difficulty finding good help, and has had to fill positions with less than ideal candidates. Use the Web to replace some of those full-time positions. By using the Web to free up your best, most qualified positions to do the things that only people can do, you can decrease your payroll and increase the quality of your staff.
Find creative ways to use the Web to reduce printing costs by replacing paper with bytes. Reduce your FedEx expenses, and get stuff where it needs to go more quickly by transmitting information digitally. Increase efficiency by setting up automated web-generated processes. Trash conventional wisdom.
Resolution #4 – Appreciate the value of your Internet Consultant’s expertise.
Websight Solutions is here to help your business on the Web. Our experience and expertise provides you with an incredible resource bank which to call upon. The Websight Insight blog alone could be worth several thousand dollars to your company if you would read through and follow all the advice we’ve provided in those posts over the past year. Our client list has grown to over 100 in three years, and at the risk of sounding like we’re tooting our own horn, that growth has been no accident. It has come as the result of a lot of hard work, thousands of hours of research, continuing education and an intense desire to be the best in the business.
We would hope that you would take advantage of the resources we provide… that’s why we’re here. Just like your lawyer, your doctor or your CPA, information is our product. As with most business decisions, you can view the price of that information as a cost or as an investment. Because of the track record of the success of our clients, we would hope that you would view it as an investment.
Several of our clients have ongoing maintenance agreements with us that include hours of consultation built in. They know they can call us when they have questions about their Web site. We work with them on their pre-contracted regular basis to discuss and implement the changes that their site needs. Because they’ve signed that agreement, we can make sure that we have those hours available. Their maintenance agreement provides automatic updates to their sites on a regular basis. As search engine placement is now contingent upon regular re-registration of the site, their agreement provides for a monthly re-registration in 40 of the most popular search engines.
One of our New Year’s resolutions is to provide an even better level of customer support. In order to do that, we will be introducing a new program of pre-configured maintenance agreements. All of our clients will be encouraged to sign on for one level of support and site maintenance. Although we will be happy to help all of our clients, the best value and the quickest turnaround will be provided to the customers on a maintenance plan.