Businesses looking to establish a web presence do so for many reasons. The most obvious is to market their goods or services to a wider clientele. Other reasons include the desire to get product information to customers and to keep customers updated with the latest news and information.

Establishing a web site immediately gives a company a global presence, and allows potential customers to see what products are available at any time of the day or night. If the web site is equipped with a shopping cart then orders can be taken and payments processed without any need for human intervention. Large savings can be made by not needing a traditional customer service call center for order-taking, with the added benefit that orders may be taken at any time.

Another benefit for the company is that this global presence can often be achieved with little or no advertising expenditure. If the web site is designed in a way that will ensure a good ranking with search engines, then the site will not need to be marketed extensively.

Even if a company has no wish to get involved with ecommerce, a web site can still be a valuable resource. It is far more economical for a business to post details and images of its products on a web site than to have a full color catalog printed and distributed, especially if their product range changes frequently. A printed catalog may even be outdated before it reaches the customer, whereas a web site can be updated at will, ensuring that all clients have access to current information and pricing.

Where once it was common for products to come packaged with large user guides, nowadays more and more products come with just a slim “Quick Start Guide”. For the full User Guide, the customer must visit the company web site, where the guide is available, commonly as a PDF file. As with the product catalogs mentioned above, the savings made here may be significant.

These are only some of the more obvious reasons why a business nowadays needs to establish a web site. However, don’t take my word for it. You know your business better than I do, so take a minute to think how your company could potentially benefit from having its own web site. Then take another minute and think how your competitors could potentially benefit by your company not having a web site. Convinced? I thought so.