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Kelvin

Hi, Jill and I see your point, and I guess the real question is how one defines the word "need."

Conventional marketing methods do reach many people locally, but that contact is somewhat limited (and often expensive). Yes, you can reach people via post cards and flyers and personal networking but how much information can you really put on that medium for your prospective client?

I'm all in favor of low cost conventional methods in conjunction with a web presence. The web site -- when done properly -- will offer more information about what you're doing and what you offer, 24 hours a day. Local people can search library catalogs, for instance, online, 24 hours a day, then reserve the books or publications so they can pick up at their convenience.

In my own case, I have a habit of checking the web first, even before I think to make a phone call -- it's just habit, and Google Search is a wonderful thing. And the information you provide on a web site, even for local people, can help them decide whether or not they even want to see you (or your business) face to face.

In many ways, I consider a web site to be like a resume. The resume is designed to get you the interview. Once you're there, you have to deliver on the hype. Same thing with a web site. It's purpose is to give them enough information that they want to give your business a shot. After they're there... you have to close the deal or deliver the product or service. These days, if two businesses are offering identical services and one has an informative web site and the other does not, I predict that the one with the web site will prosper more.

Lastly, I believe it is more cost effective to put your information on a web site than it is to do quality run of printed materials to reach the same audience, and it's definitely cheaper to update the information on an established web site, than to do a reprint of the printed literature to update the same, even local, audience. So one may not *need* a web site to do business, but I believe one will do better / more business with a good web site. Then the question is, do you *need* to do more business :-D

Those are my thoughts ;-)

Have an awesome day.

Kelvin

stacey.greenwell

I have to agree with Kelvin that I tend to check the web first. I like his analogy to a resume.

I'm currently getting bids for replacing the roof on my house, and once I selected several companies based on word of mouth and on Better Business Bureau listings, I looked at their websites. Even though these companies are here in town (one showroom is just a few minutes from campus), I still preferred looking at things online first.

I think we're getting close to all successful businesses needing a website. We're not there yet--I know my favorite Mom and Pop places back home will probably never have websites, and there's just no better place for a barbecue sandwich or a slice of homemade pie. Eventually though, I think most businesses are going to have some kind of web presence, even if it's just the basic hours, contact info, and list of services/menu/whatever.

Interesting thoughts!

Kelvin Ringold

Thanks for your feed back, Stacey, and you're right; even a "business card" web site like you described above let's inquirers know the business is alive and ready for customers, and these days, that can be done for about the price a box of good business cards.

Now... where exactly can I get that barbeque sandwich?

Kelvin

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