The chances are you already have a website; it might even be a good one! You may have put together a proper plan to ensure your site has a real purpose and attracts a good quantity of the right kind of visitors. It might even persuade them to part with some money in return for your goods and services.
If you do have such a site, well done - you're one of the few! If you haven't - perhaps you should speak to my team at Firehoop.
But - your website strategy should only form a part of your business' overall Internet Strategy.
Have you ever stepped back and taken some time to consider how your business is going to exploit the Internet in the long term? The way customers interact with their suppliers in every sector has already started to change dramatically.
Customers are increasingly expecting to use the Internet to find information pertinent to them, to request extra products and services as quickly as possible, and at a time that suits them. Customers across the board are viewing a degree of self-service as a huge benefit.
Those businesses that are best placed to make use of the Internet are most likely to reap the benefits of this change in dynamic.
Making sure your business has the right strategy for exploiting the Internet will help you meet the expectations of your customers now and in the future. Your customers will be better informed and your staff will spend less time dealing with low value queries. When you do speak to your customers 'off-line', the value of those interactions will be much higher both for you and the customer.
Once you have a highly informed customer base you'll need highly informed staff to further the relationship. The Internet and Internet related technologies can provide your staff with instant access to all of the information they need. It can keep your staff up-to-date wherever they are and help you scale your business as it grows - however fast that may be.
I meet many people who are already aware of these ideas - relatively speaking they have been around for a while. What few people have done is put together a coherent strategy for implementing these concepts within their business.
In the 'Information Age', a business whose systems allow the free flow of information throughout the organisation and beyond (to suppliers and customers) will reap significant benefits. But as with any pervasive change, this should be approached in a measured way with a solid long-term strategy in place.
If your business doesn't have an Internet Strategy, get in touch with Firehoop and we'll talk to you about putting one in place.