Most small businesses and an increasing number of individuals now have a website. In my opinion there is an element of 'following the herd' in this - my competitors have one, so must I. Websites can be an extremely valuable tools for marketing, advertising, sales and potentially customer service, however they can also be an expensive waste of resources which deliver little. In reality a basic website can be created for very little cost, so there are few organisations who won't gain some benefit from having one. However the critical thing is to be clear what you want to achieve, ensure you are only paying for what you need and measure the results. 

Do you just want an online brochure? Do you want to sell online? Do you want to provide customer support and enable them to interact with you? How many visit and sales do you expect to achieve? How will you measure success? How will you update the content? So before you start be clear what you want, have an idea of the cost, and get several quotes. Isn't this all just 'common sense'? Unfortunately I've seen too many organisations 'follow the herd' and spend tens of thousands on an all singing, all dancing website when all they need is an online brochure costing a few hundred. 

Next week I will discuss one more important question - 'How will customers find my website?'