Integral part of the business process
It’s a common misconception to see a company website as an “add-on” instead of making it an integral part of the business process. Often created solely for marketing and branding purposes, a website offers also many opportunities to streamline operational procedures. This can reduce work load, costs and improve your communication with your clients.
To give an example: If you own a shop and sell goods online it’s a good idea to send your customer automatically an order confirmation by email, to collect new subscribers for your newsletter and to reduce support queries by offering a FAQ section or a user forum. All this can be achieved by your website. You might think this is standard procedure everywhere, but it isn’t. In real life, the order management insists on printing the orders first and to write every invoice by hand, because this was the established routine for the last thirty years. You’ll never know what your customers are thinking because you offer no feedback channel. And you miss the chance to sell an existing customer additional products because you have no suitable marketing tools to inform him actively.
Sustainable online success
A database-driven website could change all that, but it means to embrace it as the vital center of your business processes. It’s a everyday tool, connecting your company and its employees with your partners and clients. It’s a living thing, that demands attention, which means fresh content. And it needs new ideas to grow – an ongoing process to make it even better.
At this point I often feel more than a consultant than a webdesigner, but this is why I love my job: New businesses often poses new challenges and require to find new solutions. It never gets boring.
A website is more than a URL you point people to, much more. But truth is, a website is only the first step to establish a successful business.