Friday 8 March 2013

Advantages of a Website, Why Should YOU Be Online?

Vision ICT Blog 03/13

Welcome to the Vision ICT Blog. We should now be posting a new blog post at least once a month.

Every month we will have a topic or issue that we will discuss, either to do with the company, related business or technology issues that affect YOU.

This month’s topic: Advantages of a Website, Why Should YOU Be Online?

For a lot of small councils/charities/businesses, often there is the train of thought “Why do I need a website? Why should I waste my time and money with something like this?” 

This is a very valid question, and to answer it I will split it down into 2 sections, public sector and private sector. The reasons for having a website for a government or council body is a bit different to that of a business and I hope to address the relevant concerns in each field. 

Public Sector
1)      Visibility – A council that has a website appears more accessible and friendlier. It encourages people to take an interest in local democracy and reinforces the local belief in the effectiveness of local democracy. It also allows the inhabitants to know who their councillors are.
2)      Freedom of Information and All Your Legal Requirements – An important aspect of any democracy is Freedom of Information. Having a website gives you somewhere to post minutes and other important documents. This saves you time and effort to locate and/or photocopy the documents and gives the public direct access to any required information.
3)      Building Community Spirit – A community is only as strong as its spirit to work together. Advertising events and local news on the site allows local inhabitants to get together and help foster that community spirit. Also getting direct feedback through questionnaires and such can help the council interact with the community and get to know the opinions of the inhabitants.
4)      Tourism/Local Interests – By showing what your area has to offer in regards to historical sites, areas of natural beauty and other important sites, you can draw a greater level of visitors and tourism to your area. It can also help inform local inhabitants about what they have around them, perhaps learning a little more about the heritage of the place they live.

Private Sector
1)      Prove You Know Your Trade – A website can be used to show your knowledge of your trade. You can write articles, describe how you go about your work and show potential customers you really know what you’re talking about and thusly, what you doing with the work.
2)      Have Easy Access Contact Details – By having a full range of contact details including telephone numbers, email address and even postal addresses allows you customers to get a hold of you easily by whatever method they feel most comfortable.
3)      Show Previous Contracts – Show potential customers what you’ve done before. Quotes/photos from previous employment helps reinforce a positive company image. If possible, linking directly to a previous client’s contact (with permission) you can have potentially customers getting positive feedback from previous customers.
4)      Clear Pricing Structure – A clear pricing structure helps customers seen exactly what they are getting for their money. If you have options your customers can decide on a package that suits them best and pay just for what they want.

Of course there are far more reasons which escape me, but I hope this highlights the general point. A website adds visibility. It gives a hub for your presence on the internet, and makes you easier to access.

Well I hope this was of use to you. The internet can be a rather confusing place for those not in the know, but we hope us at Vision ICT can help clarify and assist you in navigating this technological maze.

Until next time, stay well!

Next month – Keeping the 'Service' in Customer Service