Putting your business online as a web site invites many considerations, the least of which is design....read the whole story
Friday, February 23, 2007
Monday, February 19, 2007
For the past several days know, we've been experiencing technical difficulties!
(WOW - that's an understatement!)
Since our blog has a bit of a foundation now, we've begun tweaking to find the best style & fit for both our business and you our valued reader ... unfortunately the stars were in the wrong moons (or however that goes) and everytime we previewed a new template, or tested custome HTML it posted on us, and would not accept updates.
*Keeping as many parts of our physical selves crossed as we possibly can now* It seems that things have settled down and our site is actually appearing as per our chosen HTML.
And our appologies because our technical headaches last week drastically reduced our available time for producing content.
Today is Monday *does a little dance* and we're off to a great start! Hope you all are too.
Sunday, February 18, 2007
Although I am a proponent of CRM software and database management, I have never, nor will I run acrossa software solution that provides Complete CRM. On a note of credibility, my company, Wright Solutions is partnered with a few CRM software providers whom will not be referenced anywhere in this post, or this series. I want you to understand the depth of my committment to the fundamentals of human CRM.
Companies in the market for CRM solutions actually are in need of better managing relationships with their customers, and most are looking at CRM applications as the answer. I am not about to suggest that any of the well designed and reliable IT solutions are not a significant piece of the puzzle. I will say that alone, they are not 'the answer'. Three significant misconceptions continue to impede the successful implementation of CRM systems or upgrades. The first myth is that CRM is a software solution, secondly that CRM is a tactic and lastly that satisfied customers are loyal customers. The truth is that CRM is a people driven - not a software solution, CRM is a strategy not a tactic, and satisfied customers are not necessarily loyal.
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Thursday, February 15, 2007
Thursday, February 1, 2007
Let's review some basic web tools like Yahoo's Shopping Carts
and Advantage Merchant Accounts.
To be completely honest I can't imagine any business today, regardless of industry, driving their success into the future without on-line purchase or payment options. Can you?
It is a no-brainer that every successful business these days has an web presence. But you need to ask yourself what is your website doing for you? For most small business owners the expense of having a website designed and hosted is/was a significant business investment. What return are you expecting on that investment?
Presuming that you have a site up and running, and that you have optimized it for peak traffic, let's get down to the business of having it generate money for you. You wouldn't spend a thousand dollars on a fancy new store sign if you didn't believe it was going to drive more paying customers into your store. Neither should you have a fancy website sitting out there in cyberspace not generating revenue.
Step 1. Decide what to 'sell' on-line
- If you produce or stock products, decide which items will generate the most interest to on-line buyers. Grocerygateway.com while gaining some success has shown that there aren't enough buyers willing to pay a premium for e-shopping for groceries, so forget the milk and bread.
- Get creative in your thinking Ladies and Gentlemen. If Produce and Groceries is what you sell find something related to sell online. How about pre-ordering party platters? How about recipe books. How about hosting a cooking class and taking online registrations? There is Always something to sell online that relates to your business!
- Don't go a step further without having a well laid out plan for how, when and where you will fill and deliver all of these new orders.
- I have personally seen too many eager business owners put up their webStore only to dissapoint customers with delayed delivery. Know how long it takes to produce or receive additional stock and be prepared to make honest delivery promises to your customers.
- Once you put products or services on the internet for sale they will be available to the world. Decide now who you can reasonably sell to, and plan on stating that clearly in your 'Store'. It is one this to accept orders from around the world if you are selling an e-book on Cold Calling, but another altogether if you are offering Delicious Deli Platters.
- If you will be physically delivering products to consumers then you will need to choose a service provider. In Toronto the top three are: Purolator, UPS, and Fed-Ex, but you will need to do your own investigating to find out which carrier best suits your business needs.
- Also consider giving your customer the option of good old fashioned 'Mail', if it is at all viable for your product.
- Consider how additional volume will affect your daily operations. Is it possible that a 20% increase in sales would require more labour? Could you have on-call staff? Be Prepared!
- If you had your website designed by a professional you likely have an existing service contract with them so it will be a simple matter for them to put your store together. Be sure to negotiate your best price by offering a clear link to their own business site.
- If you self-designed and built your site check to see if the software you used has a shopping cart plug-in, many do at no additional cost. Your hosting provider usually has links to tutorials on all elements of their web builder tools. So sit yourself down and Learn! And be sure to take advantage of the support offered, go ahead click that 'Ask Us' link and fire off an email with your 'stupid' question.
- If your website building tools do not include a shopping cart builder try one of these: Yahoo's Shopping Carts or a Pay Pal Shopping Cart
- However you go about it, there is absolutely no point in setting up your Advantage Merchant Account until you have your products being assembled.
- While your web designer/developer is preparing your product or service shopping cart you can set up a merchant account.
- Do your own investigating, try Advantage Merchant Accounts or Merchant Accounts or Canadian Merchant Accounts ... just Google it my friend, the possibilities are endless!
- Decide what factors are most important to you, your business and your customers, check for BBB status, check references and take the best deal that suits your needs.
- More work for the web designer/developer, this should be smooth sailing.
- Your store is now open and ready for taking orders
- Having prepared and planned ahead, you're ready to take & fill those orders
Here's to a very successful week!