Archive for October, 2011

Three (BIG) Reasons Why Small Businesses Should Invest in Professional Web Design

Sunday, October 16th, 2011

Professional web designers do more than just improve the look of your website, they provide a balance of media, interaction, navigation, presentation, and marketing strategies that help your business compete in an over-crowded digital marketplace.

So why hire a professional to create your website? For three (big) reasons:  Appearance, Competition, and Loyalty.  Web designers specialize in building and establishing online storefronts that uphold the high quality standards that consumers expect.  In addition to designing creative backgrounds, logos and navigation tools, web design teams also create content and marketing strategies that help your company’s website maintain search engine rankings.  Using a variety of tools and techniques, web designers are able to build websites that appeal to consumers as well as search engines and promote the future growth of your business.

Appearance

  • Online Branding/Face
  • First Impression
  • Presentation – represents a level of pride and commitment to your customers

Most people spend less than five seconds on a website before determining if it fits their needs.  That’s five seconds to glance at your logo, look at a picture or two, and skim the home page.  That means that your business has five seconds to make a glowing first impression.

Your website is the online face of your business and establishes the “feel” for your company.  Much like books, businesses are judged based on their website, and you only have a few seconds to grab the viewer’s attention and deliver the information they are looking for.  This is exactly what professional web designers do.  They not only understand how to design a brand for your business, but they can also build a website that will appeal to your audience and maintain their attention beyond the first page.

Competition

  • Marketing
  • SEO
  • Content Management

In order for potential customers to fall in love with your business, they need to find it. The hurdle? Competition. The solution? Marketing, SEO and Content Management.

Without an online marketing strategy, even the most well designed websites can get lost in the infinite sea of the Internet.  In order to compete with similar companies, your website needs specifically designed content that appeals to organic searches.  Professional web designers can help with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to appeal to major search engines by creating targeted content.

This is more than just keywords and bullets.  Proper SEO attracts both search engines and consumers.  Remember those five seconds?  Regardless of how highly your website ranks in major searches, your customers still expect a certain level of professionalism.  Professional web designers such as 3wC incorporate a variety of interactive tools and media to appeal to both search engines and consumers, giving you every opportunity to share relevant information while simultaneously competing in the vast Internet marketplace.

And by appealing to a variety of senses, you give your customers even more reasons to stay on your site and consider giving you their business.

Loyalty

  • Ease of Navigation
  • Balance of Marketing and Customer Service
  • Email Marketing Campaigns

Every consumer wants a company that understands his or her needs.  By building a website with multi-media tools that promote information exchange, you present yourself as a business that not only understands the marketplace, but also one that appeals to the individual.

Your site needs to attract new customers as much as maintain the customer base you’ve worked hard to build.  Professional web designers make it easy for visitors to find information about you and your services and assist returning customers with updates and contact information for your company.  Your small business website needs to balance creative appearance and marketing with outstanding customer service in order to build loyalty. This of course can be augmented with email marketing campaigns – another strategy web designers use to combine customer satisfaction with viral marketing.

Your website should represent your standards of professionalism and pride and your commitment to customer satisfaction.  By hiring professionals to build and maintain your site, your customers will receive the quality they expect from your business.

Promoting Small Business Growth with Document Management

Monday, October 10th, 2011

As a small business owner, you recognize the importance of proper document management and record security.  Everything from standard forms to employee records needs to be organized to facilitate efficient company procedures and be managed to ensure high standards of privacy and protection.  As a result, almost every small business in today’s market relies on digital technologies to organize and manage their records.  While some businesses utilize software packages to help manage their documents, many small businesses turn to professional software developers to customize these packages and create unique document management systems tailored to their company.

The Importance of Document Management

Over the decades, technology has evolved to meet the ever-changing needs of businesses and consumers.  Files that were once organized in cabinets and manila folders are now organized in digital folders and files on our computers.  With the evolution of file sharing and the digital marketplace, companies have adopted professional software to help manage their document load.  Unlike the old system of paper filing, digital document management provides executives, employees, and even clients with the ability to easily access forms and information and even collaborate on documents within the system.

Consider the following benefits of professional document management

  • Improved file organization
  • Improved ability for file sharing
  • Ability to create virtual teams to collaborate on projects and reports within the document management system
  • Improved organization, which reduces human error and improves information exchange
  • Improved management and efficiency
  • Improved accessibility and downloading of public forms
  • Reduced employee and client stress as the result of proper document management

Available Software and Customization

There is a variety of document management software available to small businesses and it is important to choose the best one that fits the needs of your company.  While very small companies might benefit from some of the free programs available from Google or Microsoft, most small businesses derive maximum benefits from dedicated software programs such as SharePoint.  As a large software system, SharePoint contains many tools designed to facilitate document sharing and improve communication, which can drastically improve productivity and growth potential in small businesses.  In order to maximize this software, however, consider hiring professionals to customize these tools and integrate the software into your existing system.

No two businesses are the same, and software professionals, like those at 3wC can customize the software programs to meet the culture and processes of your small business.  They can also take document-sharing software such as SharePoint and integrate it into your existing system.

Consider the following:

  • Customization creates document-sharing systems that are tailored to your businesses needs, culture, and goals.
  • Integration of software allows teams to pull information from any system to incorporate into reports.
  • Both customization and integration streamlines data gathering, communication, and research.

Professional document management software is an essential part of small business management and provides an organization with communication tools that grow with your business.  In order to determine which system best suits the needs of your small business, consider consulting a professional who can customize a document management system that is best for your business.

The Importance of Custom Software to Every Small Business

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

Every business searches for opportunities to increase exposure in the marketplace and increase profit potential without exhausting resources.  As a small business owner, you understand the importance of investing in quality software that will not only benefit you now, but also give you a platform on which to build your business.  Not all software systems are alike, however, and if the wrong programs are installed, even the most basic tools can create management nightmares.

Professionally customized software, however, allows small businesses to maximize immediate productivity while simultaneously promoting long term growth.

Custom Software VS Out-of-the-Box

Why custom software?  Pre-packaged software is not designed to meet the unique needs of every small business.  Many of these products provide you with enough tools and technology to create a foundation on which your business can begin to develop, but few are tailored to meet the niche needs of your specific company.  By customizing software tools, professionals, like those at 3wC, can build a software platform that is specifically designed to meet the needs of your business and your team.  Customization involves not only choosing which tools would best benefit your company, but also creating a system that is designed around the way you work and integrating it into your existing software.

Saving Time and Money

Not only do you get business software that is designed for your business, you also get fully integrated programs created to save you time and money.  By customizing and integrating software, all your programs work together to provide you with the most efficient tools with which to run your business.  When systems work together, numbers and data need only be entered once and are accessible from any program.  This means that reports, documents, communication, and data-sharing are streamlined, thereby reducing time and maximizing resources.

Benefits at a glance

  • Streamlined data sharing
  • Software integration
  • Improved communication
  • Customization and Integration of popular software – SharePoint and Salesforce.com
  • Improved time and resource management – maximizing time and resources, thereby improving efficiency.

…and improved efficiency equals an increase in profit potential.

Consider choosing a company that will guide you through the customization and integration process from start to finish.  Companies such as 3wC ensure that the software tools meet the practical and cultural requirements of your company, and they guide you through the process of incorporating this new software into your business.  Once in place, these professionals train your staff to use the new tools so that you and your clients can derive maximum benefits.

In short, investing in customized software benefits you now so you can focus even more resources on a greater future for you and your small business.