Give Your Organization a More Modern Image
If your business has been around for a long time, you may already have success with traditional methods of marketing, spreading information about your products or services, and providing customer support. Great! But you may also realize that although the old-fashioned way of doing business may work, it also may look... well, old fashioned.
A Web presence can help make your company look more modern and up-to-date. Just put a "dot-com" after your business name and throw around your e-mail address, and folks will realize that your business has moved with the rest of the world into the 21st century. But if this is the only reason you want a Web presence, take some time to think about whether that's enough of a benefit to justify the costs.
Make Your Company Look Impressive or Important
Like a fancy office with expensive furniture, a nicely designed Web site can make you look good to potential customers or clients. But you can take this concept a step further if the site also includes positive product reviews, customer praise, or examples of your best work. It shows your company off, making it look impressive or important to visitors. If done right, it can even make your company look bigger or better than it is.
Example: The Chicago Safe Company
C.A. Hall owns and operates The Chicago Safe Company, which is based in Phoenix, AZ. (The name is a long story; don't ask.) C.A. has been in the business for years and has designed and installed standard and custom safe solutions in banks, busi-nesses, and homes all over the United States. Although a sole proprietorship, The Chicago Safe Company's Web site (see Figure 5) is professionally designed, using images that seem to make the company look big, professionally run, and... well, safe.
The Home page for The Chicago Safe Company seems to make the company look enormous.
The Other Side of the Coin
Of course, a poorly designed, amateurish, or incomplete Web site can have the opposite effect on your company's image. Unfortunately, most low-budget or home-grown Web sites fall into this category. These sites do more harm than good. The way I see it, if you can't do it right, don't do it at all.