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Top 10 Reasons Why Your Business Needs a Website

 1. Your Business is Open to the World 24/7, 365 Days a Year
Unlike your company's office that may be open from 8-5, Monday thru Friday, your company 's website is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. There are many different time zones that may affect your business, which is why being on the web makes it time convenient for everyone.

2. It's Your Online Brochure / Catalog That Can Be Changed at Anytime
A website is easier, cheaper and quicker to update than print material. Its' capacities are almost limitless which allow you to provide users with more comprehensive information. This will save you money on printing and distribution costs as well.

3. Reach New Markets with a Global Audience
On the Internet, you aren't that local little business anymore. You have the potential to be seen by millions across the globe. Did you ever think your company would have the possibility of doing business around the world? Well, now you can. Without a doubt, the Internet is the most cost effective way to trade nationally and internationally.

4. Improved Customer Service
By providing answers to questions on your website, sales and information requests can be processed automatically and immediately, whether someone is in the office or not. Online forms can be used to allow customers to request quotations or ask further information. Save costs by allowing users to download invoices, proposals and important documents.

5. Present a Professional Image
For a small business, a well-designed web site is a great way of instilling confidence and looking bigger than you actually are. In this day in age, customers assume that you already have a website. By now, your primary competitors probably already have a presence on the Internet. If they do, keep up with them and find ways to make yours better.

6. Sell Your Products
Why pay expensive rent, overhead, electric bills, and all the other costs that go along with owning a bricks-n-mortar business? Selling in cyberspace is much cheaper and a good way to supplement your offline business. Providing secure online ordering is very affordable for even the smallest businesses.

7. Promote Your Services
Lawyers, doctors, financial consultants, entertainers, realtors and all service oriented businesses should let customers know that they have a choice. Millions of users are referring to the web and are using company's websites to make major decisions when they need a specialized service.

8. Gather Information and Generate Valuable Leads
You can gather information about your customers and potential customers by using forms and surveys. Rather than going out and getting leads, let them come to you. This is a great tool for prospecting targeted customers looking to use your products and services.

9. Provides Instant Gratification
People are busy and don't like to wait for information. Give them what they want, when they want it. If your product is suitable, offer them free samples or trials to download. This includes pictures, brochures, software, videos, Power Point slides, music and more.

10. Great Recruiting Tool
Whether you are looking for talent or posting job opportunities with your company, your website is a great recruiting tool for building your business.

Top 10 Reasons Why Your Business Needs a Social Media Strategy

1. It Finds Your Customers
Companies using traditional marketing methods (e.g. surveys, focus groups, test marketing) often spend millions to locate their target markets. Where are the people most likely to buy your products and services? Establishing a social media strategy will help you see where potential customers are hanging out. You can search for related groups and Fan Pages through Facebook, start accounts on social bookmarking sites such as Digg or StumbleUpon, and check on who is linking to your site to find out who's interested.

2. It Tells You What They Like
…and what they don't like. Social media gives businesses on small budgets the ability to find out what people are saying about them (and others) in their industry, without paying large sums on market research. With your ear to the ground on social media, you'll be the first to know if your product is working or if changes need to be made. Does your brand need a makeover? You'll find out here first.

3. It Reveals Their Interests
Regardless of what people are saying about you, it's important to know what they're talking about in general. What motivates them? What are their issues? In every industry, there are existing conversations going on. A social media strategy will allow you to get in on these conversations so that you can offer solutions, push buttons, and get people talking.

4. It Introduces Your Brand
Is your company new? Or has it been around awhile but hasn't been using social media? Starting a fan page on Facebook and a business account with Twitter is sort of like moving into a new neighborhood. You can introduce yourself, hold get-togethers and talk about topics of interest. Friends and followers will soon start inviting their friends over to see what's going on. This is an effective way to make the connections that lead to sales.

5. It Expands Your Reach
Even an established brand may be missing out on potential customers. Through social media, you can find out what online communities your existing customers belong to. These places can become portals to a larger audience for your products and services. And don't forget that your customers can spread the word for you to these communities. Interest them with compelling and useful content, contests and giveaways, etc. They'll soon be telling their friends and colleagues to check you out.

6. It Gives You Feedback
A big advantage to using social media is the "give and take" built into it. While large corporations are paying people to give them feedback, you can invite comments and opinions through your blog posts and fan pages for free. Then, channel them into improving your products, your brand image, etc. When you listen and respond to your customers' opinions, suggestions and even criticisms, they start to feel invested in you.

7. It Provides A Test Audience
No company wants to throw a new product or concept out there without first testing it out. You can tap into your pool of social media groupies to find those willing to test out your ideas and give you valuable feedback before you launch. Your social media pages offer places where people interested in your ideas are already gathered, so you don't have to take a "hit or miss" approach to beta testing.

8. It Showcases Your Company's Personality
Engaging through social media lends itself to more personal contact with customers. You can avoid being a faceless, impersonal storefront by letting people know who you are. Commenting, posting blogs and inviting conversation allow customers to connect with you and your brand. This builds stronger relationships over time.

9. It Makes You Accessible
Fans, friends, and followers have direct access to you. Unlike the pre-social media days, when consumers often had to deal with companies that they perceived as unreachable, you can quickly respond to your customers' problems and frustrations before they balloon into a big mess. Likewise, being able to personally respond to positive feedback strengthens bonds by making people feel that their opinions matter.

10. It Lets You Share
Through social media, you can create all kinds of content and post it in one place. Make videos, write articles, and post blogs and podcasts to your pages, where everyone can access them. You can communicate in fun and inventive ways because there are no rules for how to best reach your audience, so you can mix it up and appeal to everyone. Sharing also gets people to share back, and gives you access to resources and links that could become invaluable to you.