Doing your own website audit Part 3– Business Processes
When deciding to have a website the first thing you need to know is what the purpose of the website is for you.
Most small businesses have websites as a type of an online brochure where clients can go and view their products and services.
A website however can be much more than that, if you can spot the opportunity then paying a little more money now can streamline your business processes and save you time in the long term. Time and resources saved equals money saved and your freed up time can be invested in doing some of the other tasks you have been neglecting in the past.
Business Process Case Study
Company X is a medical supply company that sells to both doctors and to other suppliers. Their current website allows for products to be checked on a list and then emailed to a consultant. The consultant then calls the customer where the order is handled telephonically.
The current scenario
So presently the website functions as a brochure website with an order form included.
Everything is still handled telephonically and there is a back and forth between the consultant and the client, documents are sent back and forth and finally the order is made and at some point in time the doctor or supplier pays the client.
While that sounds good and well, with the technology that is available the process is much more tedious than it can be and as it is with people and money, payments are often late or not paid at all.
So in other words the company is haemorrhaging staff time and money. It is a hassle every time clients have to order and many doctors who are under tight schedules will rather just go to the competition to avoid having to deal with the laborious process of getting their stock.
This would be the perfect opportunity for the company to install a e-commerce system to integrate and streamline the current processes in place. Here are some of the benefits from implementing such a system, there are many more but this is just to illustrate a point.
With an online shop clients can place the orders directly instead of first having to wait for a phone call from the consultant. It is an instant time saver for whoever is handling the phone, time is saved on phone bills and the company’s capacity is immediately increased.
Orders can be paid for immediately. There is no need to wait for a long laborious process before payments are collected. Clients can pay directly without having to go through a long drawn out process. There is also no need to make out invoices as this is automated by the system itself.
User data can be saved on the system and this means further opportunities. It means convenience for returning customers who want to reload lists for repeat orders. Different user groups cab be created with different pricing structures to differentiate between different client groups.
Client communication is also much more efficient and data can be gathered to better understand clients and streamline the selling process. Cross selling and email marketing can be done from the website very effectively and open up new income streams not possible under the current constraints.
Identify your Business Processes
So in this scenario we can see a tremendous opportunity for Company X to streamline their business and open up new marketing streams for their business. Although that solution works for company X, the solution for your business may be something completely different. Perhaps you are an investment consultancy firm and your firm is bogged down with telephone calls from clients looking for their investment data – why not create a portal for them? Perhaps you are looking for a platform for a club or society to communicate with each other – why not create a mini social network?
When doing your website audit, it is always a good idea to get advice from at least 3 professionals who can assess your business needs. You can then make a more informed decision about who will best be able to assist you with the correct solution for your business. Listen to the consultant who cares about your business and is passionate about helping you grow as opposed to someone who is a yes man catering to your every whim. Yes men (and women) are after a quick buck and you will end up with a site that will never be all it can be. You are after all hiring professionals so that they can give you expert advise in their field.
Owner at Custom WebI’m the owner here at Custom Web. My passion is to help companies promote and turn their businesses around using the experience I have gleaned over 12 years in the website industry. Feel free to contact me if I can be of any assistance.