06 Jan The True Value Of A Website
Many businesses know they need a website, but don’t understand the true value of what a website can provide. Paying thousands of dollars for a professional firm to build you a responsive eCommerce website may sound exorbitant, but when you think of your website as an employee performing tasks instead of an object, the value truly becomes apparent.
There are many processes in every business that, while it may be necessary that they are completed, it may not be necessary that they are completed by an actual person. Automating these tasks can free up your employees to focus on more complex tasks that can’t be reliably done by a machine.
Consider these two very basic examples of task automation that could easily be accomplished with a well designed website:
Answering Simple Questions
Do you get lots of calls or emails requesting basic information about your business? Answering simple questions can take lots of time away from other necessary tasks. Take a look at the questions you are receiving, chances are good that your website could be answering many of these questions for you.
What is it costing you?
Lets say that you have an employee who answers an average of 10 simple questions per day (these could include “What are your hours?”, “Where are you located?”, “What is your return policy?”, etc.). If each exchange takes an average of 15 minutes, that means that your employee is spending 2.5 hours every day that could be used more productively.
At Oregon minimum wage of $9.25 per hour, you are paying an employee $23.13 per day for these simple exchanges. That might not seem like much, but if you multiply that by seven days, it comes out to $161.91 per week. When broken down further, that equals $647.64 per month, and $7,771.68 per year spent answering simple questions that could easily be answered by your website.
While online shopping has seen growing popularity in recent years, some businesses have been a bit slow to fully embrace eCommerce. Though they might display products on their page, they have not seen the need to invest in a true eCommerce solution that includes a secure payment gateway. Instead, they either make customers call in to place an order, provide a printable order form that the customer mails in, or they choose the least secure option and *shudder* have the credit card and order information sent through email (please, for both your and your customer’s sake, don’t go this route). Unfortunately all of these options require an employee to manually enter each order into the system and then write and send a confirmation email and/or invoice to each customer.
What is it costing you?
If you receive an average of 8 orders per day, and inputting each order into your POS system takes 10 minutes, and drafting/sending the order confirmation/invoice takes 5 minutes, thats a total of 2 hours per day. At Oregon minimum wage that equals $18.50 a day spent just on inputting and confirming orders. Again, this might not seem like much, but it turns out you are spending $129.
50 per week, $518 per month, and $6,216 per year just fulfilling orders.
Add it all up and you are spending almost $14,000 in one year just on these two examples alone!
Now consider a well designed website that costs you $8,000, answers the questions about hours, location, return policy, has full eCommerce capabilities, and doesn’t need to be rebuilt for at least two years. Even if you are paying $200 a month for ongoing maintenance (maintaining a website is crucial to upholding security), that still only means that you are paying $6,400 a year. Thats a savings of $7,600 a year that can now be spent on marketing, product development, higher wages, or anything else your business needs! This doesn’t even take into account all of the other beneficial features your website could provide that would make your life easier, allowing you to focus more time and resources on the areas of your business that could really benefit from the extra attention.