Make no mistake about it. A website is an explosive tool for marketing your business! But beyond the marketing benefits of a website, a small business website can help you make more money and save more money by slashing expenses, improving efficiency and communications, and increasing your availability to customers and staff.

A lot of business owners just starting out have a laundry list of website questions related to the advantages of a website. Many business owners fail to realise that a website can do more for their bottom line than marketing.

Below are just four of many advantages of a website often overlooked when answering small business website questions.

1. Increase Your Availability

A lot of website questions revolve around marketing. But beyond marketing, your website can function as an “always on” receptionist and customer service representative — enabling customers to make purchases, ask questions, research your products and services, send you e-mail and download important documents, whether you’re at work or home. Business no longer fits neatly into a 9 to 5 box, so let people find you when they need you!

2. Put An Axe To Expenses

Printing can get expensive! And sadly, a lot of website questions don’t address the money wasted each year on outdated printed materials. Think about how much money you can save by eliminating the need to print new brochures and other materials caused by a move, loss of the employee, or changes to your contact information. Web sites are less costly to update than reprinting and the results are immediate! Some of the biggest advantages of a website are due to cost savings created by converting printed materials for use on your small business website.

3. Improve Your Efficiency

You can’t pack more hours into a day, but you can shift redundant work onto your small business website — saving you hours every month! Make a list of all of the tasks, questions and documents prospects and customers routinely ask for and post that information on your small business website. Simply forward customers to your small business website for such things as hours of operations, directions to your business, to schedule a meeting and to download forms and documents.

4. Streamline Communications And Collaboration

Another website question often overlooked by small business owners creating their first website is, “what advantages of a website are there for improving communications and collaboration with staff, vendors and customers?” By adding an intranet or extranet to your small business website, even greater benefits of a website can be realised by you and your customers.

An intranet, or secure section of your small business website, is a place where employees can manage projects, share documents and files with each other and collaborate online. Intranets make collaboration a breeze — whether you’re onsite at a client’s location, on vacation in Europe, or working with a distributed workforce across the country!

Similar to an intranet, an extranet can provide better communication and collaboration between you and your customers and vendors. Streamline interactions by providing a secure section of your small business website for customers and vendors to track order status and shipping, manage projects and upload documents and files to you and your staff quickly and easily.

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