After more than 9 years of developing professionally designed and highly custom Web sites for hundreds of customers, not much has changed in terms of affordability, even with all the advancements in technology. Customers are left to choose between a professional Web development agency usually costing thousands of dollars for a custom Web design or consider doing it on their own. Obviously, it's night and day between the two choices. Rare, but sometimes attainable, a company could find a freelance or moonlighting Web designer to develop a professional site for an affordable fee. I say "rare" because it's difficult to find a single designer who has both a business and design background in order to deliver a product that meets the needs of the business requesting such services. In addition, they are usually very busy with their day jobs or your project takes a back seat when more pressing items are on their agenda.
Just with any construction project, whether building hotel casinos or online businesses, it takes a team of experienced people to build a quality product and there's certainly a cost for that experience. Over the years, many customers have come to us with the perception that doing business on the Internet is inexpensive, sometimes even free! By the time a customer gets a custom designed Web site, has the site optimized for search engines, adds promotional tools such as email marketing or business tools like e-commerce and sets aside money for ongoing Web hosting & maintenance, the costs are several thousands of dollars. While doing business online is certainly a fraction of the cost of opening a physical location, as you can see, there are costs involved none-the-less. A number of customers with good ideas and viable business plans have been unable or unwilling to invest the time and money into their online presence to help grow their businesses. While we wish this wasn't true, the reality is that it takes money to make money. Those that have it, can use it to expand their businesses, while those that don't must continue to grow slowly and struggle to survive. We certainly have experienced the ups and downs of being an entrepreneurial company, needing money when there isn't, making do with what we have and taking the calculated risks when needed.
As a company that relies on its Web operations as the very core of its existence, we understand first hand how important it is for any company to have a great online presence to help drive growth, reduce costs and save time. Unfortunately, you can't call your banker and ask for a loan to develop a great Web site (if you can you'll have to introduce me to your banker). It requires the use of working capital from your marketing budget or other type of funds to get your site off the ground even though it may be a core asset of your company's operation. A Web site has never appropriately been treated as a financeable asset and even if it were, in this credit climate, good luck getting financed. A great many number of companies would have had much better Web presences should there had been a common financing mechanism for Web development like there is with traditional development.
Being that the financing side of the equation has always been an issue for companies when it comes to getting everything they need to be successful online, we set out nearly two years ago to find a solution to this problem. After several stumbles and dead ends while trying to bring in financial partners to assist, we made the decision late last year that we'll do something about it ourselves. Just as the credit climate became a disaster, our decision turned out to be one of the best decisions would could have possibly made.
That's why yesterday, we officially announced our Web site Solution Builder that gives companies of all sizes the opportunity to get a custom developed Web solution with all the features to help make them successful at an affordable monthly price. Unlike any other solution we've researched, the Solution Builder makes it as easy as picking out the options on your favorite car, but unlike with traditional financing, there are no credit checks, interest fees or haggling because your 1, 2 or 3 year pricing options are clearly displayed. In addition, that monthly price you see is inclusive of your Web hosting & maintenance! While we'll continue to offer our solutions with traditional up front payment options, our new lease options make it affordable for just about any business to get the tools they need to be successful online. Now, instead of having to drop thousands of dollars up front on your Web presence, you can use that money to help market your business or for operating purposes.
As I've hinted over the last couple of months, we feel this is the solution needed, especially in this market, to help businesses, not only do business online, but do business online right!
Please join us on April 2, 2009 at the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce headquarters in Town Square for a great interactive breakfast seminar: Not Sure How You Can Sustain Your Online Presence in a Down Economy? Build It, Promote It, Maintain It, Lease It. Click the link for more information and to register online.
|About the author
Mark Cenicola is the president and CEO of BannerView.com, developers of BannerOS, the software that helps companies turn their websites into powerful business tools. Mark is also the author of the book "The Banner Brand – Small Business Success Comes from a Banner Brand – Build it on a Budget." Read Mark's full biography. You can find him tweeting on Twitter and starring in videos for the company's YouTube channel.
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