If your business doesn't have a web site or a good web name, or even an e-mail address, then you are trading at a disadvantage and missing out on so much!

It's now so easy and affordable to benefit from all that the Internet has to offer - all you really need to do is seek my help!

My aim is to provide you with a complete service, starting from your ideas, hopes and concerns, through design and implementation , to on-going support and maintenance. What's more, by presenting everything in a clear and jargon-free style, with no hidden costs or complex contracts, you will be enjoying the benefits in record time. That has to be the very best way to bring the power of the internet to your business!

Getting Started

Whatever your views are about the Internet, you probably appreciate how it has become such an important part of our lives. You probably also appreciate how it offers so much potential to almost any business - but how and where do you start!

You have three choices:

Do nothing, in the belief that the Internet has noting to offer your business. This option could apply if you believe the Internet is just a fad and feel that the old ways of doing business will soon return.

Tackle the job yourself. This option could so easily cost you a lot of time and money, and still leave you with something that’s more of a burden to your business than a really great asset. If you set about doing everything yourself, you are unlikely to come even close to the results produced by a craftsman.

Call in outside help. That’s a great start but finding the right help could be a hit-and-miss process, unless you get to hear of a craftsman in your area that specialises in providing small businesses with a complete solution to all their Internet and World Wide Web needs. Better still, if that craftsman had an impressive portfolio of satisfied customers, based on many years of practical experience. Good craftsmen are hard to come by so having found one, you should seek his or her help at the earliest possible moment.

If you chose option 1 then I'm sorry to say, there's nothing I can do for you but if option 2 is your choice then you should still consider getting advice before spending time and money. You could end up spending more money than calling for professional help but with some preliminary advice, you could avoid many common mistakes and unnecessary expenses – unless you’re happy to throw money away!

If you have picked option 3 as the best way forward then I’m hoping you will be delighted to hear that I could be the craftsman you are seeking. As a qualified Graphics Designer and Internet Services Provider, with over 25 years experience, and lots of satisfied customers to my credit, I’m hard to beat!

My aim is to provide you with a complete service, starting from your ideas, hopes and concerns, through design and implementation of the best and most cost-effective solutions, to ongoing support and maintenance. The very best way to bring the power of the Internet to your business!

Will you shortly be tapping the potential of the Internet?


It’s your move now!

The Businessman's Internet (5 minute overview)

Using the Internet

At the very least, access to the internet will help you seek suppliers, check out competitors and access a host of business related material, including tax, VAT and PAYE. Checking what’s going on in your field of speciality is easy using the Internet.

Basic E-Mail Support

Having a means of receiving and sending e-mails can be a boon to you and your customers. At one time, the fax machine (and before that the Telex) was all-important. E-Mails are taking over much of the role of the fax, so not having a fax machine but having an e-mail address is becoming increasingly common. With some basic safety measures to block e-mail attached computer viruses, you can pick up the benefits without the worries.

Unlike regular mail, which get delivered, E-mails have to be ‘collected’. That means getting into the habit of downloading, reading and responding to E-mails regularly. For a business, this should be at least one a day, since someone asking about a product or service will soon scurry-off to one of your competitors, unless you show you are on the ball by getting back promptly. It’s not uncommon to find that some companies take weeks if not months to reply. It’s not hard to see what kind of message that sends out to potential customers!

Registration of business name as a web address (a domain name)

Let’s assume your business is called ‘Bloggs Book Company’. You could, in theory register something like ‘www.bbc.com’ but as you have surely guessed, someone else has already grabbed that one, so you try another option like ‘www.BloggsBooks.com’ and then ‘www.BloggsBooks.co.uk’ but you find that they too have been taken (as is quite likely). You could have registered any of these names yourself back in the early days of the Internet but now that there are so many businesses on the Internet, finding your business name available for registration as a web address (or domain name as it’s called) is unusual. In our hypothetical example, let's assume we find that ‘www.Bloggs-Books.co.uk’ (note the added hyphen) is available. You would needs to register this name ASAP! But NOT until after a basic plan has been drawn upd, otherwise the venerable Mr Bloggs could end up paying anything up to 80 times as much as necessary and ending up with a locked-in name that he wouldn't be able to put to effective use without paying further exorbitant charges. Get this one thing right and Mr Bloggs will have secured a fantastic future for his business. Get it wrong and he will pay dearly for his mistake.

There’s also considerable merit in registering more than just a single domain name, especially when close alternatives are available. Bloggs doesn’t want to let a competitor steel his thunder (and much of his trade) by getting ‘www.Bloggs-Books.com’, (which he later found was also available), so he wisely registered that as well. Once secured, he needs to set up web-forwarding to make these extra domains work for him rather than just sit on the web gathering cobwebs (pun intended).

Your own web site

Even just a single unchanging page will serve as a great advert for your business. It can also get noticed by the many search engines on the web, attracting, over time, more and more visitors to your page and therefore, your business. How well it does this depends on how much thought has gone into the page’s creation (a good choice of keywords, a good description and a host of other considerations – most of which are behind-the-scenes of the page the viewer sees).

A further consideration at this stage is ‘where’ your site should be held on the Internet (where it’s hosted to use the correct term). The type and scope of the host service is vast and run from totally free to very expensive. Picking the right level requires considerable knowledge of the anticipated demands likely to be made of the site. Not just initially but for one to two years ahead ideally.

If a more comprehensive site is desired, the chances of getting it wrong are multiplied, and getting it wrong means spending too much money for too little service. Taking and processing payments on-line in particular (so-called E-commerce) requires a high level of pre-launch planning and isn’t suitable or desirable for all businesses of course.

Promoting your site and therefore your business

There are two processes here: the first is about telling the various search engines, directories and lists on the web that your site exists, so it can point customers your way. The second process is about promoting your site OFF the web. By putting your domain name on your stationery and promotional material, you are inviting people to find out more, before they pop through your door. Something more and more potential customers appreciate – to look the goods, service or company over, without any pressure to buy anything. It’s a confidence-building thing, at the very least!

Keep your site current

This is less important to some businesses than others of course but leaving out-dated or obsolete information on your site for example will do neither you nor your customers any favours.

Updating your site might be something you want to do yourself unless your web site developer has an on-going update service to offer you. In the former case, someone on your staff is going to have to become familiar with some quite involved concepts. Are you prepared for this level of commitment?

Coping with ‘spam’ (unwanted and junk E-mail messages)

As your web address becomes know, it’s inevitable that you will start to receive more and more unwanted messages. Developing a strategy to cope with them will save you a lot of bother and keep you safe from picking up a malicious computer virus. It doesn’t take much to set up a ‘firewall’ (a system – usually software – that blocks certain types of incoming messages and other more dangerous stuff) but in conjunction with good working practices, can keep almost all dangers at bay.

Plan for disaster

Not primarily an Internet issue, more by way of a working-practice that ensures that, in the event of a computer failure or theft that the information key to the business's survival is duplicated to a safely stored location. As E-mails become more important to the business, these should be included in your backup regime, along with favourite web addresses and your address book of E-mail contacts. Have a planned backup policy, and stick to it. It could save your business life one day!

The World-Wide-Web is simply the best way to promote your products or services, so do something positive today - give me a call and get on the web!

Examples of a few of the web sites I've designed and hosted.

hover your mouse over any of the above thumbnails to see an enlargement.