While most people think of their websites as strictly marketing tools, a professionally developed website can also increase efficiency and reduce overall operating costs. Here’s an example:
I normally frequent two local bakeries. Their products and prices are comparable and I like to support both proprietors when I can. Recently, I remembered that I was supposed to order a cake for a friend’s birthday party. Of course, it was well after regular business hours when I had this thought, and I was concerned that I would get distracted again the next day. This would be bad, as the party was two days out. So, I went to the website for each bakery. For the first, I could view examples of cakes and see pricing, but I had to call to order. This meant I had to wait until the next day during business hours, when I’m working too.
For the other bakery, I could complete my order and pay online. I was impressed by how easy it was to customize the cake-- just like if I had called or stopped in the shop. With a few clicks, it was done. Easy for me-- and easy for the bakery. The proprietor didn’t have to stop what she was doing to answer the phone or wait on me at the counter. She even saved time at pick-up, because she didn’t have to collect my payment.
Are you working harder, not smarter?
With advances in technology and the ability to integrate multiple systems, many day-to-day tasks can be handled through web applications. Think about the ways you spend most of your time:
- answering phones to answer the same questions over and over?
- scheduling appointments or making reservations?
- running reports?
- taking or entering orders or other data?
- accepting job applications?
A professional web developer can develop solutions to automate these tasks and integrate them through your website. An example of this would be integrating systems that use the same data for different purposes or reports. LightSky completed such an integration for a client that saved two weeks of work for two people per quarter that had been dedicated to completing a huge compliance report. This saved the business over $100,000 in the first year. Yes, this business, much like the bakery, had to spend a little more upfront to get the functionality and integration they needed. But in both examples, the investment paid for itself and then some.
Your website can be so much more than a marketing tool. Put it to work and get more hours back in your day!