INTERNET
STRATEGY


Scott Hortop
web consultant      web designer
photographer


REVIEW OF INTERNET STRATEGY

The internet strategy for businesses needs to be more than "to have a website". Focus needs to be on what purpose the website has in the UK and beyond, and how it should relate to any bricks and mortar business. And what about the B2B (business to business) marketplace? The internet means much more than having a web site.

The focus should be on how the strategy of your business should be correctly applied on the internet. Your company should have an overall business strategy and, when this is clear, what to do on the internet should integrate with that.

Some businesses are using the internet in the right way. However there are many businesses that are in fact ignoring the best integration options or missing a major opportunity. One thing is sure - almost any business will benefit from a short and cost effective review of this area from a fresh pair of eyes.

BUSINESS OPTIONS ON THE WEB

Business strategy can be applied in a wide variety of ways on the internet. For example, were a business to take an evolutionary approach to developing on the internet then its path might look something like this:

  1. To provide promotional information
  2. Promotional interaction with potential customers
  3. An online catalogue (but no facility for completing transactions eg credit card processing)
  4. Completion of transactions
  5. Integration with offline systems
  6. Customer tracking and other CRM facilities
  7. e-Business integration with supplier/customer systems

The fact is that rarely do businesses follow such a structured approach. Whether businesses are on this path or not, they need to be considering other elements such as:

  • Customer and investor information (eg FAQs)
  • Customer support - passive or interactive
  • Information and useful advice
  • Site search, site maps
  • Security (including credit cards and beyond - different levels of customer/employee access to otherwise unified information in web sites and/or databases)
  • Customer interactive elements (eg games, decision trees)
  • Customer 'community' facilities
  • Legally required content (privacy, accessibility)

If your business has a clear strategy then the answer to what your business should be doing will fall out of the strategy. The danger is that it is instead driven by the latest trends or what happens to be the technical expertise of in-house professionals.

HOW I CAN HELP

Whatever your existing web presence, I can provide external help to put you on the right course. I look closely at what your business strategy is and whether it is being applied appropriately so that you are getting the best out of the internet. Once that clarity is there, I can look at what you have have in place already and make recommendations about where you should be heading.

Internet presences can all too often be dominated by design, marketing or IT perspectives. I can take a rounded overview that understands all these elements and brings a core financial and business understanding to bear that will help you make the right decisions.

Much of the above applies equally to intranets. Read more on how I can help you get more value out of your intranet investment here.

For broader advice on marketing, business and financial strategy, I can also draw on the resources of my association with Fairburn Edser Smith to ensure that you have specialist help in these related areas.

 

Internet Strategy report

I do not have the baggage of 'products', 'solutions' and 'methodologies' that dominate the approach of large consulting firms. Most of these are over-inflated checklists that are there to ensure that more junior members of staff at least ask the right questions.

Neither do I have the overheads of the big firms. I can give you the benefits of my experience at a price that you will like.

I have a simple two step approach:

  1. I do what is necessary to properly understand your business, its competition and its customers. I establish what strategy is in place and how the web is being used.
  2. I apply my experience to the information that I have gathered to report to you in the areas that you require. Is there a clear strategy that you can apply to your business on the web and is it being followed in the way that it should? I supply facts, recommendations and opinions supported by evidence that you will be able to use to guide your business.

Why should you value my opinion?

I understand (and can practice proficiently) the elements of design, and the nitty gritty of technology that go into producing web pages. I have a real awareness of the needs of marketing and branding and how the web can be used. I have a professional background in advising, researching strategy and educating on eBusiness and its capabilities - including international expansion and integration including technologies such at XML and its offshoots. I also understand that the numbers have to stack up and my earlier accounting and investigation background allows me to get to the core of what makes your business tick and what it can realistically afford. And finally, my professional background means that I know how to write succinct reports that will deliver clear opinions and recommendations.

Read the about me page for more detail.

What does it cost?

Most reports need a week or more of my time in terms of interviews, research and delivery. Let me give you a quote - you may be pleasantly surprised. If you have a large segmented presence that would in effect require more than one review then I would be willing to perform the first review at an attractively discounted rate. You can then assess the value of what I can bring without over committing to my normal rate*.

See how to contact me here.

* For consulting services my normal rate is £55 per hour.

 

 

 














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