Want to know how to put more of your revenue in your pocket AND free up time to do the important things for your business? All business owners can save time and money if they properly leverage the Web through Web services. What I am referring to is replacing recurring tasks that take employee time to accomplish with web-based services that do it automatically. If you are a small business owner, you probably do many day-to-day tasks that take up a lot of your valuable time. Your time is better spent doing the things youre in business for than regularly completing every little business administration chore. A common complaint I hear among small business owners is that they spend too much of their time on business issues like accounting or mailings instead of the fun stuff that their expertise is in. Now you can have it both ways, thanks to the Web and the strength of Web services. The idea is that if you shift your time or employee time away from tasks that can be accomplished via the Web, the newly saved time can be spent in more productive and lucrative ways.I can give numerous examples of Web services for any industry, but for the sake of brevity, I will offer a few that will hopefully stimulate your own creativity.
1) Pricing Do you have prices on your Web site that need to get updated regularly? If you have many products, and a price list that changes sometimes, it may save employee time by putting all the prices in a database (if they arent already) and making your Web site dynamically database driven to pull the pricing out of the database in real-time so the pricing on your site is always current. This saves time in a number of ways. First, if a particular price is listed in a number of areas on your site, than you have to pay someone to make the update in each place every time the price is changed, or spend your time doing this. Maybe your pricing stays the same most of the time, but what about when you run specials and discounts? Another way this helps is that your entire company can now refer to the Web to get the most updated pricing. Lets say you run a special and decrease the price of a product.
Do you contact all your sales people and tell them about the discount? Do you print out a copy of the updated price list and send it to everyone who deals with customers? By making this a Web service, you would simply change one entry in your database and refer everyone to the Web to get the current price. Any company information that regularly changes and you spend time disseminating ought to be automated using the Web.2) Sales & Marketing Let's say a typical sale, whether its done by you or your salespeople, takes fifteen minutes to close (when speaking to an interested or hot lead). Lets also say that half of the fifteen minutes is spent explaining what your product or service is or how it can help improve their lives. You find that you repeat the same basic selling points over and over again.