When I first heard the phrase, “Internet Business Consultant” I wanted to laugh and thought to myself – here’s another person/company that consults for the “Information Super Highway”. Someone who tries to hood wink clueless businesses into thinking that they are getting something more than they really are by hiring an “Internet Business Consulant”.
However over the past several weeks, I’ve met and worked with two Internet Business Consultants who are franchise owners under the WSI brand as part of my involvement in the Manhattan Chamber Committee.
Whether you work with an Internet Business Consultant or a good web site developer the principles are the same. They need to LISTEN to you and give you a PLAN for creating your online presence.
According to their web site WSI is headquartered in Toronto, Canada, has been developing profitable Internet Solutions since the mid 1990s. Our network of certified Internet Consultants is the largest of its kind and we¬?re ranked the #1 Internet Services Business in the world by industry-leading Entrepreneur magazine.
WSI is committed to improving the profitability of our customers through the use of leading-edge Internet technologies, delivered by knowledgeable and service-oriented Internet Consultants. As more businesses realize the importance of the Internet to their continued success and growth, WSI is ready to serve their needs with real e-business solutions.
Thanks to the trust and support of our customers over the years, our network has grown to over 1000 Internet Consultants serving small- to medium-sized businesses in 87 countries worldwide.
Johan du Plooy, is a WSI Internet Business Consultant (and fellow Manhattan Chamber of Commerce Member) whoexplainedd to me what he does.
He writes In the early years, every company was just putting up a website, basically an electronic brochure to have a presence on the Internet. In recent years, Companies have started to realize the competition on the Internet is so fierce (billions of websites), that just having a website is actually a waste of money unless it can help you generate new customers, increase sales, improve customer service etc. Nowadays a website is an important part of any progressive company¬?s strategy, and gets them a return on their investment. It takes a lot of effort and man-hours to achieve this, and that costs money.
That¬?s where we, as Internet Business Consultants, come in. We spend an hour or 2 with a prospective customer, do an IBA (Internet Business Analysis), and figure out what tools & technologies will best serve that customer. We then act as the go-between project coordinator to provide creative, content and management support, and ensure the website is well-designed, and provides the functionality required. It does not stop there; we also ensure the website is designed for SEO, we manage pay-per-click, and provide monthly feedback & reports on how successful the website is, and if necessary, update & change content to improve performance. We become like an on-going Business partner to ensure results.
If a business cannot tell you how many hits they are getting, what pages people are looking at, where people are coming from, what search engines they are using, etc. etc. and whether they are getting a return on their investment, they are basically wasting there money.
I had asked Johan if he could do a web site for someone I knew that only wanted to spend $500. He told me For $500 you are basically wasting your money ¬? a good website will cost somewhere between $1500 to $15000, or more, depending on functionality and complexity. Complex e-Commerce websites can be very expensive depending on number of products, etc. For $500 you basically have to do it all yourself ¬? if you know what you are doing, that¬?s great. Our recommended charge for an IBA is $500 (up to 5 hours of research, the IBA, and subsequent design of a suitable concept). I normally waive that in the interests of getting a decent customer.
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