Tips For Using the Web Wisely and Efficiently in Your Business
by AccountingWeb on
Promoting your product(s) or service(s) is just one of many ways you can benefit from using the Internet. To unlock the vast potential of the Internet, consider using it for:
- Customer research. Get the latest information on prospects before meeting with them. A general search of a client's name on the Web can lead you to press releases, news stories, and advertising material that may not be found in trade magazines or newspapers. You may also be able to find more in-depth information, such as a company's yearly sales, products, markets, etc., that may prove useful in preparing for the initial meeting or sales call.
- Competitive intelligence. You can also keep tabs on your own competitors and industry. A number of companies offer services designed to keep abreast of happenings in a particular industry, for instance, the medical industry in the Northeast region of the United States. As a subscriber to these services, you can set up a web site profile of your interest. The service then combs the Internet for any information relating to your selection.
- Subscribe to newsletters or newswires. This is an easy and cost-effective way to keep up on your industry. Use the portal sites available to you and keep up-to-date with what each portal is offering. Bookmark your favorite sites for easy access and research.
- Software and Pay-Per-View Materials. Application Service Providers are popping up everywhere. You may be able to use some of this software on a pay-per-use basis and cut costs significantly. Other sites offer services such as pay-per-view. This service allows you to download certain white papers, industry reports and more for a nominal fee.
- Conduct an On-Line Survey of Employees or Clients:A web site called Web Surveyor  can assist your technical team in creating an on-line survey to give to your clients, or an employee survey for internal use on your Intranet. In today's competitive market, staying on top of your client and employee expectations and concerns can enable you to gain significant insight into your business operations, find out what new recruits are looking for, learn what your employees need, or find out ways to better serve your clients.
- Continuing Professional Education - CPE. Many reputable organizations are offering CPE in small bite size time slots. It does not take the place of live CPE in Las Vegas or Daytona Beach, but it is a cost-effective way to stay in compliance with educational requirements.
- Travel information. If travel a lot, the Internet offers a number or ways to make your travels easier. Booking flights and hotels on-line directly through the vendor (example: United Airlines) may save you both time and money. Mapping services provide comprehensive road maps of the entire U.S. Sites like MapQuest, allow you to search for the nearest ATM's, restaurants, and hotels.