If you own a business these days, it is more than likely that you have a website. A website is an integral part of your overall marketing strategy because it is relatively quick to put up and cheap to run and maintain. But what if you want more out of your website? More traffic, more prospects and more sales? It may be time to think about hiring an internet business consultant.
Why would you want to do that however? After all, isn't it expensive? Look at it from the point of view of an investment in your business. If an internet business consultant costs $10,000 but works with you so that your business brings in $20,000 or more in sales the next month, would you not say it was a wise investment?
Also, an internet business consultant can take a look at your website from all angles and recommend changes to graphics, copy and structure that, once he or she has a clear idea of your goals, will quickly aid in growing your profitability and visibility online.
So, that being said, what should you look for when hiring one?
First off, you'll want to check out several different websites as this is your first contact. While you're browsing around, take note of how each speaks to you. Do you like the style? Are they confident? Do you feel at ease, like this is someone you could work with? If so, the next step is to set up a meeting between the two of you.
At the meeting, a good rule of thumb to see if this will be a profitable partnership is to see if the consultant can keep to a schedule. If they are late, it may be a sign that they will be consistently late with milestones or may not be as communicative as you need.
You will also want to ensure that your internet business consultant takes the time to listen to you and understand your business goals, wants and needs. Do they quietly take notes and paraphrase so that you know they understand or are they too busy hyping up there previous accomplishments?
Finally, do some research online when deciding on who will guide your online business. Sure, they may have glowing testimonials on their website, but you may want to dig a little deeper and contact those businesses to get the real "scoop." This is easier than you may think. If you give them a phone call (or if they're local take them to lunch) and just explain who you are and ask their opinion of the service they received. This is probably the best indicator of whether or not you will get the results you are looking for and if you can have a long term partnership. Remember also that price should be the last thing that you focus on.
Choosing an Internet business consultant does not have to be a long, involved process but it does take a bit of creative thinking. Done right, your business will quickly see an increase in online exposure and profits.
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