Talking about Online Success with GCC Students

This Monday I had the pleasure of talking to the Business Club at Greenfield Community College. They asked me to come in and speak about online success stories. The Business Club had done some research and found that businesses in Franklin County were not using the internet to sell their products and services. They had also found that 8 out of 10 people they surveyed did online research prior to making a purchase, and only a small percentage of Franklin County residents were making those purchases in Franklin County.

We talked about the challenges a business faces when trying to choose a web developer. There are so many ways to build a website and it must be difficult to comparison shop among the development options. Added to that, a business will be connected to their web developer with a long term relationship in order to maintain and upgrade the website. I explained that we offer a Content Management System (CMS) to our clients so they can make their own updates, which helps in the ongoing maintenance costs. Using a CMS is becoming more popular and many businesses appreciate the opportunity to manage much of their website content. Keeping your website fresh is really important and it does require a time commitment to do that, even if you have your web developer make the changes.

I showed them some of the websites from our portfolio and highlighted some of the local businesses that are doing a great job of marketing themselves using their website and e-mails in their marketing mix. Gary LaCoste, an illustrator located in Ware, MA, does a wonderful job keeping his website up to date, sending regular e-mails and also sending print postcards. This keeps him busy with quality illustration projects for some big brand companies.  You can see his work here Gary and I are both graduates of GCC!

It was interesting to hear the questions from the students and also see how much insight they already have into doing business online.

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