Virtual Tulsa
(Courtesy of Net 101)

1. To Establish A Presence.
No matter what your business, you can't ignore the 30 to 50 million people who currently have access to the Internet! In the very near future that number will increase ten fold as new technology allows non-computer owners to have access to the World Wide Web. To be a part of that community, you need to be on the Internet… your competitors will be.

2. To Network.
As every smart business person knows, it is not what you know, it's who you know. It is difficult to reach decision-makers, but if you are approached by that person it is infinitely easier to tell your sales story! The Internet lets potential clients find you… "This is what I do, where I am, and if you are ever in need of my services, this is how to reach me".

3. To Make Business Information Available.
Think of the Yellow Pages ad. What are your hours? What do you do (or not do)? How can someone contact you? Where are you located? What is today's special? You can keep your customers informed of every (changing) reason to do business with you on the Internet.

4. To Serve Your Customers.
Making business information available is one of the most important ways to serve your customers. Allow your customers to find what is in stock at your store. What colors are available? All this can be done quickly and simply on the Internet.

5. To Heighten Public Interest.
You won't get Newsweek to write up your store opening, but you might get them to print your Internet address if you are doing something new and special. Even if you could get Newsweek coverage it wouldn't do you any good if a potential customer across the country could not visit your store… which they can do if you are on the Internet!

6. To Release Time-Sensitive Materials.
What if your materials need to be released no earlier than midnight next Tuesday? With the Internet, the release is up to you. Imagine the "hype" and anticipation one gets from the announcement… "All materials will be made available on our Internet site at 12:01AM Tuesday."

7. To Sell Things.
Did you notice that this is not number one? Before people become your customers they want to know about you, what you do, and what you can do for them… which you can do quickly and inexpensively on the Internet.

8. To Make Pictures, Sounds and Film Files Available.
What if your product is great but people would really love it if they could see it in action? Or they could see it in different colors or frames? On the Internet, you can add sound and pictures in color to your company's customer information… no brochure will do that.

9. To Reach a Highly Desirable Demographic Market.
The type of people using the Internet are college educated, making a high salary, are familiar with technology, and are searching for ways to satisfy their needs. Your business can tell these people its story.

10. To Answer Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).
Whoever answers the phone will spend their time answering the same questions over and over again… people getting facts before they deal with you. Post these questions and answers on the Internet and you will present your company as the reliable source of industry information.

11. To Stay in Contact With Salespeople.
Your on-the-road or at-home people get up-to-the-minute information from postings on the Internet in complete privacy… and no long distance phone charges!

12. To Open International Markets.
You may not be able to make sense of the mail, phone, or regulation systems in overseas markets, but with an Internet Home Page you can open a dialogue with anyone anywhere as easily as someone across the street… without the long distance postal or phone charges!

13. To Create 24 Hour Service.
We’re not all on the same schedule. Solve this problem with the Internet which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. No overtime either. You can collect important information that will put you ahead of your competition before they get to the office.

14. To Make Changing Information Available Quickly.
Sometimes, information changes even before it gets off of the press. Electronic publishing changes with your needs during the day. No printed or media piece can match this flexibility.

15. To Allow Feedback From Customers.
You pass out a brochure, catalog, booklet, or advertise in the newspaper but it doesn't work. No calls, no leads, no sales. What went wrong? Well, just keep trying different things and eventually you will find the right way. But this expensive process is not an alternative for the small business person. For the cost of a page of Internet programming, you can get instant feedback while it is fresh in the customers mind… without the cost and hassle of business reply mail.

16. To Test Market New Services and Products.
It is very expensive to roll out a new product. Once you have been on the Internet for awhile, you will know what works and what doesn't. You will also realize how inexpensive it is to change your presence to fit your customer's needs. For the cost of a page on the Internet you can have a crystal ball into where to position your product or service in the marketplace. Amazing.

17. To Reach the Media.
Media people are the most "wired" profession today since they can get information more quickly, cheaply and easily on-line. On-line press kits are becoming more common… digital text can be edited on tight deadlines. All of your company items of interest can be made available to the media on your Internet page.

18. To Reach the Education and Youth Market.
If you have anything that you can sell to young people be aware that soon most schools and libraries will be connected to the Internet… anything you have that youth would be interested in needs to be on the Internet.

19. To Reach the Specialized Market.
Sell fish tanks, art reproductions, flying lessons? The Internet isn't just computer nuts anymore. With 20 to 30 million people using the Internet, even the most narrowly defined interest group will be represented in large numbers.

20. To Serve Your Local Market.
If you are located in a metropolitan area there are probably enough local customers with Internet access to make it worth your while. In rural communities, there now is local-call access. You will be surprised who is coming on-line… training classes are going on in your community now! A new crop of potential clients is being made available just next door!

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