Microsoft Blog

An Office 365 Opportunity – Public Website For An SME

Aidan Finn - Tuesday, July 16, 2013
We’ve all had this experience; we know that there is a local company that provides some service that we need.  We search online and find almost nothing, or worse, nothing local at all.  It’s sickening for us because we can’t find a local service provider.  It’s worse for that company, because they have lost a sale, and possibly a recurring customer.  If only they had set up a public website with some basic information to tell us who they are, what they do, and how to contact them.

Recent information published by Silicon Republic states that:
Some 73pc of Irish SMEs without a website worry they are losing potential business and are aware their competitors are already online … More than half of those SMEs said the reason they don’t have a website is because they lack the time, funds or knowledge to get one up and running … 
I’m no business guru but that smells like an opportunity to me.  If only there was some unified messaging, collaboration, and online presence solution that could connect small/medium businesses with partners and customers.  Oh …

Earlier this year we ran a series of Office 365 education events with MVP presenter, Kerstin Rachfahl.  Kerstin’s core customer base is the small/medium enterprise in Germany, who has similar challenges and opportunities as similar companies in Ireland.  Kerstin stressed the importance for partners to find opportunities to:

  • Provide customization services
  • Differentiate from the competition

Are you implementing Office 365?  If so, have you ever asked if your customer has a website? If they didn’t have a site, did you offer to build them even a simple brochure site using the public website feature of Office 365?  Even a simple site can be optimized for search engines, and that will:

  • Give you an additional installation opportunity
  • Make the customer’s company appear in search results, hopefully increasing businessProvide an opportunity to give the customer an on-going service, thus maintaining the customer relationship
  • Create a possibility of service differentiation

It doesn’t take much to become a presence online.  An SME doesn’t need the next great site; they just need to present the essential information and be listed by the big 2 search engines.  This can open up a world of opportunity for the customer and for you.

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