Occasions Car Hire in Nottinghamshire May 2006
It is very rewarding to speak to a company about using the Internet for business and see their excitement grow as they realise what is available.
The client started with "I need a website for my new business, how much and when?".
Okaaaaay, I thought, it's going to be one of those conversations.
"I can give you a price now if you prefer but it will be for something that I don't know will work for you. Instead, tell me about your business, what you want to achieve etc and I will quote you for us to be effective and not just to provide".
We had a discussion along the lines of "it's just me and the car and I need orders" which soon turned into identifying other benefit providers to the business and how we could use the website to attract these people.
The points below are just a small selection of the many we discussed, demonstrating that the website is much more than just advertising a car for hire.
- One group of potential benefit providers was wedding suppliers. Places such as bridal hire, photography, videography, cake making, dress and suit hire. They all could refer new business to them. As their website allowed them to add unlimited pages that the search engines would find, Occasions Car Hire could provide a one stop shop for future weddings in the area. Each benefit provider now had something of value from Occasions Car Hire which set them apart from other car hire companies in the are.
- The website could be used as a resource of ideas for special occasions. Instead of just being a car for hire be an experience e.g. a tour of an area with food and drink. All variations of this should be listed on the website. This gave them a unique selling point.
- Worst case scenario was the car breaking down. As the site had a restricted area, they could outline partner agreements to send to other car hire companies in the area ensuring their worst case scenario would not result in a customer loosing out.
- The last point could be reversed and they could be a back up vehicle for other Companies in the area.
- There is a demand for classic cars to appear in films. Have a separate page outlining terms and conditions for film car hire. This opens a new market and saves administration time.
Had we supplied what they asked for, Occasions Car Hire would have a few pages of content advertising their one service. Instead we have shown new markets, reduced administration, generated strategic partners and got them thinking about the long term. They are now actively seeking strategic business partners that provide business to them and add extra value to their single service.
We made it very clear that it would take at least 6 months to be properly indexed and for regular traffic to be visiting the site and build an online relationship with their potential customer base. This time delay can be reduced but it takes money for other forms of marketing to drive the traffic to your site. Disillusioned that the car had made no money for 8 months, the owner put the car up for sale.
The same week a buyer was coming to view the car, three definite car hire jobs came through.
Yes, Murphy's and/or sods law applies here but the point to learn is that conducting business over the Internet is not a quick fix. It takes time and effort just like a conventional bricks and mortar site would. Having known the client for a while, we risked mentioning "we told you so!"