An effective website should help you make money, save you money, or better still, do both of these.
Depending on your business, you may make money either directly, or indirectly from your website.
If you have suitable products or services to sell then your potential customer may be able to conveniently order or book and pay online anytime of the day or night and from areas or countries outside your normal geographical region. In other cases, such as industrial machinery, your potential customer could conveniently obtain much required information, illustrations, specifications, etc, in advance and already be in a buying frame of mind when he or she contacts your sales department/representative.
For a knowledge or people-based business or organisation a website is an excellent way of presenting examples of projects undertaken, case studies, articles, and other credentials that will demonstrate your technical or professional competence.
A website contact page makes it easy for potential customers to contact you at a time that suits themselves, whilst your business/organisation is fresh in their mind, rather than having to remember to telephone you on your next working day.
For many businesses a website can save them money whilst also improving customer relations.
Potential customers can visit the website and immediately obtain all, or most of the information they need in order to place an order. This can mean huge savings in the staff time required to answer queries (often exactly the same queries over and over again) or in the cost of printing and mailing of catalogues and other literature. This is especially true for those prospects who contact your business only to find that you don’t offer the product or service that they are looking for, thus accidentally wasting their own time as well as yours.
If you have a product or service that needs technical support then this can often be effectively provided with a website ‘Help’ section. This means the customer can often get the help they need, even when your business is closed. Another cost-saving example is the replacement of lost instruction manuals which can be made available for convenient download straight from the website at any time.