2015 will be good year for businesses operating online – web developer

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Olayiwola Idowu, chief executive officer, Cyberbuddies Limited speaks on trends in the online marketing space and for the agricultural sector in 2015 in this interview with OLUYINKA ALAWODE

Business

Cyberbuddies Limited is an Onsite Web Development Company committed to providing excellent service. Cyberbuddies is now focusing on creating online agricultural social commerce solutions to help farmers collaborate and compete (coopetition) on a single social commerce platform to ultimately solve the problem of agricultural information dissemination, farm  content creation/management, online agricultural product/service marketing, farm product price analysis, customer relationship management, farm enterprise resource planning and lots more.

Trends

Have you noticed that billboards and TV commercials are being overwhelmed with commercials from internet based businesses lately? What is this trend all about and what does it mean for businesses in the agricultural sector in 2015?

Website decline

If for example, you are going to buy a product/service. You know what you want, but you don’t know the price and the full details of the product/service. In the past you would have visited each product/service provider’s website one at a time to see if they had what you wanted. Each website was different, crafted by a busy team of web designers. My betting is that it is not how you look up products/services anymore. The chances are you have a single app on your mobile device that aggregates products and services listings from many sources. Perhaps you even ask Siri or just Google it.

Our agricultural social commerce applications allow agricultural content to be managed by content owners (farm product/service providers) on a platform that is accessible by other content owners (farm product/service providers) who may even be competitors/collaborators. So, 2015 promises to be a good year for farmers and other agribusinesses who are already thinking in this direction. In fact, 2015 promises to be a good year for businesses operating online.

Getting websites

But websites still have their own place in business. If you are a small business looking to build a website, but you do not want to get taken for a ride, you need to know how much a small business website costs to design. Cyberbuddies Limited has been professionally developing websites of all sizes for a decade and we love to educate businesses, consumers and the market at large about what it takes to build a website.

Website costs

Cyberbuddies is always up-front about pricing and we believe everyone needs to be too (although honestly many in the Internet marketing field are not – charging clients different amount based on their situation and income). Before we get to the pricing, I must say that businesses do need websites with a clear, crisp easy to navigate design, with superb usability and functionality. Furthermore, you need to be able to easily update that website.  It does not matter if you are a national corporate brand, a smaller brick and mortar with ‘plenty of business’, a brick and mortar with only local business, or a bead making business that only sells beads to the ‘who is who’ of Nigeria… you still need a website! Your business can be broad or niche, it can be large or small, and despite what you may believe… you need a website.

Recently a local furniture company spent nearly N50 million renovating their retail space in order to attract new business. But an investment in a great website and internet marketing plan costs a tiny fraction, but brings in more business!

Like the businesses they represent, websites are not all created equal and do not serve the same purposes. Therefore they can vary greatly in cost as the level of design and functionality increases and become more complex to suit your company’s needs. At Cyberbuddies our basic web design fee is N50, 000 per week of work. We offer special discounts for partner companies, non-profit organisations, and in select cases partner projects. All of our pricing is based on this weekly web design fee, our overall costs (wages and overhead) and the long-term costs of properly communicating and supporting our clientele.

So the cost for a basic website would cost between N150,000  to N400,000. A basic designed website, acts primarily as an online brochure, establishing a necessary presence online to answer your customers’ questions “do you exist?”, “are you professional?” and “what do you do?” A basic website can be done for a mere market average of N150,000. This website will not allow you to interact with your audience (social networking, blog), transact business directly through your site (ecommerce), or enable you to manipulate and update the pages and content within your site without hiring a web programmer/designer to do it for you.

But content management system does enable this for more naira. A basic website will serve to help brand and market your company, showcase your products and services and inspire sales as a lead generating tool.  Unfortunately, the design of your website will be at such low cost template. This means that your site probably mirrors that of other sites on the web.  With our firm, these sites will be CSS and HTML Coded to allow your site to look the same on nearly every computer/device and will be Search Engine Optimised (SEO) for greater natural search engine ranking success. But not all firms code the same and have SEO as a top priority.

Also, we provide web analytics for every site we build to track and ensure your web success. As the business expands, we have more advanced sites with much higher cost implications but with more advanced features which I hope to discuss sometimes soon.

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