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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Tell me more about WSI

WSI stands for “We Simplify the Internet”. We are the largest global network of Internet Marketing consultants, with offices in more than 80 countries. We are a global research and knowledge-based organisation, specialising in strategic internet marketing, online branding and business automation.

Our head office is in Toronto, Canada and in the UK alone we have around 40 consultants, so the chances are that there will be someone pretty near you.

We help businesses of all sizes and industries, providing advanced digital marketing solutions. In English that means we help to:

  • elevate their online brand reputation
  • generate more leads through the internet
  • tap into new revenue opportunities online
  • increase their overall profitability

We have the ability to provide services either virtually or face to face. With the amount of research and knowledge sharing within our network, we are ideally positioned to help educate our clients in the latest techniques being used by businesses to generate bigger profits, which we regularly encourage with our ongoing free Webinar Education Program.

Over the years, we’ve seen the rise of the website as a service and distribution channel, the fall of the dot-coms and the explosive growth of e-Commerce. As the Internet continues to evolve, so do our systems, our products and our services. Today, emerging Web technologies allow our Internet Consultants to take their clients' Internet presence to the next level, while never losing focus of our key goal—increasing a company's profitability by building Internet Solutions that work.

Who have WSI worked with before?

For nearly 20 years, we have primarily focussed on enabling SMEs to get the most out of relatively modest budgets with their online presence. We have built up a number of crucial business strategic alliances with the likes of Google, Microsoft and IBM.

Some of our bigger clients have included popular brand names such as Canon, P&O Cruises, Fujitsu and Pizza Hut. Don't worry if you feel that your business is too small by comparison with some of these names, we work with any size of business in just the same way, no client is treated as insignificant or less important than any other.

Do you concentrate on specific industry sectors?

To list all of the different clients that WSI have worked with would be difficult, but if you would like to see some showcase examples of our existing work with similar companies in your industry then please have a look through our portfolio.

Tell me more about 'internet consulting' and its advantages for my business

Say for example you pay someone £1000 to build you a website for your business. Six weeks later your website is delivered to you or activated online and you hand over the money. What happens then?

Many businesses fall into the trap of thinking that they must have a website and if they do that it will will suddenly start generating money for them. Whilst in an extreme minority of cases this may happen, it most certainly is not the way things usually happen.

Our Internet Consultants are a type of business advisor. Like your lawyer, accountant, or stock broker, each is a trusted business partner whose expertise you rely on to succeed. An Internet Consultant is in your local community to ensure your business realizes the full profit potential offered by Internet technologies. They are specially trained and certified Internet business experts, ready to deliver Internet products and services that best meet your business needs and your budget.

It’s important not to confuse our Internet Consultants with Web Designers as we don’t simply design websites. We can still create those for you, however or focus is to build profitable, customised Internet Solutions that work for your business.

At WSI, we feel it is important that the needs and motivations of your business are accurately translated into an online package, which sometimes this doesn't mean just having a website. It could be looking at PPC Advertising, Social Media Optimisation, the design and brand of your business online, directory listings and review sites. It’s the job of our consultant to look for opportunities to reduce operating costs, increase your revenues and build your customer base by introducing cost-effective new e-Business tools to your business.

What do 'e-commerce', 'e-business' and 'Internet Marketing' actually mean?

e-Commerce: selling your products and services online is like having a shop that’s open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all year round.

  • Sell products, services, documents, images, even ideas as digital downloads!
  • Instantly advertise specials or offer sales-generating online discounts.
  • Take orders automatically, any time.
  • Quickly respond to customers without any additional staff.
  • Easily track inventory and sales data.

e-Business: Save on daily expenses by using the Internet to communicate more efficiently with customers and vendors and gain a better understanding of your market.

  • Eliminate postal and courier charges by securely sharing documents and files online.
  • Use e-Learning to train staff and keep their skills up-to-date without expensive remote-location training seminars or inconvenient sets of manuals.
  • Distribute company videos, sales materials and information online, on-demand.
  • Build a customer database; learn who’s buying from you and leverage that information for increased profits.

Internet Marketing: Target more customers and expand your market without having to open additional locations.

  • Internet-based marketing is one of the most cost-effective methods of advertising, even on a limited budget.
  • Drive large amounts of traffic to your website from visitors that want what you’re selling.
  • Instantly communicate messages to customers based on their interests and buying preferences.
  • Enhance the awareness of your brand

Over the years our Internet Consultants have helped thousands of businesses around the world to grow and prosper online and they’re ready to help your business too.

What is an e-Solution?

'e-Business' was the term coined by IBM to describe using the Internet in some way to improve the operating efficiencies of a business. E-Solutions (or 'Internet Solutions') are simply a set of integrated online tools that enable e-Business. This can include Customer Service functions, Document Sharing and Management, Streamlined Communications, and of course, Online Sales. In fact, a wide range of business functions have 'e-volved' to the Internet.

Our Internet Solutions take the same e-Business principle pioneered by IBM and make it accessible to small- and medium-sized businesses worldwide. We do that by leveraging economies of scale created by our production network and our unique distribution channel: our Internet Consultants.

Do you provide a guarantee on your services?

Your satisfaction is important to us and you can always expect personal and professional service from your Internet Consultant. From the technical support perspective:

  • Our server networks are housed in secure facilities and monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by highly trained and certified support staff.
  • We’ve established software and hardware partnerships with Microsoft and IBM to achieve the highest levels of reliability.
  • Strict security and privacy policies ensure your data is kept safe
  • Our Service Level Agreements specify 99.7% system uptime - documentation that will be supplied with your Internet Solution.

Our hosting systems are housed in secure facilities and monitored 24 hours a day 7 days a week by highly trained certified support staff.

How does WSI differ from other Web Design suppliers?

Before you choose a website package for your business stop and take a moment to see what you’re really getting.

Off the shelf website packages and 'do-it-yourself' site builders are usually shortcuts that just end up costing you money and leave you with little to no real support after installation. Our Internet Consultants provide you with the ongoing support and measurement tools needed to ensure your website is working for your business.

We typically come across business owners who go through a progressive development regarding how they promote their business on the web. Often, they'll start with a zero cost option, particularly if they know someone who 'has a friend with a teenage son, who's a web designer and can do it for beer money', so they do. After a while, they realise that their wonderfully cheap website doesn't achieve much. There's not enough content, there is no search optimisation and no-one seems to be finding it through search engines, whatever.

At this point, business owners go one of two ways: they either think that the internet is rubbish and they should never have bothered with it in the first place; or they realise that by spending a little bit of money they might get somewhere. In the end, it's like any other part of running a business, you need to invest in marketing in order to get a return from it.

We do not provide template solutions. There are plenty of other cheap suppliers who will give you a slightly more polished version of your site for only slightly more money. When you find that THAT doesn't work for you either, and you realise that you need to make a decent investment in marketing to generate a proper return, then it's time to call us and see what a WSI solution can do for you.

Our years of experience in this industry have shown that an effective, profitable online presence is the result of careful planning, informed development and ongoing support. Yes, there are countless companies that are capable of building you a website, but if you're truly serious about online success for your business then you deserve our total-service approach.

We look to work with ambitious, growing business owners who know that the general health of their business relies on a steady flow of leads coming to them, that they need to invest in marketing to do it, that their website is a business asset and that the internet can help them extend their reach at a lower cost and deliver a return on that asset and their investment in marketing. If you don't want to spend money on marketing, then we cannot help you, but if you do, then we will help you to deliver the return.

How much does it cost?

The old ones are the best... "You might be able to find something cheaper, you won't find better"!

We recognise that being online is important for every business, so over the years we have developed a wide range of packages to suit almost any size budget. We have flexible payment plans so that you can either pay monthly or we offer discounted prices if you can pay up front. The cost of your package would depend on your business needs, but we strive to ensure that whatever solution we come up with for you meets your exact needs, both commercially and financially.

When all is said and done, your website should not end up costing you anything, it should produce a measurable return on your investment. Our Internet Solutions Lifecycle™ does just that (phase 6, in case you were wondering), something you won’t get with do-it-yourself site builders or standard website packages.

Why do some services have recurring costs?

Take an example... imagine what happens when you buy a car. It's shiny, looks impressive, goes like stink and makes everyone look at it. It may even come with the first year's insurance and a tank of petrol (if you're lucky!).

But what happens after that first year? In much the same way as with a car, you need to fill the tank every so often to keep it going, and pay the insurance regularly.

Your website is no different. Once it is set up and going, you need to keep regularly refreshing and updating the content to ensure that it is current and relevant to your customers. If you don't, then the website will quickly become a wasted expense for your business. If you can do that yourself... all well and good, but if you don't have the time or want ongoing professional help, our team is here to help.

So the reason is that some services are one-offs, for building the web infrastructure that is your website or social media properties, and some are delivered continuously, every month, to keep your marketing plan running. So they have continuing (recurring) costs.

How will Internet Marketing benefit my business?

More and more consumers are turning to the Internet as their primary method of research for the products and services they buy everyday. Worldwide online shopping numbers continue to climb year after year, and if consumers can’t find you online, it’s a safe bet they will find your competition. Can you afford to lose that business? It’s an important consideration, and an Internet Solution can help you remain competitive in this changing market. Even the Yellow Pages phone directory people now have a website—they know the writing’s not on the wall, it’s online.

There are many other benefits to an Internet Solution besides reaching more customers and increasing sales (as if that isn’t enough!). Your Internet Consultant can offer you a wide range of products and services that make doing business easier and more cost-effective, no matter which industry you’re in. From an online restaurant reservation system to a full-service online employment agency and beyond, these are real solutions for real businesses.

How will my business and customer base grow as a result of my association with a WSI Internet Consultant?

By developing a customised Internet Solution for your business, your Internet Consultant would have identified key areas of opportunity to increase sales and reduce operating costs.

Think of the savings you could achieve by replacing postal mail advertising with a targeted email campaign; replacing your traditional training processes with e-Learning; replacing your printed catalogues with full-colour images online that can be updated any time. These are significant savings you can reinvest in making your business grow.

Introducing new Internet marketing strategies can help you reach more interested customers than you ever thought possible and give you unique ways of always keeping your business fresh in their minds.

Running my business is a full time job. How will I make the time to do all this?

Working with an Internet Consultant will actually cost you less time than if you were to attempt a do-it-yourself website, or tried to figure out how to customise a ready-made package. At the onset, your Internet Consultant will want to spend time with you at your place of business to conduct an Internet Business Analysis, our patent-pending business evaluation tool. After this question and answer period, your Internet Consultant will have enough information to create a unique Internet Solution proposal for you.

As you move forward in the process, you’ll have the opportunity to review customised design concepts and provide the content for your site. This is the fun stuff, and your Internet Consultant will ensure your website’s design is something you’ll be proud to show your customers. Everything else is done by your Internet Consultant and our production facilities until it’s time for you to test the new site. It’s an easy process and your Internet Consultant will always be on hand to offer experienced advice and guidance when you need it.

How does the development process work? Will the process be customised for my business? How will the Internet Solution be adapted to my industry?

Once your Internet Consultant has conducted the Internet Business Analysis and you approve the customised Internet Solution proposal, your specific requirements are assigned to one of our many production facilities for development. Your Internet Consultant works with the production facility to ensure that your Internet Solution meets all of your business’ needs and provides your site’s visitors with an enjoyable experience. Because we’ve been doing this for so long, our production facilities have likely already created a website for others in your industry - experience that you directly benefit from.

What is going to be my return on investment? How much money can my business make from this?

This depends on what type of Internet Solution you decide to invest in. Even a smaller-scale customized Internet Solution will help you realise cost savings and can increase sales. Think about what the added revenue generated by a steady stream of new customers to your website alone could mean to your bottom line.

It is not uncommon for business owners to begin with a basic solution and then upgrade over time, adding additional features and expanding on marketing efforts. WSI Internet Consultants want to develop a long-term business relationship with you, and because their office is in your local community, they’ll be there to support you as your needs change and as your business grows. With our help we can help your business to put in the necessary tools to monitor how well your business is performing to answer exactly these sorts of questions.

How much should I budget for Marketing?

Most of us have heard of a guideline of 5% of Sales Revenue as a minimum 'rule of thumb' marketing budget, but in truth each business is different with different margins and costs. So how can there be one figure that suits everyone? In reality, you need to work out what works for your business.

Look at the average revenue generated by a sale - this must include any extras you are on average likely to sell with that either at the same time or within, say, a 6 month period. This way you take into consideration any reoccurring revenue aspects. Now look at the costs (separate from any marketing) associated to your average sale, labour, materials, over heads etc. Once you have taken the cost away from the revenue generated from a sale you should have a basic net profit.

Ask yourself the question 'how much of the net profit I am willing to spend in order to get that sale?'. Now multiply this by your quarterly sales target. Not your actual number of sales, as you need to grow your business not shrink it.

Here is an illustration...

'I sell bikes ranging from £30 to £200. The average revenue from a sale in last years comparative quarter was £105. The average accessory sale was £22. My total revenue per sale averaged £127. My total costs per sale averaged £72. My basic net margin is £55 per sale.

I am willing to spend up to £25 to get that sale before I consider it to not be worth my while. I want to set a target of 4 sales a day weekdays and 7 on weekends. For a quarter (3 months) this works out to be 408 sales or a target revenue of £51,816.

Based on the maximum I am willing to pay to get a sale I need to invest up to (405 X 25) £10,125 each quarter.'

It may seem a lot in this scenario, but if you don't market in this manner how can you expect to hit your sale targets?

Most ambitious business owners with growing businesses recognise that they need to invest in 'marketing' to ensure a good continuous flow of leads for their business. Just because it's the internet is no different, but what it will allow you to do is to have greater reach for a lower cost than traditional offline marketing. But it's still an investment that you need to calculate and justify.

I have many other questions to ask, what can I do next?

Our consultants understand that working in business is more complicated than can be properly summarised in one place. Your business is unique just as you are and there will be questions specific to you that no one else will need to ask. If you would like to discuss any issue further with one of our team, we are more than happy to sit down with you for an initial consultation to see what we might be able to do to help or nudge you in the right direction. Contact us today if you would like to do so.


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Internet and digital marketing solutions to SMEs across West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire and throughout the UK.
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Polaris Digital Marketing is a trading name of Chrobis Limited, registration number 7029405 (England and Wales).
Registered office address at 83 Chartered House, Pulman Close, Redditch, England, B97 6HR.
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