Internet For Local Business

Are You A Web Developer?

I get ask this a lot, and very often it is easier to say yes than to explain what I do. The truth is, I put local businesses in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah on the internet, get them to rank on the 1st page for their industry and put them on Google Maps.

Very often, web developers or web designers have little credibility in the eyes of business owners. It is all very well knowing how to create a website, but how do you use that website as a marketing channel? Perhaps it is because most web designers they meet are in their 20s, and have no business experience.

My Professional Career

1) I’m a 20 year veteran in the Retail industry. Having traveled all over the Sabah, Malaysia, in the largest retail chain in the State. I have managed multi-million dollar business units, managing close to 100 employees, and I answer to the Board of Directors for my business. When I’m not managing a retail unit, I manage the MIS dept, write training and operation manuals for the company, conduct field training, oversee stock-take, and get involve in business units throughout the state.

2) In my last company, I was responsible for the ISO9001:2008 documentation. In most companies, I tend to be the one who handles documentation, creating manuals and IT work. This is in addition to running business units.

3) I have worked with a few of the larger retail groups in my State. In the areas of Operations, Management and IT. The last company I worked with was a subsidiary of a public-listed company. I was involved in the start of operations from day one, when we set up the first store. By the time I left, we were approaching 100 million in sales per year.

4) Although not an IT person, I have managed the MIS departmentt for 2 of the largest companies in the State. Sometimes I wonder how I got involved in IT in the first place. I have always treated it as project management, and by taking crash courses in what I needed to know.

5) From time to time, I get involved in other businesses, either playing a role in consultation or setup of the company.

What I Have Found Out

There is a large difference in the way small and large businesses are managed and operated. Having worked in large corporations for most of my career, I am more familiar and at home in a large business. You would think things happen slower in a large corporation – this is not the case. When we need something done, it is the speed of implementation and the effectiveness of the action that we are interested in. There is no place for shoddy work, unprofessional conduct and outright incompetence.

I understand that in many cases, small business owners have to be resourceful and have to do most of the work themselves. Typically, they are the one who is best suited to the job at hand. This means they have to be Superman or Superwoman. The job will be done right but this is always at the expense of something else. As a business owner, regardless of your size, you need systems to run your business and you need professionals.

How Did I Get Involve In Websites?

This started out from a desire to learn more about how the online business model worked. The more I learnt, the more passionate I became. Simply put, your customers are already online in one form or another. They are connected to the internet where they work, on their cellphones and when they are at home. Your business need to be found wherever your prospects are. It is that simple.

In addition to running niche websites, I help local business establish their online presence. Putting up a website is the least of it, it is also about writing about your products and services, using photos and videos to showcase your business. It is also about being on social networks to put a face on your company. What you do online is almost what you do offline in your business. Advertising, Marketing, Customer Service, Connecting with prospects, do all that and the sale should follow.

What About Branding?

You know those free websites available. Can you imagine what would happen if I were to go to the GM or CEO and tell them, “Hey, I can get us a free website at!” ? I don’t think they will even bother to discuss it with me. If I spoke about free hosting, I think they would wonder why they even hired me in the first place.

Yes, free is attractive. But branding is even more attractive, don’t you think? What’s your brand worth? Even if you are a small business, what’s your brand worth? Get working on it and build value into your brand!

One Last Word

If you want to build a website for your company, make sure you control the domain name, web hosting and the website.

1) The domain name should registered in your name, and you can easily check this.
2) Your website should have its own web hosting. Verify this.
3) You need the web hosting username and password. This is how you can access your website.
4) Make sure you know what you are buying. A website should be treated as your company asset. You must maintain control of it at all times.

If you are a local business in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, and you are looking to expand your presence on the internet, give me a call.

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  1. While the grass grows the horse starves.

  2. You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make it drink.