For a small company, attracting new business and finding an effective forum to showcase its abilities are key challenges.
In creating websites, developers and designers working for agencies pride themselves on the design and superior functionality of the work that they produce.
But no matter how skilled the designers, many small agencies, and especially those operating at the micro scale, with ten employees or less, need a cost-effective way of getting their talents noticed to attract partners and new business.
In order to get their get their talents noticed, web design agencies must be able to drive traffic by ensuring that there are as many links to the websites that they create as possible.
One of the best ways of doing this is with search engine optimisation (SEO), using search engines to ensure that the site is visible to as wide a community as possible.
SEO can be performed in-house by the agency designing websites, or it can be outsourced to specialist consultants as it can be quite complex and time-consuming. Another tactic for showcasing talents is to use paid advertising.
However, achieving results through such tactics can be a great strain on micro web design and development agencies that must strive to be competitive with few resources.
This is where membership of a programme such as Microsoft WebsiteSpark (opens in new tab) is designed to help micro agencies to be as competitive as possible.
Under this programme, micro design agencies get free access to a range of tools needed for web development and design, which means that they are no longer shackled by licensing costs for the software that they need.
But that is only a start. The other benefits of the programme include the visibility, support and access to a network of professionals and potential customers are of prime importance, offering participants a wide range of opportunities for exposure in the marketplace.
The programme offers access to a catalogue of partners, support professionals and potential customers.
In fact, it is a condition of membership that each micro agency signing up is required to use the tools that are offered to create a website to showcase their talents, which is loaded up onto the programme’s site. Currently, there are around 2,000 companies to be found on the site.
The increased visibility and exposure that this scheme offers are possible because of the marketing and networking possibilities that are offered will also increase over time. Launched in September 2009, WebsiteSpark Marketplace is one of the newest services offered under the programme.
There has already been great enthusiasm seen for the programme overall, and opportunities for greater visibility will increase as membership of the programme continues to rise.
In a similar fashion, the first telephone was of little use as there was no one to call. It only became a useful instrument when ownership of phones proliferated.
This is similar to the way in which the value of the WebsiteSpark Marketplace (opens in new tab) will continue to expand as more and more companies join the programme.