"Business should not serve technology. Technology should serve business. "So says web specialist John Laker, managing director of West Berks website development and manapxgement group i3web.

“The effects on a smaller business of a properly constructed website, where the web strategy is harnessed to the business strategy, can be truly amazing. Dramatic bottom-line growth is there for the taking if, and let me stress if, the website is correctly planned, strategized and inventively managed.

“We can do that. Then the real thrill is in seeing our clients' businesses grow and succeed with our help.” Laker, who came

The effects on a smaller business of a properly constructed website, where the web strategy is harnessed to the business strategy, can be truly amazing.

into web technology following a successful business career, was talking in the context of i3web’s launch of packages for small- to medium-sized enterprises, or SMEs.

“Many of my clients originally had a website simply because they believed they should have one. No one had spent the time or effort with them to analyse their actual business needs or aims – whether those be lead-generation, increased sales, customer care, efficient promotion or anything else.

“Our approach is to look at the client’s business model, its ambitions, strategies and current position and ask how correctly-applied technologies can move all that forward.

“I have seen the vast amounts of money big business throws at web development. But effective, business-led web development is not about merely throwing hi-tech tricks or excessive functionality at a website.

“There is little point in looking at the technology and asking, ‘what can I do with it?’ A website must work to fulfil the needs of the business it serves, not the other way round. “Fortunately I know from experience exactly what can be achieved without having to commit budgets that smaller enterprises cannot afford

Our approach is to look at the client’s business model, its ambitions, strategies and current position and ask how correctly-applied technologies can move all that forward.

From the mid-90s I was working in an SME importing and distributing to high street retailers. There were only four of us so we didn’t have the luxury of an IT department. Multi-tasking was a must, as in many small businesses. On top of my role running sales

and marketing I was fitting in database design, application and website building with a vital need to make us more productive. My whole approach had to be about getting the

This is a free service. If we cannot prove our point by specific example, we cannot expect to be paid for our professional solutions.

technology to work for us – which we achieved with success.” Now Laker and i3web have introduced a service dedicated to delivering similar success for clients.

“Smaller companies today cannot afford not to have an effective web presence. Which means it all comes down to value – and you can achieve far more with knowledge, experience and creativity than you can by splashing out huge wads of cash to techies who don't necessarily have a feel for business.”

That is why i3web takes a slightly different approach to that of many website designers.

“We are always delighted to visit small businesses – whether they have a website or not – and provide an honest review of exactly what can and, in some cases, cannot be improved via the internet.

“This is a free service. If we cannot prove our point by specific example, we cannot expect to be paid for our professional solutions.” Following on from that, i3web is structured to charge realistic fees for its work.

"We have to be affordable for our customers, and the systems we have developed allow us to be so. If we can’t deliver the goods for a price each client can comfortably pay, then

We aim to support growth and development over the medium to long term, always ready to accommodate a business's changing needs.

we shouldn’t – and wouldn’t – be in business and we wouldn’t be achieving the results we do.”

Communication is key, both online and offline.

“My mobile and I are permanent companions. Anyone can call for a chat about their business – we all love to do that!

“And at i3web we are not just in this for the short-term. We are here to develop and implement web strategies with clients in line with their business strategies.

“We aim to support growth and development over the medium to long term, always ready to accommodate a business's changing needs.

“That’s how i3web grows too, so we’re all in it together, really. Our clients grow – so we grow.”

Website: www.i3web.co.uk
Email:      johnlaker@i3web.co.uk
Mobile:    07527 327091