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  Net Worth

Posted 3/26/2004
By Colby Horton

Shop Site of the Month

Addison Auto Center - Denver, Colo.
www.addisonauto.com

shop site

This site has the difficult task of displaying information for both its mechanical and collision sides of the shop. But it does it well, adding an appointment scheduler and a comprehensive list of services for both sides of the business. A "Repair Status" mechanism is an added incentive for both collision and mechanical customers. Professional graphics, automotive articles and related links make this site enjoyable to visit.


Web Wise

You've Had Your Web Site How Long? It's Time for a Redesign!

It's hard to believe the Internet as we know it today - minus a few bells and whistles - is nine years old. For many forward-thinking shop owners, designing a Web site for their automotive service facility so long ago put them ahead of their competition. But even if you designed your site four or five years ago, it's time to re-evaluate your current Web strategy. In the next few months, Net Worth will focus on helping you redesign your shop's Web site. It's not an easy task. It takes time, money and effort. But the final product should be something your customers turn to for information and convenience.

The Internet provides the needed versatility for change. Web sites become boring if they remain the same for an extended period of time. A boring Web site causes a steady drop in traffic. And isn't the main purpose of a Web site to drive more customers to your shop?

Step 1 - Admit your shop's site needs a redesign. You may have a strong connection to your site because you put so much time and effort into creating it initially. Perhaps you built it yourself, and every time you type in www.myshop.com into your browser's address bar, you feel a definite sense of accomplishment. Just remember change is good and the end result will be even more satisfying.

Step 2 - Determine your site's overall purpose. When designing a site, you must have a clear purpose in mind. Look at the site from your shop's perspective. Perhaps you have a catchy business philosophy that can be integrated into the site. Like major corporations, your shop has a corporate brand. Everything about your site - the quality of the design, the clarity of your wording, the color scheme - contributes to your overall image. By designing a Web site, a repair facility is portraying that it is on the cutting-edge of technology. Don't let poor design and unclear purpose deteriorate that portrayal.

In completing Step 2, make a list of five to 10 messages you want your shop's site to convey. Number those messages in order from most important to least important. You have now determined your site's overall purpose. Look at the top five on your list and go from there.

Next month, we'll discuss the pros and cons of redesigning your Web site yourself, or paying someone to do it for you.

Net Numbers

More than 51 million people filed their taxes online in 2003.

Source: Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

ASA Web Ways

ASA Offers Members Free E-mail

Incorporating the latest in Internet technology, ASA offers powerful and flexible browser-based e-mail access, allowing ASA members to access e-mail from anywhere at anytime. Members can sign up for this service free of charge in the Members Only area of the ASA Web site (www.asashop.org). Through ASA's Web Mail program, members can also set up address books, check other e-mail accounts through one central location and create multiple folders to help organize their e-mail correspondence.

Hot Sites

E-Filing Your Taxes
Complete Tax: www.completetax.com
Express Tax Refund: www.expresstaxrefund.com
Internal Revenue Service: www.irs.gov
Return Maximizer: www.returnmaximizer.com
Tax Act: www.taxactonline.com
Tax Brain: www.taxbrain.com

Colby Horton Net Worth is written by Colby Horton, ASA's electronic communications manager. He can be reached at (800) 272-7467, ext. 234, or by e-mail at colbyh@asashop.org.


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