Melbourne IT enters SME Web site design market

Melbourne IT has announced plans to target the small to medium enterprise Web site design market, traditionally serviced by small operators and university students. They hope to tap into the vast numbers of businesses which don’t have an online presence, but know they need one.

Melbourne IT has partnered with FulfilNET, a Web site design firm with big clients such as Yahoo and Sensis (Yellow Pages). Perhaps surprisingly, these two big names aren’t going to charge big prices. For under $1000, FulfilNET will create the site, set up e-mail and host it for one year.

“We’re going for the analog 40- to 50-year-olds,” said Paul Harvell, marketing manager with FulfilNET. In reaching this technology-shy audience, FulfilNET has perfected a balance between labour-saving and old-fashioned customer service.

Initially, a “content collection booklet” is sent out to the customer, with forms that will capture all of the required information. A consultant then calls them to explain the booklet step-by-step. The materials are then posted back to FulfilNET, which creates the site.

This labour-intensive process is made faster by a streamlined platform created by FulfilNET, called 4SiteCreation.

Of course, many customers must be serviced in order to turn a profit on what is traditionally a rather marginal business. FulfilNET has set up what it describes as a “factory” filled with Web designers and content collectors. According to Harvell, the company has produced 182 sites over the past month.

The entry-level package costs $599 and is a single page. The Professional package costs $799 with five pages. The Custom package costs $899 and includes a completely customised layout.

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