When Maura White, CEO and founder of GoBabies.com Inc., planned the launch of her e-commerce Web site in 1997, she decided not to do it all on her own. Instead, she called on another company to host, maintain and design the site.
For White, getting help from an Internet expert to design and maintain her site was a top priority--that way, she could concentrate her efforts on manufacturing and marketing her GoBabies-branded changing kits, small changing bags and disposable bibs designed to make traveling with infants easier. But instead of hiring an in-house, full-time Web designer, she decided to turn to outside help for the design and technical expertise she required.
"When you get expertise, it saves you time and it saves you money," says White, 42. "Moreover, design-which is what impacts a viewer first-ends up being a very small cost on a percentage basis to your overall cost."
White chose a hosting and design company in Chicago called I° Works Inc., which was advertising at the time in a small-business magazine. Initially, the ad stood out to her because it depicted the flow chart of a catalog business. That caught her eye, White explains, because "it said to me that it was set up to address this type of business, which I knew was going to be a key component of my business." After communicating with I Works and researching the company more thoroughly, White made things official and signed up.
Melissa Campanelli is a technology writer in Brooklyn, New York, who has covered technology for Mobile Computing & Communications and Sales & Marketing Management magazines. You can reach her at email@example.com.