When Entrepreneur held its "Biz 101" Tech Makeover contest in January 2004, we searched for a subscriber in the Atlanta area whose retail business Web site needed an overhaul. Our winner, Deborah Nail, 40, fit the bill. The owner of Pursesnickety! has seen the popularity of her colorful, feathered reversible purses and baby bags skyrocket. She needs her Web site to keep up with the business growth and to project an appropriately fun, yet sophisticated image.
We're all set to follow Nail for the next year as Web site builder and host Interland, IBM and Sprint go to work on rebuilding www.pursesnickety.com. The original site was launched nearly a year ago, but the business's needs have already outpaced it.
Nail has a lot of ideas-technological and aesthetic-about what she'd like to accomplish through the makeover: "I'm hoping I can have customers come from a retail side and either see stores in their area that are carrying the purses or order directly off the Web site."
Nail also hopes a redesign will help streamline some of the business processes that consume much of her time. "I want my wholesalers to be able to go through the Web site and order directly without having to make a phone call," she says. Moving functions like that to the Internet will free up Nail and her employees to focus more on business growth and production.
It can be hard to translate such tactile items as fabrics and feathers to the purely visual world of the Internet. That will be one major challenge for all involved. Says Nail, "I want to jazz it up. Pursesnickety! has a certain look. Everything is very fun. I want a more peppy, more exciting, more whimsical Web site. In the back of my mind, I know what kind of look I want."
It will be up to Interland, IBM, Sprint and Nail to make that look a reality. Follow along with us in the coming months as we chart their progress. The ideas and solutions these companies create may give you ideas for diving into your own Web site makeover.