The first thought that comes to mind is “why would I do this when I need to minimize my expenses”. That makes sense until you look at the bigger picture. Whereas a website or a business automation system is definitely an investment, the opportunity cost (especially with this economy) really needs to be considered. The point of this, is not to say that everyone should go out and get a website done. In fact, there are many cases where that’s the opposite of what should be done.
Let’s take a common case as an example: a medical practice. In order to operate, the practice needs a centralized database of all patients and their entire medical history with all procedures that were done. The system needs to contain their insurance information, emergency contacts, and so on. Even if that exists, what are the chances of that office having an online registration form for all new patients? That’s compared to the regular “please come in 20 minutes early to fill out some forms” (which, by the way, someone has to then enter manually into a database, if it exists). And this is just one example of inefficiencies that can easily be addressed (how much does a full time data entry person cost?).
To sum it up, with the right understanding of your business needs and of what is possible to achieve from a technological standpoint, as salesy as it may sound coming from the vice president of development here at Intechnic, it makes sense to take some of that business development budget and invest into a good website and a good business automation system.