PC Imaging
"You never get a second chance to make a first impression." It's an old saying, but it still rings true, especially for small businesses with limited advertising resources. Fortunately, a relatively new technology called PC imaging can help your business to create a first—and lasting—impression of quality and professionalism. And you don't need a big business budget to do it.

What is PC imaging? Broadly defined, it's the production and use of digital images, such as digital photographs, digitized video or pictures scanned into a computer. Here's the basic equipment it requires: a PC with a high-speed processor such as the PentiumŪ processor, a video card, CD-ROM, digital camera, scanner and imaging software such as Microsoft* Publisher 97.

What Can PC Imaging Do for Me?
How can you apply PC imaging to enhance your business? Here are four suggestions:

Make a Big Impression
For a modest investment of time and technology, PC imaging can help your small business make a big impression on customers and prospects. And it can boost productivity by helping you manage your documents more efficiently.

Chances are you already have some of the technology you'll need to get started. The sooner you purchase the extra equipment you'll need to get started, the sooner you'll feel the impact of PC imaging on your company's bottom line.

Create High-Impact Advertising
Let's say you own a bagel shop and want to create a sign to hang in your store window, advertising your "Eggwich Sandwich" special.

Without the aid of PC imaging, your sign might look like this

Using a digital photograph scanned into your PC, you can quickly create a sign that looks likes this

Scanned image of sign created using Microsoft* Publisher 97 on a PentiumŪ processor-based personal computer.

Adding a photo to the sign helps customers grasp your product concept. And it whets their appetites, making it more likely they'll walk in the door and place an order.

Promote and Sell on the Internet
By one estimate, annual revenues from Internet-based sales will grow from $2.6 billion in 1996 to more than $140 billion by the year 2000. Given such enormous potential, no company can afford to overlook the Internet as a venue for selling products and services. Fortunately, current technology makes selling over the Internet relatively easy and affordable.

Let's say you manufacture portable computer carrying cases. Your research shows that many of your potential customers shop on the Web. Using Web site creation software, such as Presto!* PhotoAlbum*, running on a high-speed Pentium processor-based computer, you can easily create and update your own company Web site—and do so at a fraction of the cost of hiring a designer. The result? You reach more customers, more often and less expensively than you could through any other advertising medium.

Sample page from a Web site created in less than four hours using Presto!* Photo Album* on a PentiumŪ processor-based personal computer.

Tame Your Paper Paperwork Pile
Suppose you're an orthodontist. What can PC imaging do for you? It can help you organize and manage your patients' files, making your office run more efficiently and effectively.

With PC imaging, you can scan all patient records into your PC and store them in each patient's electronic file. Using a digital camera, you can take pictures of each patient and instantly store the photos in the same electronic file. No more time-wasting trips to the photo developer. No more money spent on expensive instant-developing film. No more paper files to lose or misplace. And much more productivity.