So, you may be contemplating starting your own business ?
Maybe you have a product or service idea , a hobby or craft which you may want to leverage as an extra source of income by selling on the web.
Establishing your own web business can be easy on your budget compared to starting a brick-and-mortar store, however, the dedication and commitment with your time and energy will be taxing.
It can be intimidating, time consuming, frustrating and risky for a new enterpriser who has aspirations and dreams running their own internet business.
The spawning of the idea for a product or web based service can quickly get extinguished when it’s time to build the business infrastructure!
The most important aspects of starting an internet business are a positive attitude and determination.
The most important tools is your plan and having a basic level of understanding of ecommerce (i.e. the process of selling on the internet).
The process of developing your internet business infrastructure will be filled with gotchas, do-overs, mistakes and “wish-I-had-known’s”.
Ten Process Commandment:
1) Get educated and exposed how an internet business works
- What is required?
- What is web host provider?
- What is a merchant account and gateway provider?
- What is a shopping cart?
- What is search engine optimization?
- What will be my total costs?
2) Develop a plan with a realistic time table with these items to consider :
- Set aside time for research... are there similar products out there?
- Evaluate the competitive landscape
- Nail down your business identity... biz name, location, domain, logo etc
- Set up you business “office”... telephone, mailbox, EIN number, insurance, business cards etc.
- Decide which business entity is best suited for you: sole proprietorship, LLC, Partnership or corporation
- Launch your Web Site design, development and integration
- Marketing campaigns... yep, you have to attract clients!
3)Understand the necessity to nurture and sustain your business
- Is it essential to have an sustaining program that understands the heartbeat of your prospective clients
- Your potential marketing “sweet spot” will fluctuate and change over time.
4)Check your service providers
- Check the provider’s business standing.
- Check what the Better Business Bureau states about the profile of the company.
- Also, check to see if the company discloses a business telephone number and a business address on their website.
- You may be surprised how many providers do not publish a company telephone number nor a business address ! Why?
5) Get a sense just how popular the provider is.
- Visit Alexa.Com and Quantcast.Com. You can get a darn good perspective who drives the most traffic.
- Yes, there is some concerns and debate just how accurate Alexa and Quantcast are but they are a good resource for relative measurements.
- The premise : The more traffic the more popular the site!
6) Compare the costs. Yep, you bet!
- However, you need to do a deep dive on this one. Don’t take at face value the website catch-ads!
- Make sure you understand the setup fees, annual fees, monthly fees, contract and cancellation fees. These providers can be very creative with fees and bury them in the fine print , especially in the Merchant account realm!
- Be especially wary of “lowest rates” and “will beat all other rates” declarations!
- Be extra careful when dealing with top tier providers such as Yahoo and GoDaddy. These are very dependable and reputable host account providers but they partner with a select merchant account partners. The total cost for a merchant account with Yahoo/First Data and GoDaddy/Innovative Merchant Solutions can be quite expensive compared to third party companies. You are paying for a higher level of service and integration that you may not need!
7) Compare value. Compare what you get for the price.
- For instance, when researching a host provider you should evaluate how much you are paying based upon your disk space allocation and bandwidth allocation. You may be surprised at the relative costs. This can be a real eye-opener!
- Do a simple calculation and find the cost per Megabyte for disk space and the cost per Gigabyte for bandwidth. Use this number to compare. You will instantly see who offers the best value and which provider has a reputable entry level quote.
8) Check to see what features the provider offers for “free”!
- You want to ensure your business has scalability, the ability to grow with your selected provider. Isn’t it better to have a provider with a full menu of free services and applications that you can plug into your site at a moment’s notice?
9) Call them!
- Have a conversation with the representative of the service provider company. Use your intuition. If you feel uncomfortable or uneasy, simply try another solution provider.
- If you encounterhigh pressure sales or aggressive tactics then flee.
- The Host provider and Merchant solutions market is a saturated and competitive market. Shop around, especially with merchant accounts. Typically, Merchant account providers will negotiate for your business.
- Be careful of long term contracts and cancellation fees.
One more thing, you don’t have to do this all by yourself! There is a wealth of information and web based service providers who can help you... if you know where to look and what to ask for! Plus... it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.
Be a savvy consumer. The internet can be an intimidating and hostile environment with money pits everywhere. Do your homework!
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WebJeb is your answer for new internet business entrepreneurs searching for knowledge and education starting your business.
My name is Ronnie Mack, owner of WebJeb.com,LLC. WebJeb.com provides ebusiness research, training, development, execution and sustaining services at one-stop web location.
We provide 5 product areas for the internet entrepreneur
- convenient ecommerce training tutorials
- we guide you thru the maze of hosting and merchant account providers
- we assemble a business execution plan for you
- we have programs to sustain and grow your business
- we provide expert services like custom web site design, SEO,Graphic design for your business collateral ( brochures, business cards etc )
The best thing .. our cost ... check us out
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