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Is Your Business Afraid of the Internet?
My Business is Afraid of the Internet
Bill Gates, CEO of Microsoft, once said that there would soon be two types of businesses, those online, and those out of business. Those words still ring true today, and many small businesses are missing a huge boat by not getting online.
A good portion of small businesses have been around for a while, long before banner ads and even email became so wildly popular. These owners built their business from the ground-up, working hard and long to develop their products and services. These owners see great value in hard work, and for that they should be applauded.
As technology increases, hard work changes forms. Today, every business, from a babysitter to a widget manufacturer should have a website. An estimated 60% of homes in the US now have broadband, and nearly 90% have at least one computer. These numbers cannot be ignored by business owners and marketing teams. People are flocking to the Internet to find phone numbers, local merchants, and new friends.
No longer can businesses dismiss the Internet as a fad. The amount of online sales in 2003 surpassed $6 Billion.
Even if a business has no physical merchandise to sell, there are still plenty of reasons to have their information online. Contact numbers, addresses, and maps can save receptionists time on the phone. Forms that need to be submitted can be printed and filled out before customers come in. Newsletters can help promote any business and upcoming sales.
Websites can be very cost-effective to build. For just a small investment you could be online in a matter of days.
No business should be afraid of the Internet. If your business is, or you are, you?d better get hold of someone that can help you, and fast!
by William Hanke
About the Author
Make That 3 Billion
My previous article I wrote called "One Point Two Billion" attracted quite some attention, the downloads through all the article syndication services has been astronomical compared to any other articles I wrote which are still with them. It seems the numbers game is popular not only with the accountancy profession, but with just about anyone running a website who is interested in more sales from anywhere in the world. The internet has proved to be the great leveller, even a grandmother I know has made hundreds of thousands of dollars just from publishing a couple of e-books, business of that magnitude is not now confined to those people with large sums of investment capital, teams of accountants, planners, secretaries, swanky offices etc. Anyone, even you, can make money regularly on the internet, just aim for a goal and 'go for it!' The costs of setting up have never been lower, the ease of making web pages has never been easier, ( I make my web pages in Notepad, which is on every Windows computer), and the potential audience for your web pages has never been larger. So what are you waiting for? The sheer mountain of information available through e-books on any subject and especially on setting up a business on the internet would take you a lifetime to read through, so just be selective and read only what you need to know about and get started in that business. Businesspeople who have 'been there-done that', have written up an enormous amount of e-books to pass on their knowledge and experience, pitfalls to avoid, how to spend your advertising dollars, and just about everything else you need to know about to ensure success. So profit from their experience, avoid the pitfalls, do what they say you should do, and you should be in a profitable business in no time, just the way they did it. No large sums of investment are needed, just time and dedication. If you provide an excellent service that benefits all your clients, they will recommend you to their friends,if on the other hand you want to be a 'scammer' and a 'fly by night' operator determined to 'rip-off' as many people as possible, you will come to grief. You will find your web hosting account rapidly terminated, your e-mail account likewise, and your name plastered all over the forums and newsgroups. You get out of life exactly what you put in. There are still mysteries about life we still don't understand and this is the reason we come to grief, but on the other hand, if you work for the benefit of others, this 'mystery of life', for want of a better name,cuts in and helps us along, we go with the flow and good things start to happen. I could tell you of many experiences I have had, both good and bad, which I have learnt a great deal from, but space precludes that, maybe one day. All right, you win, I will tell you of one particular incident more recently and then move on with this article. I carried a St.Christopher medallion on a gold chain in my wallet for six years, given to me by the wife of a good friend overseas, 'it will keep you safe' she said. I received a new wallet for a Christmas present and changed everything in the old wallet into the new one, except the St. Christopher medallion, it was looking a bit 'worse for wear' and I decided to put it in the cupboard. That day I lost my mobile phone! For two whole days I felt a loss which can only be described as a 'bereavement'. I had lost touch with the network I was attached to night and day, seven days a week, I felt bereft. I did not know if someone was trying to ring me, whether something was urgent I had to know about, my sense of loss was total. Was this to do with the St. Christopher medallion? I thought surely not. That was on the Tuesday, by Thursday morning I had decided to put that 'good luck' St. Christopher medallion into my new wallet. My mobile phone turned up via a 'good samaritan' who would take no money as a reward whatsoever.I was never more pleased to see my mobile phone. So what happened here?Was it something to do with the St. Christopher medallion? Was it because I had 'bad thoughts' that it was the 'worse for wear'so discard it as inconsequential? I don't know the answer. There have been too many such incidents in my life it would take volumes to relate the details. We don't know these 'mysteries of life' but one thing is important -keep a positive outlook to everything and everyone and good things will happen for you. It's difficult to visualize how many people that are out there who can log on to your website. It's also difficult to understand what kinds of people they are, what background and education they have had. Why they are logging on to your new site. What do they expect to see, or learn, or buy? How will they benefit from visiting your site?. Will they buy a good product, or learn something, or get some amusement or entertainment from it?.
Ecommerce - Boost Your Business ROI
Did you know that over 90% of all online orders are processed by credit cards and that web sites that offer customers the ability to pay with credit cards can achieve up to 300% more sales than those that do not?
The Internet Challenge
In spite of the increasing attention on how the Internet is changing the business landscape, many small business owners are still struggling to understand its influence. But unlike the ceaseless blinking of the home VCR, the impact of the Internet cannot be ignored.
Is ECommerce Right for Our Business?
If your business features products or services for sale, undoubtedly the topic of eCommerce has come up. What is eCommerce? Literally defined as "the conduct of financial transactions by electronic means," it refers to purchases made over the Internet. There are popular slang terms such as ebusiness, click and mortar, dotcom, cyber-mall and multiple spellings (eCommerce, e-commerce, E-Commerce), but they are all basically the same thing. Don't let the different phrases confuse you, it all comes back to the same principle: selling online.
Web advertising e-Marketing Places!
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A common frustration among merchants who sell online via a shopping cart is the percentage of people who abandon their cart and leave the site never to return. This is known as the shopping cart abandonment rate. It is not unheard of for companies to experience as high as a 99% abandonment rate. Getting the abandonment rate under control can go a long way towards increasing the income your company earns from their online venture.
Do You Need A Merchant Account?
Deciding when to get your own merchant account for internet sales can be a confusing and expensive venture. If you have a small to medium sized business and only sell a small amount of products then having your own merchant account may not be the answer for you. Some of the costs involved include.
Two Pillars of a Successful Web Site
For a web site to get close to fulfilling its potential, you need absolute clarity on two points.
Shopping Cart Features to Consider
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When I first got my web site built, I thought I finally had a presence on-line. Wrong! I soon found out that I needed someone to host my site, and I needed a domain name.
Are You Making These E-Commerce Excuses? (part 1)
A year ago, I had big plans to re-vamp my web site. I was going to publish my e-newsletter twice a month ? every month, and I was going to upgrade my own e-commerce capabilities. Those were my Internet marketing "resolutions" for 2004.
Drop-Shipping ? A Great Way of Making Money Online
Using the Internet to sell products and services to ever increasing number of net users is a good way to start your own business. If you are not taking advantage of this great opportunity you are just missing the boat! Consider this: e-commerce, contrary to popular believe, is thriving and increasing at a double digit growth rate. According to Jupiter Research, Online sales during this holiday season in United States are expected to reach $21.6 billion, a 19 percent increase over the same period last year. Jupiter also predicts in the report that 86 million U.S. residents will make holiday purchases online this year compared to 73 million last year, which is an 18 percent increase.
The Census and the E-Commerce Wave
Understanding business and product sales can sometimes put me in a whirlwind. My job tends to get me involved with loads of different opportunities dealing with all sorts of product lines. It is not my job to understand every single type of product, but it is my goal to assist my clientele with the broadening of their product market.
Online Lead Generation: Can it Work for My Business?
Business-to-business service providers have a wide range of tactics they can deploy to gain new clients or customers. Direct mail; cold calling; TV, radio or print advertising are all ways in which B2B services gain new customers. In the last 10 years, the Internet has become another strategy to boost business, through advertising, web site optimization and online lead generation.
Distinguishing Features of E-Commerce
E-commerce offers customers the chance to eliminate many stages in the sales/distribution chain. The mark-ups that occur between manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, retailers and consumers can add the cost of goods purchased by consumers. In contrast, when consumers deal directly with manufacturers on the internet, the process whereby intermediaries between the manufacturer and the final consumer are eliminated from the supply chain is known as "disintermediation".
Coupons & Rebates
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The Internet began as a male dominated medium, but those days are long gone and merchants are advised to make sure their websites are female friendly to faciliate the rising surge of busy i-Moms shopping online for their family and friends.
Conducting Business through B2B E-marketplaces
Businesses, which are still sitting on sidelines and not doing business on the Internet, should think seriously about their position! If you are one of them, chances are there, that you have to pay dearly for your indecision as you might lose significant market share to your more proactive competitors in a very short period of time.
Intranet Project Names - Some Ideas
"What's in a name? That which we call a rose By any other word would smell as sweet."
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