If you've got a small or home based business and aren't on the web, then you are missing out on an extremely cost effective method to reach a global market place, showcase your products and services 24 hours a day, increase your customer base and increase your profits!
just some of the
advantages a web site can
offer your small business.
For those of you new to the web, you should
know that are basically 3 methods of
putting your business on the Internet.
1. Purchase a web site within a mall or service provider site. This means that you
purchase space on someone else's domain. An example is Worldprofit Malls, where
you place a web site under their domain name and get a web site address that
reflects this. This method allows you to have a professionally created web site within a
high traffic mall.
-Your business can test the Internet waters at a lower price. Cost under $250/year
-Your site gets the benefit from traffic the mall or provider generates since small
business often doesn't have the advertising budget to generate the necessary traffic
to the site
-pay per each item or service; extra pages, maintenance fees, often labour charges,
- you may experience delays in uploads of new files, since you rely on a technician to
make updates to your site.
-URL or web site address is often long, difficult to remember, non-sensical and does
not reflect a professional image or company name. Example
2. The second option is to purchase your own domain. This means that you purchase
a web site that reflects your company's name and you store your web site by
purchasing space on the server (computer) of an Internet Service Provider.
-You own the domain therefore you have greater control over your site.
-You can maintain the site yourself allowing you to upload or delete files at will, and
avoid labor charges for work to the site. The alternative to this if you can't maintain
your domain is to hire someone to do it for you.
-Your own domain name reflects a professional image and can make a small upstart
company look bigger than it is. Example http://www.KMV.com or
-You have access to more detailed information about your site so you can track
useful features. With specialized software you can track the number of visitors to your
site, from which country they arrived, traffic patterns, the effectiveness of certain
pages or banner ads, most popular site pages etc. This is extremely useful
information and can help you create a more effective site and have access to tools
that traditional retail merchants have only been able to achieve with expensive market
and consumer surveys. With your own domain, and the right software you can
generate these customized user reports daily, weekly or monthly.
-higher cost to have your own domain then to place your web site within a mall service
provider due to space requirements, maintenance, etc. Cost approximately:
Obtain a free site at http://hypermart.net
They offer a 10 MG site(a large amount of space:300/400 pages without graphics)with the condition that you post their banner ad at the top of each page.This is quite an offer for a beginner and can be great for keeping the overhead down during the first year. Whenever you wish, you may upgrade to a site for $10 a month or $99 a year and do not need to post the ad banners.
Prices all over the web are dropping all the time, so shop around for free deals everywhere. Hypermart sends you to www.charge.com to sign up for a merchant charge card service and all looks great until they mention a $39.95/month fee for leasing a charge machine. This is outrageous as a machine can be purchased outright for around $250-$350 and you'd own it for many years.Consider calling 1-800-321-12940 EFS, Inc which is the system used by Reynold Jay. They are a major banking operation. Their rates are as low as charge.com and you can choose from several machines to purchase or lease outright. They charge a $15 monthly maintenance fee which is the biggest drawback, however it's the best price Reynold has found, everything considered.
Keep in mind that
Hypermart doesn't really care how you do your merchant banking, so you
can set up your site with them and shop separately for that important merchant
-$35 fee each year payable to InterNic to maintain ownership of your domain name
-you are still required to promote your web site on the Internet and in traditional print
to generate traffic and interest in your site
-if you aren't technically skilled to maintain the site yourself you will have to pay
someone to maintain your site for you.
We should mention that there is one other way
to put your business on the web, but it
is expensive and likely not the most prudent for small business owners. This would be
to purchase your own server to store your web site but the price tag for this can easily
push into thousands of dollars.
Which method you choose depends primarily on the following factors:
1) Your budget to make the initial purchase and
pay for ongoing maintenance or
2) Your technical abilities to maintain the site yourself.
3) Your ability to promote the site both on and off the Internet and therefore bring in
If your budget is small and your technical skills
non-existent, opt for choice # 1 and
purchase a web site within a mall or service provider's domain. However, if you've got
more money to work with consider purchasing your own domain and either
maintaining the site yourself or contracting to have someone do the work for you. A
quick note about maintaining your own domain, it's really not as difficult as you may
think. There are some excellent software packages available that make web page
creation as easy as typing a letter. Microsoft FrontPage is one example of a
complete web developers package that someone with very little computer expertise
can easily master. www.microsoft.com/frontpage. Netscape can be used too, however
you'll need cuteFTP to download to your site.$39.95. Get free trial by going to
CUTEFTP.com or call 1-800-290-2905054 sales office.
Here are some basics for an effective web site
2) User Ease
3) Offer Online order options
4) "Content" rules
5) Promote your site to maximize your traffic flow
6) Provide several ways for customers to contact you; e-mail, toll free number, phone,
fax, mailing address
7) Keep it Simple. Don't overdo your site with excessive graphics, animation, sound
files, video, Java, Active X, etc. Your site should be appealing but not overdone with
the latest technical wizardry that some viewers simply will not be able to access due to
slow connections, or incompatible browsers. If you must have all the bells and
whistles, be sure to offer alternative viewing options for folks who may be frustrated
rather than appreciative of the fancy stuff on your site.
If you operate a small business it's a wise move
to set up shop on the Internet. Don't
think or let someone tell you have to spend a lot of money to do so either. Shop
around for a competent, established provider who can provide professional service
that meets your budget.
copyrighted 1999 Reynold Jay
I hope this information
helps you in your business endeaver.You may copy and print this article.
For more information read Reynold Jay's book
How To Think Small Business For Big Profits and Born
To Be Rich for business motivation. (CLICK for more information.)
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