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Taking Your Business to the Internet. The Internet is one of the fastest growing mediums for businesses today, yet most businesses are not yet taking.

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Presentation on theme: "Taking Your Business to the Internet. The Internet is one of the fastest growing mediums for businesses today, yet most businesses are not yet taking."— Presentation transcript:

1 Taking Your Business to the Internet

2 The Internet is one of the fastest growing mediums for businesses today, yet most businesses are not yet taking advantage of it.

3 Advantages Increased Exposure Who you are What you do More people can find you

4 Advantages Increased revenue potential Larger coverage area Larger customer base Reduced cost (customer service)

5 Advantages Customer Service Provide directions to your brick and mortar store Information about products Customer convenience Parts and service Appointment scheduling

6 Reasons for not having a web presence…

7 Not technically savvy Does not know where to start Knows nothing about computers Knows even less about the Internet Intimidated

8 No staff No one to maintain a web site No one available to handle shipping, etc.

9 Too Costly Technology can be expensive May not be able to justify ROI

10 Determining if your business can benefit from an Internet presence:

11 Take Inventory of your business model

12 Do you have a product that can be easily sold over the internet? Too Big? Too Small? Intangible? Is it shippable?

13 Do you have a supporting product that could be sold over the Internet? Parts? Repair depot? Accessories?

14 Can you benefit from a non- profitable Internet presence? Appointments or reservations? Provide customer information Other services that could reduce the number of routine phone calls that could free up staff for sales?

15 Determine your website goals What do you want it to for you?

16 Expand to new geographical areas Other states? Other cities? International?

17 Improve customer service Quicker response Improve convenience Reduce cost

18 Expansion in the local area Making more people aware of your presence.

19 Is it going to be a profit center? Do you expect your website to return a profit? Can it reduce costs?

20 What is the competition doing? Do they have an Internet presence?

21 You have decided that your business can benefit from a web presence… So what now?

22 Calculate your cost Resources you will need

23 Someone to do the work Staff Contractors Do it yourself

24 Domain Name What are you going to call it? Should be short Easy to remember Easy to type

25 Some place to put the domain (website) Hosting service

26 If you are going to be selling merchandise Credit Card merchant account Secure web services (certificate) Shopping cart Advertising

27 Staff or contracting Staff person $30k – $50k Contracting $25 - $50/hour Consider requesting bids on a job basis Pay per hour only for support services or consider a monthly contract price The hidden cost of doing it yourself

28 Domain Registration $15.00/year on average

29 Hosting services Cost $4.95 - $19.95 What to look for References Bandwidth limitations…do they have additional charges or over use?

30 What other services are available?  How much disk space is provided  Up time guarantees  Support options What will they do What will they not do (or charge extra for)

31 Credit card merchant accounts If you already have a brick and mortar business you probably already have one. Make sure it supports internet sales – some don’t Do they have a web interface that you can link to or is it POS only

32 Check for any exclusions for internet sales or extra charges  Internet sales usually have a larger percentage charge and a higher transaction fee There may be additional gateway charges

33 If you don’t have one – you will have to get one Sign up fees Minimum monthly fees Discount rates  2.17% and up

34 Transaction fees  25% - 30% Gateway processing fees (a gateway may or may not be required)  Around $30.00/monthly

35 Secure website certificate You must have a secure certificate for accepting orders over the internet. Must be 128-bit encryption Various vendors supply them  Verisign  Thawte Renewed on a yearly basis  $70 - $400/year fees

36 If you are selling products where you want to encourage users to purchase more than one item per visit, you will need to have a shopping cart system.

37 There are a number on the market Free (open source) to $300 or more Make sure they provide interfaces to various merchant account vendors Are they customizable? Can you maintain them, or do you need someone else to do that?

38 Some hosting services provide them May not be customizable May be extra charage

39 Promotional considerations – Just because you build it, they will not come

40 Like any business model, you have to build in promotional costs The truth about search engines Most now have a fee based inclusion model  Paid inclusions run $30 - $100+ per year You have to submit your site to search engines. Free search engine listings can take up to 6 months for inclusions. Getting a good listing, requires an effort.

41 Free Advertising Letterheads Business Cards Flyers Newsletters Subject matter lists Word of mouth

42 First things first Define your business model and expectations (including budget) Select a domain name…make sure it is available

43 Review hosting options What do they cost What do they support (languages, etc) What support do they provide Resolve any credit card issues Select software and who is going to maintain it

44 Select a hosting service Install secure services Build the site Promote the site Periodically score card the site

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