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Taking Your Business to the Internet

Taking Your Business to the Internet

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Taking Your Business to the Internet

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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 • More people can find you • What you do • Who you are

  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 reducethe number of routine phone calls that could free up staff for sales?

  15. Determine your website goalsWhat 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