Warning: The Truth About Having a Web Site!
If you don't have a web site yet, are thinking of slapping one up or have one that simply isn't producing, this Warning is for you!
All too often folks contact me about getting a Web Site when they really have not done their due diligence in determining even if their "idea" is one worth investing in. And although they hate spam and don't believe most of it, they do tend to fall into believing much of the fast, easy and cheap noise online in existence only to line the pockets of shysters and unscrupulous developers.
Here are some questions you need to ask and investigate getting the answers to so you can realistically determine if your idea is one worth pursuing and investing in. If any "solution" tells you these questions are not of concern, raise that red flag and run as fast as you can in the opposite direction! Certainly don't give them a dime of your hard earned money!
=> What will your online expenses be for your Web server, ISP connection, E-Commerce application, Web Site development and maintenance?
=> Why will people buy this product/service from you over any of the number of Web Sites currently online?
Have you searched at Google with your top 3-5, 2-3 word keyword phrases to get an idea of the level of competition you may be up against?
=> How do you intend to get your new site found?
=> What is your marketing plan to compete with the Sites already online that are promoting the same product/service?
=> Can you offer your product or service at a competitive price and what is that?
=> Will your suppliers support your requests and potential growth/demand for the product?
=> Is the quality of your product/service in line with the price you are asking?
=> How much will it cost to have enough inventories to support orders while additional product is in transit?
=> What options will I have for shipping, where will I ship and what will I charge respectively for shipping and handling?
=> What are the issues to consider and the best rates/providers for a Merchant Account so that I can accept credit cards securely on my site?
=> What are my policies and return procedures in regard to online ordering?
=> What are the tax and legal requirements and implications I need to consider when doing business online?
Unfortunately, all too many think that by just getting your own dot com and throwing up a Web Site - selling... er? well? anything, and then just sitting back and waiting for the orders or e-mail to roll in, they will soon be on the path to IPO-dom or financial freedom.
What happens when site owners do not do their due diligence or realize after the fact that this is a business with the very same responsibilities just as in the off-line world? What if they do not get all the above questions answered and a firm understanding of what will be involved before they jump online? They end up not becoming successful while wasting a lot of their hard earned money.
Having a Web site for commercial gain is not simply a bunch of pictures and code that make a pretty presentation. It is serious business and needs to be run as such if you plan to succeed. You need to know the basics of running a business from accounting, to operational policies, to tax and legal issues. You need to be prepared to plan how your marketing program will adjust to this evolving technology both on and off-line based on data and trends; how you will adjust as well.
Do you want to have your very own successful online enterprise that you worked hard at, built to be successful and are proud of based on sound business practices and proven principles? Or do you prefer to throw money at the hype that negates the need for any serious efforts? The choice is yours to make - not the developer or promotion touting Fast!, Cheap!, Easy!. Remember to use your common sense - if it sounds too good to be true when it comes to becoming successful online, it is!
About the Author:
Judith Kallos is an authoritative and good-humored Technology Muse
who has played @ http://www.TheIStudio.com for over a decade. Check out her popular Technology Cheat Sheets @: http://www.LearnAndThrive.com
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