A guide to planning and opening a successful e-business explains how to size up the competition, develop and implement a testing plan, retain and expand the customer base, and the importance of stellar customer service.
Research your competition. Develop your idea and business plan. Find customers and expand your base. Build your home page. Setting up shop on the Internet is easier than you think. Are you ready to grab your piece of the trillion-dollar online marketplace? One week from now, you could be counting the click-throughs and collecting the orders on your own online storefront!In your hands is a complete, start-to-finish, seven-day plan for taking your existing business online or opening up a successful new virtual store on the World Wide Web. Top Internet consultant Sherry Szydlik and high-tech writer Lamont Wood draw on more than a decade of online experience to spell out what works and what doesn't on the Web to help you succeed where others have crashed and burned.Taking you day by day through the steps of building a Web-based business, Szydlik and Wood help you plan your online store-analyzing the market for your services or products, sizing up the competition, and drafting a practical business plan. You'll see how to:* Outsource the technical functions-how to cheaply get your ECP (Electronic Commerce Provider) to handle everything from online credit card processing to electronic shopping carts* Anticipate and handle the special demands of 24/7 service* Understand taxes and the laws applying to online, interstate, and international sales* Avoid common scams, credit card fraud, and deadly foul-ups* Bring in customers-using online and offline advertising, banners, postings on search engines, e-mail promotions, affiliate programs, and other resources for building your customer base* Retain customers-how to use "click trails" and other information to give better service and build long-term relationships with your customersPacked with clear information, expert pointers, and real-life examples from e-trepreneurs who've been there and done it successfully, E-trepreneur's "radically simple" seven-step plan gets your business on the Web and in the black . . . quickly, easily, and, best of all, sensibly.