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Business in the Internet. To Start or Not to Start

Rapid development of new business technologies including Internet business makes administrators of large and small companies think about expanding of their activities on these newly created areas. Common opinion is that the question “to have or not to have own web-site?” has one answer regardless of the company. Nevertheless the thing is not as simple as it seems. Own web-site implies not only pure benefits and deserves lots of work to be done. How to decide if the company really needs to join the system of Internet commerce?

1. New niches

Creation of Internet market provides numerous opportunities for extension of sphere of influence for large and small companies. Managers may have false impression that the model Vele, vidi, vici works everywhere on the Internet. But this is not quite true. One shall not forget that the competition exists here. So the place on this new market is not easy to win. If the company sells something on the Internet it shall prove that its goods or services are better than that of hundreds of competitors. The company can not count that the product will speak about itself as it is done in some real stores. Successful selling is impossible if the company does not have any good scheme that may assure it.

From the other hand, there are great opportunities to sell services that have no analogue in off-line. Also there are methods of advertisement that are not efficient in off-line but allow promotion almost without any investments. For example such thing as PR on forums works sufficiently only for Internet.

2. Number of customers

It is believed that the group of potential customers is larger for the Internet shops. The key word is potential. Yes, formally the group includes the whole community of Internet users. But what share of them will really visit this or that site? It may turn to be that real group of Internet customers is even smaller than that of real shop of the same company. Many sites are just lost in the depth of the Internet. The number of customers depends on the quality of design, promotion and skillful maintenance. So the possibility to provide all this shall be carefully estimated. Otherwise, the site will be pure waste of time and money.

3. Image of the company

Web-site of the company is meant to assure the following:
It shall strengthen the position of the company on the market;
It is a handy instrument for marketing
It promotes the brand of the company and creates certain image among Internet customers and partners.
That is quite true for a well-designed and maintained site. Poorly developed site may antagonize potential customers and partners, provide analysist with wrong information and damage general image of the company.

4. More possibilities for the customer

Web-site allows quick access to the information about the company and assures sufficient contacts between vendors and customers. Economy of time and money may attract new customers to the company and increase loyalty of existing clients.

Providing new services, support for customers, and creation of new options of the site lead to reorganization of work inside the company. As the front office is expanded the back office gets more work.

5. Fast update of information

Web-site provides an easy way to inform customers about news, changes in the range of goods, special proposals, and sales. Off-line world does not know any instrument that can spread information as fast. On the other hand information on the web site shall be constantly updated. Out-of-date may misguide the customer and cause problems. Updating and maintenance shall be performed regularly.

6. Minimization of spending

New technologies reduce spending on traditional elements of trade.  Negotiations and settlements become much easier with the Internet. But managers should not forget that the site itself and e-commerce imply spending that are not present for real shops. Efforts and time on promotion, advertisement, hosting of site may exceed the amount saved on other issues. The examples are known when unreasonable spending on Internet marketing and advertisement led to collapse of the whole company.

7. 24/7

Your web-site provides information and services to the customers 24 hours per day. Out of the Internet a possibility to work 24 hours would deserve hiring additional stuff, extra spending on electricity and many other difficulties that do not exist in the world of Internet. On the other hand sometimes this on-line office may be closed unexpectedly because of technical reasons.

8. Small start capital

There is no need to invest much money to the web site at the beginning. There are different templates and programs for site-creation. Many business-portals offer help in that. But it is a tradition that serious companies create own unique design for their sites. And also if start is cheap this does not mean that further life of the projects does not deserve considerable investments.

Taking a decision about entering e-market the management of the company shall thoroughly estimate the possibility to design a good site, promote and maintain it, create a business plan and compare expected income from Internet segment to the scope of efforts and spending. It may turn to be that the game is not worth the candle.

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Industry typeRatesIndustry typeRates
E-commercefrom 4%Nutra/Herbalsfrom 6.5%
Adultfrom 6%Forexfrom 4%
File sharing systemsfrom 10%Datingfrom 6%
Gambling from 4.5%Pharmacyfrom 8%
IT Supportfrom 10%Debt collectionfrom 7%
Travel MOTOfrom 6.5%E-cigaretesfrom 6.5%
Replica clothesfrom 8%Debt repairfrom 8%

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