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Ready to Put Your Business on the Web? - 7 Steps to Help You Launch Your Internet Business !

Author: George Hayes

The Internet is a fabulous place for starting a business. It only takes a desire to succeed and a few pennies per month to start. Compare that to the huge investment required to open a retail store and its no wonder the Internet has become so popular for small businesses. Success stories are commonplace in the media. On the Internet, one idea could be worth millions. Here I outline the 7 steps you must take to Start a Business on the Internet. This is by no means a definitive guide. 1.Check the availability of your domain name. Your identity on the Internet is everything. Domain names are being registered at a rate of 7,000 - 10,000 per day. Even if you don't plan on starting your business for months to come, it is a good idea to register your name today. 2.Trade Name registration Any individual serious about a business will want their business name registered. If you intend to open a bank account in your business name then registration is required. You should check with your accountant or tax attorney to determine the best company type (sole proprietor, S corp., LLC corp., etc.) for your situation. Check with your local and state government for requirements 3.Determine the method of payment. This step is often overlooked when starting a business. If you will be accepting credit cards at your site, check into all the available options. Companies can take 2-3 weeks to process your application, banks take longer. Items to consider at this stage are; Do you need real-time online processing? An integrated full-fledged shopping cart system? Is telephone or terminal verification of credit card orders a viable alternative? Most credit card processors rank Internet sales with mail order/telephone order sales and charge a higher discount rate because a real credit card is not present to be swiped through a terminal. Click here for instant approval with For a better understanding of merchant accounts and gateways 4.Design your site. If you plan on using a web design service contact them. If you are designing your own site, keep to a constant theme and consider your audience. If your business is catering to executives, keep your site executive oriented. Test your site. Ask family, friends, coworkers to visit and test. If your links don't work your customers won't tell you. 5.Find a host. All web hosting providers are not created equal. The least painless way is to pick a service you can start small and grow with. 6.Promote your site. If nobody knows you exist, nobody will visit. If you only have a small amount of money to invest in your business then you should invest in your site promotion. If you want to do it yourself, start with the major search engines. Then, every time you surf the net, make it a point to look for places you can submit a link to your web site. 7.Maintain your site. Maintaining your site is the single most overlooked item. If your site looks outdated then people won't stay. At the very least you should visit each page monthly. Be sure the information it contains is current and validate any links.

George Hayes, MM President UnitedAccess