This is a short primer that deals with
the process of setting up an Internet Marketing system for your business.
This primer changes the task of establishing an Internet
business from navigating a sea of sometimes confusing jargon and techno babble,
to a set of easy to understand step by step procedures.
Before you begin the process of taking your product or services online,
there are several preparatory steps that you should take.
The first is making a determination as to whether you actually need
internet marketing. Contrary to popular beliefs, the internet is not a
magical gateway to expansion of sales and profits for all businesses. If
your business is involved in retailing, realty, wholesaling, distribution,
or outsourced professional or business services; an Internet presence is a
worthwhile investment with extremely good profit potential. For
professional practices that simply need to present a digest of services
and provide a reliable means of contact for potential customers, a full
blown commercial web site is a waste of time and money.
you should make an honest assessment of the status of your current
business activities as well as a reasonable estimate of expected returns
from your expansion into Internet marketing. Do enough fundamental
research on the process of internet marketing to enable you to make
intelligent choices in formulating your Internet services budget.
Structure your business to accommodate your expansion.
If you are an incorporated entity, you might find it advisable to
establish a separate corporation to handle your internet marketing
In the case of a retailer or wholesaler,
the fact that your current cash flow model, expense model, and taxation
structure are operating in a stable and profitable manner, is enough in
itself to justify the establishment of a subsidiary corporation for the
purpose of marketing your products or services on the Internet.
Develop a new Customer Relations Management system and new product
delivery and warranty support procedures.
An Internet venture that experiences
rapid growth can skewer the business structure of its parent company into
fiscal confusion in less than three months.
All of a sudden you find that everything
from your accounting system to your insurance and taxation provisions are
inadequate; in addition you find yourself acting as the go-between in
warranty an support issues, because the majority of your sales
are credit/debit card transactions and your internal support system is not
capable of handling the transaction volume.
Ideally, you want to establish a
direct warranty and return path between your supplier and your online
customer. In addition, you want to use direct shipping from your
supplier/manufacturer to your customer whenever possible. Very few retail
businesses can justify the expense of maintaining their own inventory for
online purchasers. The process of storage and reshipping exposes your
business to unnecessary risks and expenses.