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Heritage Internet Services - ECommerce Primer
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Getting Started in Internet Marketing

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.

 1.      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.

2. Next, 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. 

3. 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 activities.
      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.

4.  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.

 ?  Before You Begin
Does Your Business Really Need to Be Online?

The first question that you must answer is; " Do I really Need to Establish and Internet Presence for my Business? “. Your business type, your product line, your system of business organization, & your businesses budget(s), are all factors in determining the answer to this question.
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Do you need modify your business structure before initiating Internet Marketing?
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