Starting A Business On The Internet

This essay has a total of 1775 words and 19 pages.

Starting A Business On The Internet


The number one question to ask when starting a business,

whether on the Web or in a traditional setting, is why would

people want to buy the product or service. Somewhere in

the world, one can find people selling anything so why

would people come to you? Are you selling something

unique, do you make or market something that no one can

find anywhere else or would find it almost impossible to

find elsewhere? Do you sell your product at a lower price

then anyone else? Maybe your prices are competitive with

other businesses but you offer superior service. Perhaps

you have the ability to offer unique services that no one else

can or will duplicate. Do you have some other advantage

over other companies? The next thing to consider once you

have settled on a product or service to market is a name.

Names are very important especially when starting a

business on the Internet. The Web address or URL

(Universal Resource Locator) of a Web page is an

important part of becoming a popular place for surfers to

shop. There are two ways in which an URL for a business

Web page can de done: registering you own second level

domain or being listed under some one else's domain name.

A URL is made of several parts. First, there is the root

level domain: com, org, net, tm. The root level domain can

be many things; com, org, and net are the only root level

domain names not associated with a two-letter country

code. Any other domain name will be associated with a

country: us, United States; de, Germany; tm, Turkmenistan.

Some business names will lend themselves to easily

become a second level domain name, that is the name

before the root level domain name. Major brand names are

easy to do such as www.microsoft.com, www.ibm.com.

When people look on the Web for a certain company it is

easy to try www.companyname.com but what should one

type when the company name is Bob's House of Flowering

Plants? That is why one should choose easily remembered

or recognized Web addresses. Since thousands of second

level domains have already been taken, it may be easier to

find what names are available and then choose the name of

the business from the available choices. To find out if a

particular com, org, or net second level domain name has

been registered, go to Internic (www.internic.com ). If you

decide not to register your own domain name you can have

a listing under someone else's domain. This can happen in

one of three ways: as a third or higher level domain name,

as a subdirectory on a domain, or as a user account on a

domain name. Typically smaller business with less money to

spend on Web housing will opt for one of these three

choices. Many surfers will believe that a company that does

not have it's own domain name to be cheap and small time.

Examples of being listed under someone else's domain

name can look like this:

www.hostcompany.com/yourcompany,

www.yourcompany.hostcompany.com, and

www.hostcompany.com/yourcompany. Now that you have

decided on what type of Web address you will have, you

must decide where the files that make up your Web page

will be stored. Again there are several choices. The most

common method is to pay someone else who has

computers connected to the Internet to host your Web

pages on one of their computers. The second and third

methods involve purchasing equipment. In the first of these

two choices you buy a computer and have it housed at a

business that is connected to the Internet. In this

arrangement you have total control of the Web site and the

computer on which the files are hosted. The last and most

expensive options is to have a dedicated Internet

connection run to your business and install the servers

needed to not only host the Web page but also manage

many other operations that must take place in order to run

your own Internet connection. Only large companies or

individuals starting Internet service companies can achieve

this option. There are many companies on the Internet that

offer Web hosting, all one needs to do is search. One of

the best ways to find a reliable hosting company is to surf

the 'Net to find a page that always downloads quickly and

is never out of service. Find which company provides their

Web hosting and see if it is affordable. Web server housing

should only be purchased by individuals with experience in

Web servers or those willing to pay to have someone else

manage the server. This option is one that most people will

not find appealing. The next decision is what should be

offered on the Web page. Many different things regarding a

business can be put on the Web page. Should the page list

all the products offered? Will the page detail descriptions of

all products, only the names, or something else? Some

design choices should be made deciding how items will be

sold. If items will be sold online, there are several ways to

accomplish this. They fall into two basic categories, those

requiring user interaction and those that are completely

automatic. User interactive systems can include

Web-based forms and email links. With a Web-based

form, a user indicates the items desired and other ordering

information. When the user is finished the information is

forwarded to an account representative who keys

information into the ordering system just as they would if

they were taking orders over the phone or by fax. The

second type of online system is one in which the person

completes the online order from and the server takes the

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