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Developing a business over Internet requires many of same major activities as starting any other business. You need a business plan, something to sell such as a product or service; you need customers and you may even need financial backing to get started. In addition, you need to market products to your customers, exceptional customer service practices and many other resources just as you do with traditional bricks and mortar enterprises. They may include inventory, fulfillment, shipping banking relationships and more.
Your store will need a "merchant" account, or ability to process your customers' credit card transactions over Internet. This includes needing a "secure server," (security certificate such as Versign or Geotrust) so that thieves cannot gain access to your customers credit information. Your merchant processing can be as simple as accepting payments through PayPal or as complex as a custom designed shopping cart system you pay for.
Getting a Merchant Account - If you have a good relationship with your bank and they don't require a security deposit this may be your best option for setting up a merchant account. Alternatives to getting a merchant account through your bank are to go through a broker, a fulfillment house, or using third-party billing.
For more information on establishing an ecommerce presence check out e-book entitled: Show Her Money – The Woman’s ECommerce Handbook for Online Transactions (www.showherthemoney.com). If you are, or become a member of WECAI – www.wecai.org, this resource is yours with your membership.
© 2005 - Heidi Richards
Heidi Richards is the author of The PMS Principles, Powerful Marketing Strategies to Grow Your Business and 7 other books. She is also the Founder & CEO of the Women’s ECommerce Association, International www.WECAI.org (pronounced wee-kī) – an Internet organization that “Helps Women Do Business on the WEB.” Basic Membership is FREE. Ms. Richards can be reached at Heidi@speakingwithspirit.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.