"e is for everything?? . . ."

Written by Philippa Gamse

This article was originally published in three installments inrepparttar "Foundry Trade Journal", 2001.

Just this week, a member of my audience asked merepparttar 109050 following:

"Why would a local company, with a large investment in trained, professional sales people need a Web site?"

Great question! And you might be thinkingrepparttar 109051 same. . .

Maybe you already know many or all of your potential customers, maybe you have very defined processes and production cycles that don't change very quickly, maybe you're suspicious ofrepparttar 109052 Internet "hype" - especially now that so many e-companies are falling byrepparttar 109053 wayside.

But we also know thatrepparttar 109054 Internet isn't going away. 407 million people are now estimated to have access - that includes 167 million in N. America, and 113 million in Europe. Younger people increasingly spend more time online than watching TV. Andrepparttar 109055 April edition of this magazine has an e-commerce focus . . .

The true challenge now - which personally I also see as a great opportunity, is to understand allrepparttar 109056 ways in which usingrepparttar 109057 'Net can help your business, and from this to strategiserepparttar 109058 best investment of time and money.

So if it's here to stay, how canrepparttar 109059 Internet benefit your business - and what's currently going wrong?

There are some key elements that prevent many Web site owners from maximizingrepparttar 109060 potential of their Internet-based activities:

1. Tunnel vision on sales and new business: it takes at least five timesrepparttar 109061 time and expense to acquire a new customer as it does to keep a current one. Your Web site can be a great tool for providing ongoing customer service and support - and achieving significant cost savings to boot!

Most people accessrepparttar 109062 Internet for information on products and services that they either use now, or are considering buying. So, your Web site can be a great place to provide ongoing customer support for your products. If you're worried about giving away trade secrets to your competition, place these in a password-protected area.

The best way to build your content is to compile a list of questions that your customers most often ask. These may be sales related, but can also cover operations, quality assurance issues, etc. If you don't already knowrepparttar 109063 questions, have your receptionists and sales people keep a note pad for a week. Then, putrepparttar 109064 questions, together withrepparttar 109065 answers, on your site.

This provides a 24 hour a day, seven day a week availability of service for your customers, whether your office is open or not. And, it can save significant costs in terms of telephone support time.

2. Not "asking forrepparttar 109066 business": I know this sounds obvious, but how many sites have you seen where it's quite unclear whatrepparttar 109067 site wants from you? Every page of your site should have a strategy, and be clear about inviting visitor interactions to achieve your goals.

Many times when a new client comes to me for e-business strategy consulting, I ask them a few seemingly simple questions: "Who are your markets? What do they want from you?" and "What do you want from them?"

E-Money - What is it all about?

Written by Andrew LaPointe

E-money is rapidly becoming one ofrepparttar simplest methods of moving cash onrepparttar 109049 Internet. It requires no complicated software, and it permitsrepparttar 109050 transfer of electronic cash to anyone with an e-mail address. Some ofrepparttar 109051 biggest names inrepparttar 109052 banking business are involved. These include banking giants Bank One and Wells Fargo, as well as dozens of smaller companies.

E-money is mainly designed forrepparttar 109053 exchange of funds between individuals. However, many ofrepparttar 109054 e-money providers permit commercial activities for a small fee. These exchanges can include limited payments to children, college students or making small monetary gifts. The amounts are usually limited to between $250 and $1,000 per month. The e-money technology can be used to pay someone, or collect funds from someone who needs to pay you.

It is simple to open an e-money account. Reviewrepparttar 109055 list of e-Money services below. Once your account is created, you simply send an e-mail. The recipient of your e-mail will be instructed how to retrieverepparttar 109056 funds or how to pay you. Ifrepparttar 109057 recipient of your e-mail is not a member ofrepparttar 109058 e-money service you are using, they simply open an account to retrieve their money.

Payments are made by using your credit card or with your offline bank account. The conversion of e-money into actual cash is as simple as requesting a check or using your ATM card.

Let's review some ofrepparttar 109059 more popular e-money service providers:


PAYPAL constitutes over 10% of all financial services related traffic onrepparttar 109060 Internet. PAYPAY isrepparttar 109061 world's largest online-based payment service. The company permits secure online payments between individuals and businesses. PAYPAL claims a customer base of over 6 million customers. One ofrepparttar 109062 greatest benefits ofrepparttar 109063 PAYPAL service is it can be used from PC's or web-enabled mobile phones. Here's an overview of services provided by PAYPAL:

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