In a world with over four Internet-connected devices per person on the planet, establishing a permenant online pressence is a necessity.  An online pressence can greatly enhance your company's PR by having information readily available anytime from anywhere, but can also increase profits by having an online portal from which clients can purchase your products and services. In this article, we'll address some common questions that business owners may have about getting their first step through the door online:

How hard is it to sell products online?

Extremely easy! Many control panels are readily available to manage and nearly completely automate the ordering and payment process for you, which can reduce overhead by eliminating many traditional paper-based routines. With automatic pickups available from all major shipping providers, the only thing manual about the entire process is packing the product and putting a shipping label on it.

How safe is customer data?

Everyone's afraid of the cyber boogieman - and they very well should be. However, very few people realize that the vast majority of stolen data is the result of pure negligence. Having strong passwords (as in, not something simple like 12345) and by always running the latest version of your website's billing software, the threat of data loss from theft exponentially decreases. Another concern about data is availability. "If the server crashes, will I lose all my data?". The answer is no - most web hosting providers routinely backup customer data on a daily basis at an off-site location, so nothing short of an Apocalyptic doomsday event will result in a permanent loss in data.

How much does an online pressence cost?

Most small and medium sized businesses can operate online for under $50 USD per year - including domain registration.

How do I get started?

The first step in establishing a company website is to determine who will host it. There are thousands of hosting providers out there, and each one offers a slightly different set of features - so it's best to review different ones before deciding. Almost every hosting company will have a pre-sales department, which can help you determine which of their services is right for you.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

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