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MAIN Arrow to BusinessBusiness Arrow to Small Business ResourcesSmall Business Arrow to OnlineOnline Ecommerce

starting an online businessThe Internet has provided an new opportunity for starting a small business.

With a good plan and a Web site, anyone can become a millionaire... or so it seems.

The reality is that starting an e-commerce business is just as challenging and competitive as starting any other type of business.

Build it ... and they will come?

Most beginners make the mistake of setting up an online shop and waiting for visitors to find them.

However, in today's competitive online market no one will find you without a "value add". That is, original content - such as how to's, advice and expert informational articles related to your product line - that will clearly set you apart from your competition.

Like any business online or off, your most successful strategy will be great customer service. If you're seling a product, that includes lots of information, original photos, and free or very competitive delivery charges. Make it even easier for customers by offering them more than one payment option such as all major credit cards as well as and online payment services such as PayPal.

A generous customer satisfaction and return pollicy will also ensure customers they can shop online at your site with confidence.

Depending on the age of your target audience, you'll also want establish a Facebook page or a Twitter account. Also think about keeping customers fully engaged with a weekly or monthly newsletter to promote current sales and specials.

Advertising? Look into major ad placement services such as Google Adwords and for low-cost advertising to your targeted niche or specific location. If appropriate, also don't overlook traditional small business advertising solutions such as PennySaver ads, newspapers, radio, and local cable TV.

Make your business site a trusted friend and resource, and in time the major search engines will also sit up and take notice and, in turn, direct more visitors to your online business for free.

More tips & advice on starting an online business around the Web:

Around the Web, find the best resources for success in helpful articles, tutorials and directories leading to more information on e-commerce solutions...

E-Commerce Help for Small Business
- Dive right into the deep end with this crash course for opening an online business with guides to finding a domain name, building a website, choosing a merchant account, using appropriate software, and lots more.

Running Your Biz: Ecommerce - IdeaCafe presents basic information on "webifying" your small business. Domain names, newsletters, writing for the web, and other information is available.

How to Start a Successful E-Commerce Business – 6 Tips from Seasoned Pros - Check out expert tips from the US Small Business Administration that cover the basics - finding your niche, planning your strategy, building your website, driving Internet traffic, and more.

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