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Article Archive >> Entertainment

Even Small Businesses Benefit from Online Features

Even Small Businesses Benefit from Online Features

(ARA)- With an estimated 600 million people accessing information, products and resources online, small businesses that may have avoided the Internet are now increasingly seeing the benefits and ease of doing business online.
Many small business owners who are in service industries such as home repair or childcare are becoming aware that having even a basic Web site can help them reach more customers. People use the Internet for everything from basic information-gathering to buying products. The Internet is often the first place they look for information.
To get started, a small business should follow three basic steps:
* Get a domain name. This is your address on the Internet. Like your telephone number, it will allow customers to find you and access your Web site.
* Create a site. Many small businesses choose a plan that not only provides the place on the Internet where your site will reside (known as Web hosting), but can also offer easy tools to help you get started. Small businesses may need just a simple Web site and basic hosting plans are perfect for this. Providers such as Verio, a pioneer in Web hosting, offer site-building plans that are quick and easy and don't require special technical knowledge. Also, be sure to research the type of customer support you can expect to receive in case you run into any problems during the process. Finally, businesses who are already online but have not updated their Web site in the past year should consider doing so to ensure their most current information is displayed to put their best foot forward with customers.
* Market the site. Companies with small staffs often turn to specialists to help with this important task. Many providers can help increase the number of people who visit your Web site by registering with a search engine, such as Alta Vista or Google. By flagging key words on your Web site, you can increase the likelihood of customers finding your business online. Small business owners who want to sell products online can use simple e-commerce plans designed to help build online product catalogs, complete with a virtual shopping cart and easy checkout for customers.
Whether already online or not, all small businesses should ask their Web hosting provider:
* How can I enhance my Web site for my business?
* How can I improve e-commerce if I want to sell goods online?
* What tools can you provide to help manage my business and customers, such as email and scheduling or calendar tools?
* How do you ensure my site is secure and stays up and running?
* Can I reach someone in customer service 24 hours a day to assist me with questions or problems?
Once online, a business can reach customers any time of the day or night around the world. Any interruption to the service of the site translates into lost customers and lost sales but an experienced provider can help ensure your online business is successful. To learn more about building your small business online or to request a small business online resource guide, visit http://hosting.verio.com/resourceguide.

Courtesy of ARA Content

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