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Can your business resist having a ‘shop-front’ in every corner of the World?

2002-11-25 by Sanjay Sharma

Having an ‘Internet' presence is like having a shop front in every corner of the world. Your online presence helps you find customers from every location on this planet.

Take some time to compare the benefits to having an online presence: once upon a time the idea would have been regarded as impossible unless you were a Global concern, with millions to spend on research, office resources, staff, presence building, and merchandise stocking. The whole process can take a few weeks to a few years and thousands of dollars.

Getting a website on the Internet is a lot easier, immediate and a lot less expensive. The learning curve and hence ‘first step' is steep, but short. Matching the simplicity and the low expense is the highlight for any businessman, because the result is incomparable.

The first step to getting an online presence is to think up a unique name, called a "domain name" then to register your domain name, which should not cost you more then US$15 per year. For example: if your company name is ‘XYZ Exports', you may consider registering a domain name like ‘xyz.com', or ‘xyzexports.com' or even ‘xyz-exports.com'.

Now you have to decide what type of website (online shop front) you want. You can have a website, which will provide information about your products, company, and contact details. Or you may decide upon a website that will not only provide useful business and product information to your prospective customers, but will ‘collect' valuable marketing information and even take orders from ready-to-pay customers, in effect, making the sale for you. These days there are many reasonably well priced local web designers who will be able to make your website ‘glow' at a reasonable cost.

Once your website pages and images are ready you will need ‘web space' so your site can be seen on the Internet. It is just like renting shop-space in any market place. You rent web space on Internet, which is the ‘world wide' marketplace. You get this web space from a Web Hosting company like M6.net. There are few web hosting companies that can compare services and prices favorably to M6.net, offering real value for money and hosting your website shop front for as little as US$8 per month. M6.net not only allows you to host your website but to offer your visitors other useful services, usually with little or no extra cost, these services can be essential for your business to grow online.

The usual services on offer are email accounts (sales@yourwebsite.com, info@yourwebsite.com etc.) for you, your staff, your website and perhaps friends; there are automated forwarders and auto-responders, for when you are not around to answer your emails. Advanced services are: Web mail interface, which allows you to check your email on the Internet just like Hotmail offers; a Stats server, offered for you to see who and how many visit your website, this is great for marketing value.

Compatibility is offered for tools such as FrontPage, imperative for use by website builders and designers. Security in the form of SSL (Secure Socket Layers) also helps you to get sensitive information (credit card details, etc.) securely from your customer over the Internet giving you the edge on the competition.

Companies like M6.net offer shared SSL certificate security services for free. But, on top of everything else, M6.net is unique in offering a web based Control Panel built purely in-house by qualified developers, which allows you to maintain your website with only few clicks and without any technical knowledge or experience.

So, don't just trade locally with your competition, surpass them, have your shop front on the Internet and let your business expand across the boundaries of regions, states or countries.

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