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Opportunity knocks with E-Commerce! How is your Company applying the Internet for your business?

Why would I get involved in the Internet? Isn't it all child's play? These and many other questions are going through people's minds these days.

  • Did you know that today at least 40% of all Canadians have access to the Internet?
  • Who are they?
  • What are they doing there?
  • Is there anything that could benefit you and your business?

The Internet has, over the past 8 years, evolved from a University and Military network to a universal Information System that spans the world and has re-invented business. Starting with e-mail, messages can be transmitted instantly, files, documents and graphics can be attached. Transfer of electronic data and files avoids re-keying, thus improving accuracy, completeness, cost and customer service.

But that is only the beginning. The 'World-Wide Web' is a network of 'web pages' or 'web sites', where individuals and businesses put their information for others to see, print or download. Since access to 'the Web' is easy, anyone, however unskilled, can do it. If you don't have a computer, you can even go to a Public Library and try it out. Then you're hooked and will want one of your own...

Why would you get hooked? You can find almost any information you are looking for. It is better than an encyclopedia. Much of it is very up-to-date. You will have to use your own judgement as to what is valid or what is not, but that is normal anyway. You can download software, music, drivers, jokes, and above all information. You can have a look at other businesses like yours and see what they do. You can forge partnerships with them across the country. There are many options and more benefits for business.

You can set-up a website to show your family to relatives in other countries. But you can also put all your business literature on your website, so when a client calls up, and needs detailed information, you can let them browse your website and find it instantly. But that's not all. On your website you can list all your products and services, including all of those the client did not ask for. You can put up your address and other contact information, subsidiaries and partners in other cities for ready access to people anywhere in the world. You can put up your success stories, your references, samples of your work, and price lists.

That brings us to the next step. You can design a form that lets prospective clients fill in their own quotation and send it instantly, by e-mail, to you. Or they can place an order for one of more of your products by putting them in a shopping basket. Small stores have expanded their business this way, by thousands of dollars a month, from new customers who never set foot in their store before.

Finally you can add credit card acceptance right on the web. Since this is a security issue, not all clients go for it. So, you don't remove the e-mail version, but leave it as an option. There are still many people who use it and are comfortable with it. Since it adds considerable cost to your site, it may be netter not to install credits cards until you have a good size business going.

It must be understood that websites need to be promoted. Marketing of webistes must be done both on-line and off line. You should put your URL (= website address) on all of your business cards, letterhead and literature. You should register with various main Search Engines. You should quote it in any of your regular advertising. There are many more methods available to improve the popularity of your website.

As you can see, the web gives many good opportunities for improving your business and profitability. If you take it step by step, you can't go wrong. One advice though: Don't sit on the fence, while opportunity passes you by.

If you need help with anyone of these, we have a division of qualified people who can help you with the design, installation, set-up, and maintenance of any of these services.

When you need a champion for the excellence of your operation, we have the team to do it!

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