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BA 65 Hour 6 ~ Business Operations and Practice
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  • 1. Business Operations and Practice Planning and Managing Your Business Web Site BA 65
  • 2.
    • Find a happy medium between knowing your business and knowing how to make your customers happy.
    • If they trust you, then the hardest work is done, and you can focus on the real work: making magic happen.
    • Steve MacLaughlin
  • 3. Formulate a Strategy
    • You have to:
    • Create Content
    • Select systems and software
    • Find people to help you
    • Work with customers
  • 4. Formulate a Strategy
    • The previous tasks may involve:
    • Copywriting
    • Web Design
    • Programming
    • Sales and marketing
    • Research and analysis
    • And much more…
  • 5. Formulate a Strategy
    • Don’t forget to breathe - make a plan!
    • Baby steps - phases
    • Focus on one marketing plan and measure it’s success - and then alter or change if needed
    • Overwhelmed? - This is the time to strategize
    • Learn the jargon
    • Learn the ins and outs of Web business.
  • 6. The Plan
    • Give the Web developer your current marketing materials that demonstrate your logo and company color scheme and site references that show your preferred style.
    • Reserve your domain name.
    • When it’s ready, review and approve site design.
  • 7. The Plan … cont’d
    • Provide additional site copy and images for Web site if needed
    • Select a hosting company following the recommendations made in this class.
    • Using the domain registrar admin interface, set the DNS server names to use the host’s DNS servers (get this info from the host). Allow 24 hours to propagate.
  • 8. The Plan … cont’d
    • Set up domain email accounts or ask your hosting company to do it.
    • Get FTP login information from the host and give it to your Web developer.
    • Review and approve final site content and upload the files to your new site.
  • 9. The Plan … cont’d
    • If or when you opt to move into ecommerce:
    • Get a merchant account and select a payment gateway.
    • Purchase an SSL certificate. (Note: This requires a certificate request file from the host)
    • Configure the shopping cart to use the payment gateway.
  • 10. The Plan … cont’d
    • Configure the cart to use your preferred shipping settings, such as weight or price-based shipping. Register with UPS or USPS if your shopping cart gets shipping information from these companies.
    • Enter images and product descriptions into the shopping cart product catalog.
  • 11. Common Web Store Setup Costs
    • Credit Card acceptance on your site will cost you money
      • Setup
      • Processing
    • Try to get your costs bundled with a package to save money
  • 12. Typical Setup Costs and Needs
    • Be ready to budget and spend - $2,000
    • Merchant Account: Holding account for funds your receive or refund through your Internet payment gateway.
    • Payment Gateway: Web store will submit transactions to your payment gateway for processing. Browser based interface allows you to enter, void, refund, and capture credit card transactions. Web site -> Merchant Acc.
  • 13. Typical Setup Costs and Needs
    • Security (SSL) Certificate: Your Web site must have a security certificate assigned to it in order for it to securely process credit card transactions through a Web page. This identifies your and encrypts transaction data.
    • Hosting: Your Web site must be placed on a Web server that is connected via a high-speed connection to the Internet. You will pay for hosting and all software your run from site.
  • 14. Typical Setup Costs and Needs
    • Domain Name: Acquire a unique domain name that matches your business name. Use this name for all of your Internet activity.
    • Shopping Cart Software: Web storefront is software that runs on the Web server. $ or $$
    • Integration & Development: You may need to pay someone to install and configure the software for your. Expect to alter your setup or have someone do it for you.
  • 15. Recurring Costs
    • Merchant Account: Your merchant account has minimum monthly charges. Extra charges may be put on exceeding transaction levels.
    • Payment Gateway: You will pay a minimum monthly charge as well as a per-transaction charge.
  • 16. Operating an Internet Product Business
    • There is additional work in a Web storefront similar to mail-order and telephone-order.
    • Bricks-and-mortar - and more!
    • And now for the points of PLAN!
  • 17. Capturing Payments
    • A Web site will authorize the payments for you, - you usually still have to capture those payments once a day through your payment gateway’s merchant interface.
    • You can only capture the payments you have shipped.
  • 18. Order Accounting
    • When setting up your online business and thinking about accounting programs and shopping carts - it would pay you to have the two systems talk to each other
    • Do QuickBooks and Miva talk to each other?
  • 19. Discount Accounting
    • If your accounting software and shopping cart do talk to each other will the shopping cart be able to send over information regarding coupons and different types of discounts.
    • “ You can’t manage what you can’t measure!”
  • 20. Shipping Charges
    • Make sure to have your shopping cart connect to USPS or UPS to manage shipping charges.
    • The type/size/shape of packages you ship may not easily be configured with your cart.
    • Handling cost - what do you do?
  • 21. Packing and Shipping
    • Easy to underestimate the amount of time it takes to properly prepare and order for shipping
    • Factor in the correct materials for the correct packing method.
    • Labels - 12 labels at 5 minutes is one hour!
  • 22. Inventory Management
    • Web storefront will track sales.
    • You will track your physical inventory.
    • Tracking returns back into web inventory.
    • Phone orders will not reduce the count of inventory on your Web storefront.
    • Inventory is a continual process of matching what you say you have and what you really have.
  • 23. Dealing with Miscreants
    • Do not allow anonymous FTP for your users.
    • Create registration for public forums or newsgroups - and monitor usage.
    • Comments to blogs may need to be turned off.
    • Place public facilities behind a login screen
    • Customers will feel safer.
    • Monitor registered users input.
    • Vandals and bots
  • 24. Courtesy is Contagious
    • Get agreements in writing
    • Pay your bills on time
    • Reward your best customers
    • Plan ahead to avoid the fire-fighting mode
    • Respond to communications - even if brief
  • 25. Learn to Delegate and Automate
    • “ No business is an island!”
    • Your time has value.
    • Teach yourself or hire others?
    • Do the math:
      • What do you expect to earn in an year?
      • How much $$ is that a month?
      • Take that and divide by 80 hours - What is it?
    • Can you automate the busywork?
  • 26. Embrace Failure
    • Don’t be shy - ask for help
    • Learn from your mistakes - or they get repeated
    • Wrong place wrong time
    • Things will happen that are out of your control
    • Do something and then check the stats
    • Be bold - don’t do what everyone else is doing!
  • 27. A Few Final Tips
    • Talk to your existing customers
    • Get expert help
    • Find a designer/developer with whom you are compatible
    • Research your options
    • Plan, Plan, Plan
  • 28.
    • Go Forth and E-Transact!