BA 65 Hour 6 ~ Business Operations and Practice


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BA 65 Hour 6 ~ Business Operations and Practice

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