Ok i have been looking into getting a business started for about a week now. I have read some of the post and a lot of people seem pretty knowledgeable about start a business.
I guess my question is ow do I get started and if you could lead me to some helpfully internet sites on how to get started that also would be a great help. I have been reading about CO2 and I have no clue what they actually do besides process CC and checks.
If you are thinking you might be selling over $1,000 a month, it might be a lot better for you to get a merchant account instead of a third party processor.
Do you have the products? If so, then you need a domain name - check out www.godaddy.com. You then need a web hosting company. And I like www.spidersales.com as a shopping cart. They will help you as much possible implementing it. It is ASP, so it needs to be on a Windows box.
Once you get the site up, apply for an account. You are usually approved to accept Visa/MasterCard in less than 24 hours. Discover / AmEx usually takes a little longer.
Before you actually get into the web stuff - there are a few steps I would complete.
You mentioned youve been looking into this for about a week. Id recommend spending at least another week or 2 researching (you may have already done this, but Im just covering some bases for you).
You seem to have selected your product..
- do your market research and identify your target audience
- develop your marketing stratgey (even if this is just flyers or more complex like tv ads, etc...)
- make sure you have your suppliers secured
-make sure you have sales and business "dynamics" outlined and understood (your actual costs, processes, margins, etc...)
Then, if you choose to use the internet as a marketing channel and route to market (which is probably wise) - take a look around for a provider youre comfortable with that can provide you an end to end solution. I cant stress this part enough, as dealing with multiple vendors will just make your life more complicated.
I would refer to an end to end provider as a vendor that can handle everything required to get your business online with the functionality you require.
So - Site &/or eCommerce Site design/setup, hosting, merchant services, etc...
We are one such provider as we feel its VERY important to provide a 1 stop shopping solution to our customers - However, there are many such providers available and Id recommend you take a look at several and find out which is the best fit for you and your particular requirements.
i dont quite understand what www.spidersales.com does for me. Its a shopping cart that can do Credit Card transfers and information about billing right? DO you use that and how does it work for you? Would u recommend anything other shopping cart?
It is an ASP shopping cart. We have used that for a few clients - been extremely happy with them & their services. The cart will work with LinkPoint, Authorizenet.com and a few other payment gateways. These gateways are determined by your CC processor.