Effective methods of doing business online!

Effective methods of doing business online!

With all these dot com failures so rampant, you may question, is it still viable to consider an online venture? The truth is: while spectacular rise and fall of many dot com companies have been overly publicized, sales through Internet are still increasing by 20 – 25% each year. Even economic down turn of the recent years has not hampered this growth.
Consider this:
According to an annual study of Internet trends by marketing research firm Ipsos, almost two third of Internet users in the United States have by now purchased a product or service online. That’s a dramatic increase from only 36 percents of respondents in 2000. Studies show that more than 35.5 million U.S. Internet users made shopping trips to web shops during the week ending November 3, 2002, which is roughly 14 million more than almost the same time period in 2001.
While the hype over the new economy is maybe over, one thing is for sure that Internet has revolutionized the way we do business and positioned itself as one of the biggest and most unique sales channels. Many companies, finally, started to realize that their very existence may get jeopardized if they are slow in integrating Internet to their business model.
But the question still remains – is there any effective method of doing business online?
Below I have outlined some components crucial to any online venture. While these might not be the only vital components of web based business, understanding them correctly will significantly improve your chance of doing online business effectively.
Business Plan
Business plans are like road maps. Imagine, you ended up in a unfamiliar town and you have to find an address without a map! How would you feel? Definitely, you would have been much better off with a map of the locality! The same thing goes for business plan. Though, many successful ventures may have been started without the benefit of a formal business plan, a good business plan improves your chances of success and help you avoid many mistakes.
A recent AT&T study of successful entrepreneurs shows that businesses are more successful if they have a written business plan than the ones which don’t. With a written business plan you get a better picture of your planned venture. So, before starting you online venture, take some time and write down what are you planning to do.
Product or Service
If you are a brick and mortar company merely trying to expand sales of your products or services on the Internet your task is easier! You at least don’t have to mull over what to sell. But, what an entrepreneur who decided to start a new venture should sell on the Internet?
Actually, you can sell virtually any product or service through the Internet. You may say, “Wait a second, you can’t sell big ticket items over the net, right?” Wrong! The car and part industries alone forecast to generate US$ 274 billion in revenues from online trade by 2004. There are incidents of consumers buying corporate jets online!
If you are serious about starting an online business, finding a product or service that suits you should not be very difficult.
Knowledge base products like e-books, how-to-reports and hard to find information and data sell quite well on the Internet.
Drop-ship items are bountiful on the Internet.
Thanks to global reach of Internet finding manufacturer for any item that you plan to import to your country or export from your country became lot easier.
If you have expertise, online services similar to web design, travel arrangement etc. are also good sales.
Internet users are paying readily for various types of online contents. Global online content market will add up to 50 billion US$ in 2003. You can consider this too!
Website/ Web store
Since you customers take their decision, whether to do business with you or not based on what they see on your site, it is critical to have a professional-looking website with good related content.
You can choose your website according to your need from a vast range of choices. Starting from a completely free website you can shell out thousands of dollars for a decent e-commerce website. The choice is yours!
There are various quality portals that allow you to have products and services displayed on a single page web site for free. Many business to business portals provide with this kind of services. However, for real time transactions you will still need e-commerce web stores.
If you are not good at design or don’t want to spend a fortune on you web store, you should think about getting an e-commerce stores from web enablers like Yahoo, Bigstep, etc.
For a nominal monthly fee you can have the facilities required to run a full fledged electronic storefront and build it yourselves from easy to use templates.
If you go for this type of services, compare and see who has most of the features for lesser price. Some business to business portals along with your e-business web store will furnish you with necessary features to carry out over the Internet many important parts of buy and sale processes.
Shopping carts
The integral part of e-commerce sites, which allows you to accept product purchase orders for multiple products or services, is called a shopping cart.
The term “Shopping Cart”is taken from real life shopping terminology to help users understand the actions available to them. Like in a supermarket a user can add products to shopping cart, remove products from the cart or adjust the quantity of the products as per requirement before checking out and making payments.
While looking for shopping carts for your e-commerce store, you should consider the following aspects of a powerful and functional shopping cart:
Access to the shopping cart should be clearly visible. There should be several entry points to the cart.
Add, remove and adjust quantity of the product features should be prominent on the cart page.
The item name should have a link to the description of the product.
There should be a way of saving items for future purchases.
Shipping and other costs should be clearly stated before the check out process starts.
Order forms should be simple and clear.
All payment options should be explained clearly.
Ordering process should be done through secure server. You know you are on a secure server when the URL of your browser indicates “https:”. The s at the end of http stands for “secure”.
Merchant Account
90 percents of all online retail sales take place through credit card transactions. According to industry statistics, the average credit card sale is $40 versus just $9 for the average cash sale. To offer the credit card payment option to your online clients, you need to set up a merchant account-a bank authorized account established by your company to receive the proceeds of credit card purchases.
Even if you already accept credit cards for your offline transactions, that may not be enough. Although, you can take many precautions to reduce online credit card frauds, credit card companies still consider Internet transactions to be riskier than offline transactions. That’s why finding a right merchant account provider could be a little bit more complicated than you might think. Things could be even trickier if your business is located outside of the United States.
There are many middleman merchant account providers on the Internet. Do some comparison-shopping before you sign up with any of them as conditions that they offer vary significantly.
Although, it is definitely good to have a merchant account that does not mean you can’t sell products or services without having one! There are numerous other payment options available on the Internet. Most popular of them are paypal, e-gold, e-bullion, etc.
If you would like to have an effective online business, remember that old values still count. Proper planning, uncompromising customer service, integrity, hard work and persistence eventually will make your business successful.

Starting And Maintaining A Blog

Starting And Maintaining A Blog

As the online business industry grows and matures, marketers are continually seeking out new sources of internet traffic and the tools to succeed. Blogging was introduced to the web in the late 1990s and it has become a staple of the online marketing industry. Most web site owners now incorporate a blog design solution as a part of their business establishment and utilize it as a tool for obtaining targeted traffic. If you’re new to blogging and/or new to online marketing, this avenue of generating visitors to your web site should be an essential element of your business plan.

Blogging is much easier than you may realize. The first step involves choosing a site to host your blog. WordPress, Blogger, and 360 Blog Yahoo are widely used by the marketing industry and each one is highly recommended in the blogging community. Blogs are simple to use and very easy to maintain. Daily updates generally require no more than a few sentences each day. However, blog topics can be rather lengthy if the occasion dictates a sizable and extensive entry. Make a habit of updating your blog on a daily basis and keep the topics interesting, entertaining, informative, and use some humor when the situation arises.

The physical appearance of your blog should be attractive, yet very neutral. Do not use gaudy colors or templates that make the text difficult to read. A light color for the background is recommended and the text should be darker in color. Additional features such as pictures, video clips, audio clips, and banners need to be strategically placed and easy to access. If your blog is going to include Google Adsense, be sure to follow Google’s suggestions for placement and plan accordingly.

Be sure to allow for comments on your blog. This blogging business tip should not be ignored. Comments are made by visitors and visitors can become paying customers. As the blog gains in popularity, the opportunity to acquire more visitors and customers constantly increases.

As a new blogger, the aforementioned tips can enhance your blog design solution and it will allow for an increase in business and a growing customer base. As the blog grows and flourishes, so will your loyalty from enthusiastic customers.

The Network Marketing Niche

The Network Marketing Niche

Many people dream about going into business for themselves. They wish to quit the rat race of the 9 to 5 scene and strike out on their own. If you are a people person, then you may want to consider the advantage of going into network marketing. Network marketing is all about people helping people both with building a business and selling your products or services.

Network marketing is a business that you can start on a shoestring, and with a lot of hard work you can achieve financial and personal freedom. You will no longer have to answer to a boss at a regular job because now you are your own boss! If more than 13 million of the people in the United States are working in the field of networking marketing then something has to be going right. Just know that there will always be scams out there especially if you are fishing on the Internet! You have to do your homework and recognize which network marketing companies are legitimate. Also, a big difference can be made in how you choose to market your own network marketing business.

Network marketing is also commonly known as multi-level marketing or MLM. You have probably all heard of that at one time or another. Let us take a look at exactly what network marketing is. Network marketing usually offers consumable products and services to people that are used in a short period of time. As stated before, you can get involved in networking marketing at a very low price. It also helps you build residual income. Network marketing involves more people than ordinary direct sales companies, and it helps to leverage other people’s time. Network marketing is not just another “get-rich-quick” scheme. In times past if a person wanted to carve out their niche in network marketing they used to have to beat their “warm market” to death! Today, with the use of modern technology, is is not that way at all. The world is your entire market thanks to the Internet. You can also use such tools as conference calling, and now that Skype has come onto the scene it has opened many new vistas of opportunities! The crux of network marketing is still sharing the opportunity as well as your products and services with as many individuals as possible. Forget snail mail and mailing out postcards to introduce people to your network marketing business. Now e-mail is readily available and you can reach thousands in an instant! There is no better time than the present to begin your career in network marketing.

The key word of network marketing is leverage. You can make the most of your time and your money by introducing people to your business opportunity and making a small percentage off of their efforts. A network marketing business should be easily duplicatable. This is what will ensure your success. The people that you have brought into your business can learn from your success and copy it.

As can be seen, a networking marketing business can be very profitable. However, it takes dedication and hard work in the beginning. If you put your whole efffort into your home business, then you will soon reap your rewards!

Ecommerce: Mashups And Future Site Function

Ecommerce: Mashups And Future Site Function

What comes to your mind when you hear the term ‘Mashups”? It is likely whatever comes to mind will not come close to the actual thought process behind the term unless, of course, you are already familiar with the concept.

The term ‘mashups’ has been used in both music and software applications. The term generally means mixing two separate media applications into something entirely new. In the world of music that means a new song that might feature Aretha Franklin and Metallica. In the world of software, however, this can often mean a greater degree of function in which two successful software applications work together to create a greater output of information and usability than either could on their own.

In the fall of 2006 both IBM and Google have expressed interest in mashups for online applications. Google is finding users performing mashups of their map program that makes customized locations for websites possible. The addition of IBM’s interest may allow mashups to go mainstream.

What this ultimately means for ecommerce may be unclear, but the possibilities are impressive. Mashups may allow for greater interaction with your site software applications and allow you to perform tasks on your website much more quickly. It also has the potential to allow your visitors to speed through checkout procedures.

This may sound like espionage or possibly the work of a reforming hacker, but what may have started with those ideas in mind is now finding a listening ear with some of the Internet’s most significant players.

Marc Bennioff of Salesforce.com refers to mashups when he said, “”Soon everything will just be a service, business e-mail or your PBX, all your business apps. It’s already affected us in our homes and now these multi-tenanted services are going to pervade your business. It’s not just one idea; it’s not just one provider.”

Long-term, the idea of ecommerce mashups has the potential of streamlining the various applications found on your site. They will have the potential of allowing your visitors to do more within your website than they may have ever thought possible.

The co-mingling of successful software applications is a taboo that is being broken in the business world. The end result may provide a universally enjoyable online shopping experience.

The three keys to a successful mashup include presentation, functionality and data. Some mashups are only compatible in one area. For instance the use of a second software application may enhance presentation, but do little to improve the function or data connections of the ‘new’ combined software.

Chances are pretty good you will hear more about mashups in business applications in the coming month. While there is still much to learn, the ramifications for ecommerce are promising.

Nation Branding and Place Marketing – VII. Marketing Implementation, Evaluation, and Control

VII. Marketing Implementation, Evaluation, and Control

How can a country (region, state, city, municipality, or other polity) judge the efficacy of its attempts to brand or re-brand itself and, consequently, to attract customers (investors, tourism operators, bankers, traders, and so on)?

Marketing is not a controlled process in an insulated lab. It is prone to mishaps, last minute changes, conceptual shifts, political upheavals, the volatility of markets, and, in short, to the vagaries of human nature and natural disasters. Some marketing efforts are known to have backfired. Others have yielded lukewarm results. Marketing requires constant fine tuning and adjustments to reflect and respond to the kaleidoscopic environment of our times.

But maximum benefits (under the circumstances) are guaranteed if the client (the country, for instance) implements a rigorous Marketing Implementation, Evaluation, and Control (MIEV) plan.

The first task is to set realistic quantitative and qualitative interim and final targets for the marketing program – and then to constantly measure its actual performance and compare it to the hoped for outcomes. Even nation branding and place marketing require detailed projections of expenditures vs. income (budget and pr-forma financial statements) for monitoring purposes.

The five modules of MIEV are:

1. Annual plan control

This document includes all the government’s managerial objectives and (numerical) goals. It is actually a breakdown of the aforementioned pro-forma financial statements into monthly and quarterly figures of “sales” (in terms of foreign direct investment, income from tourism, trade figures, etc.) and profitability.
It comprises at least five performance gauging tools:

I. Sales analysis (comparing sales targets to actual sales and accounting for discrepancies).

II. Market-share analysis (comparing the country’s “sales” with those of its competitors). The country should also compare its own sales to the total sales in the global market and to sales within its “market segment” (neighboring countries, countries which share its political ambience, same-size countries, etc.).

III. Expense-to-sales analysis demonstrates the range of costs – both explicit and hidden (implicit) – of achieving the country’s sales goals.

IV. Financial analysis calculates various performance ratios such as profits to sales (profit margin), sales to assets (asset turnover), profits to assets (return on assets), assets to worth (financial leverage), and, finally, profits to worth (return on net worth of infrastructure).

V. Customer satisfaction is the ultimate indicator of tracking goal achievement. The country should actively seek, facilitate, and encourage feedback, both positive and negative by creating friendly and ubiquitous complaint and suggestion systems. Frequent satisfaction and customer loyalty surveys should form an integral part of any marketing drive.

Regrettably, most acceptable systems of national accounts sorely lack the ability to cope with place marketing and nation branding campaigns. Intangibles such as enhanced reputation or investor satisfaction are excluded. There is no clear definition as to what constitute the assets of a country, its “sales”, or its “profits”.
2. Profitability control

There is no point in squandering scarce resources on marketing efforts that guarantee nothing except name recognition. Sales, profits, and expenditures should count prominently in any evaluation (and re-evaluation) of on-going campaigns. The country needs to get rid of prejudices, biases, and misconceptions and clearly identify what products and consumer groups yield the most profits (have the highest relative earnings-capacity). Money, time, and manpower should be allocated to cater to the needs and desires of these top-earners.

3. Efficiency control

The global picture is important. An overview of the marketing and sales efforts and their relative success (or failure) is crucial. But a micro-level analysis is indispensable. What is the sales force doing, where, and how well? What are the localized reactions to the advertising, sales promotion, and distribution drives? Are there appreciable differences between the reactions of various market niches and consumer types?

4. Strategic control

The complement of efficiency control is strategic control. It weighs the overall and long-term marketing plan in view of the country’s basic data: its organization, institutions, strengths, weaknesses, and market opportunities. It is recommended to compare the country’s self-assessment (marketing-effectiveness rating review) with an analysis prepared by an objective third party.
The marketing-effectiveness rating review incorporates privileged information such as input and feedback from the country’s “customers” (investors, tourist operators, traders, bankers, etc.), internal reports regarding the adequacy and efficiency of the country’s marketing information, operations, strengths, strategies, and integration (of various marketing, branding, and sales tactics).

5. Marketing audit

The marketing audit is, in some respects, the raw material for the strategic control. Its role is to periodically make sure that the marketing plan emphasizes the country’s strengths in ways that are compatible with shifting market sentiments, current events, fashions, preferences, needs, and priorities of relevant market players. This helps to identify marketing opportunities and new or potential markets.

The Encyclopedia Britannica (2005 edition) describes the marketing audit thus:

“… (I)t covers all aspects of the marketing climate (unlike a functional audit, which analyzes one marketing activity), looking at both macro-environment factors (demographic, economic, ecological, technological, political, and cultural) and micro- or task-environment factors (markets, customers, competitors, distributors, dealers, suppliers, facilitators, and publics). The audit includes analyses of the company’s marketing strategy, marketing organization, marketing systems, and marketing productivity. It must be systematic in order to provide concrete conclusions based on these analyses. To ensure objectivity, a marketing audit is best done by a person, department, or organization that is independent of the company or marketing program. Marketing audits should be done not only when the value of a company’s current marketing plan is in question; they must be done periodically in order to isolate and solve problems before they arise.”

Images, Hotlinking And Bandwidth Theft

Images, Hotlinking And Bandwidth Theft

The internet is a powerful tool and internet users should use it responsibility. Internet etiquette refers to the standards for proper behavior on the Internet. Hotlinking to images is a violation of Internet etiquette.

The majority of image hotlinking comes from blogs, discussion forums, and websites like MySpace and Stumbleupon. As a long time Internet user, I can tell you that image hotlinking has always been a major concern. While it’s questionable on whether or not hotlinking is copyright infringement, it is a theft issue.

Hotlinking, also known as bandwidth theft is direct linking to a web site’s files. When you link to an image on someone else’s server instead of saving the image to your computer and uploading it to your blog you are stealing that websites bandwidth.

Most websites have a limited amount of data transfer (or bandwidth) allowed. If they go over this limit, it costs them extra. Stealing bandwidth therefore unnecessarily increases the cost of hosting. Also, with many hosts limiting the amount of bandwidth a site can use monthly, their site could be shut down for exceeding bandwidth quota.

Though it is the webmaster’s responsibility to prevent the unauthorized remote loading of images from their site by uploading an .htaccess file to their server, anyone hotlinking is doing something that truly is unethical. As a webmaster, hotlinking is certainly not something that I appreciate.

If you wish to republish an image, the proper thing to do is to save the image to your computer and upload it to your blog or a free image host. Make sure that you obtain permission from the original author before you upload it and before publication to your blog takes place.

The solution for webmasters dealing with hotlinking is to use an .htaccess file. It’s very simple to implement and it works beautifully!

If you are using WordPress, there is a hotlink protection plugin that you can install which fights bandwidth theft.

A word to the wise, please don’t hotlink. Hotlinking is definitely not proper Internet etiquette.

Run Profitable Internet Marketing Campaigns

Today, technology and commerce go hand in hand, making it almost impossible to thrive in the business world without an online presence. Internet marketing has the potential to be the deciding factor in your company’s success or failure. This selection of handpicked internet marketing tips and tricks, will give your campaign a competitive edge.

In opt-in email marketing, tie your content and offers together as tightly as possible. Good content that explains how a person can use or benefit from a product or service can motivate customers to buy. For this tip to work, however, the information should not be in heavy marketing speak. Find knowledgeable authors that provide unbiased information if at all possible.

If you do not have a house e-mail list make one right away! This is often a great tool that many people do not utilize for internet marketing. Once you have one, let people know about it. Make it simple to subscribe to, do not ask for more information than you need and send quality e-mails to your followers, customers and visitors who sign up for the e-mail services. People still forward e-mails to their friends and family members. It is a tool to not be overlooked!

Use local business directories. Many online business directories will provide free listings. Get your business listed on as many as possible to attract more visitors to your site. Search for the directories that offer free listings, since there is no need to pay for something that you can get for free.

When you’re marketing your website or business, one of the most important things to remember is the proper usage of keywords. You want keywords that are not only relevant to your particular site or business, but you also want to use keywords that other people are searching for. You need to target a particular market here.

When considering internet marketing for a content heavy site, be sure to keep content posting consistent. Your users expect to see new content on a predictable schedule, whether new posts appear hourly, daily or weekly. Keeping to a consistent schedule allows visitors to know when to come back to the site for the latest information you are providing.

Publishing an e-zine and having it sent to users is a good way to remind them of all of the great items available on your site. Make sure that each issue of the e-zine gives users a good amount of new content so that they do not feel like they are reading the same information all of the time.

Identify an overall meaning to the articles that you use for internet marketing. You want to have a special message that is sent in each article or every internet campaign you put on, then your customers and target customers are able to see what you are all about. Is there something special that you want to share? This should be included.

Rather than allow your company to be left behind in the shift toward e-commerce, use the advice in this article to create more effective, efficient online marketing tools. Doing so will create endless opportunities for better consumer response, customer loyalty, increased site traffic, and most importantly, higher sales volume of your products and services.

What’s Toll Free Numbers Got To Do With Ecommerce?

What’s Toll Free Numbers Got To Do With Ecommerce?

Sometimes skimping on things can save you good money. But skimping is not always the wisest business strategy. For example, I could’ve written this article in the windows program notepad as opposed to Microsoft Word, and saved a good $500 and never had to buy the latest version of Microsoft Office… However, wouldn’t it be worth the $500 if the improved impression of professionalism put forth in all of my writings some how garnered ten times that in profit? Would you have read this far if I had unknowingly published this article with a horribly obvious typo in the title? That’s right – an insignificant error caused by “saving money” can actually COST you money in the long run.
## Impression Is Everything! ##
If you have spent months developing a beautiful ecommerce website to give people the impression that you are the safest choice for whatever product or service you’re trying to sell them, then it’d be pretty stupid to have all of that professionalism dismissed by a simple mistake: assuming you’re going to SAVE money by not getting a toll free number!
The fact is, the sight of a toll free number is something that subconsciously stirs an idea of professionalism – something we’re accustomed to from corporate America. Area codes are for calling your relatives and friends, after all. The phone prefix “800” or “877” or “888” for some reason, as if by magic, stirs in us the image of a phone operator in a tall skyscraper that deals with hundreds of clients a day – someone that doesn’t make their living off of ripping people off. The appearance of professionalism is the embodiment of confidence within the business world.
## Okay, so you’re convinced… now what? ##
Not having a toll free number for your ecommerce business (no matter how small) will cost you more in the long run than the short term savings will save you. The best part is though that toll free numbers are not NEARLY as expensive as one might be inclined to think! In fact, at the moment the prices for toll free numbers are as low as 2.7c/min from places like www.patricklongdistance.com.
## What other services can I benefit from? ##
It just so happens that toll free numbers are not the only affordable telecommunications service that might be useful to the owner of an ecommerce web site. Conference calling (for those teleseminars), low long distance rates, broadband or t1 internet access, and more are all examples of things that can be gotten more cost effectively off the internet via web pages such as the one I provided in the last paragraph.

How To Increase Your Blog And Website Rankings The Easy Way

How To Increase Your Blog And Website Rankings The Easy Way

I have not really paid much attention to this method of link building until now, but have now decided to give it more attention after realizing how well this trick works. If you look around at the well-known Webmaster Forums you’ll find many people looking for a sponsor of templates they built. These Templates can be for forums, directories or blogs (in particular WordPress Blogs). These designer design and build templates for the software of their choice and then release it for free.

Under the license terms a user of such a template needs to leave the sponsor links intact. These links are usually located in the footer. By finding sponsors for their templates these designers actually make money. If you are a good designer it might take you an hour or two to develop a nice looking template. You can easily sell 2 sponsored links on a design for approx. $35 and $100 each. Depending on where you live this can be a significant source of income.

From a sponsor point of view this means if the template is promoted well, he get a lot of back links from other blogs. Imagine a free template with your link in it used 100 times – this can be significant if those blogs grow in popularity and Google Page Rank. The real beauty of this “seo trick” is not to concentrate on the publicly available sponsorships you find in forums, but to identify a designer who delivers good work and to contact this designer and to work with them directly. Bypass the middleman, bypass the competition.

In general this seems to be an underdeveloped market with high link building potential. If used in a mix of normal link building and SEO it can be a great tool to make your blog or website more popular. With Google and other search engines becoming more difficult to deal with you have to become more creative if you want to rank high in search engines.

What’s Toll Free Numbers Got To Do With Ecommerce?

What’s Toll Free Numbers Got To Do With Ecommerce?

Sometimes skimping on things can save you good money. But skimping is not always the wisest business strategy. For example, I could’ve written this article in the windows program notepad as opposed to Microsoft Word, and saved a good $500 and never had to buy the latest version of Microsoft Office… However, wouldn’t it be worth the $500 if the improved impression of professionalism put forth in all of my writings some how garnered ten times that in profit? Would you have read this far if I had unknowingly published this article with a horribly obvious typo in the title? That’s right – an insignificant error caused by “saving money” can actually COST you money in the long run.

## Impression Is Everything! ##
If you have spent months developing a beautiful ecommerce website to give people the impression that you are the safest choice for whatever product or service you’re trying to sell them, then it’d be pretty stupid to have all of that professionalism dismissed by a simple mistake: assuming you’re going to SAVE money by not getting a toll free number!

The fact is, the sight of a toll free number is something that subconsciously stirs an idea of professionalism – something we’re accustomed to from corporate America. Area codes are for calling your relatives and friends, after all. The phone prefix “800” or “877” or “888” for some reason, as if by magic, stirs in us the image of a phone operator in a tall skyscraper that deals with hundreds of clients a day – someone that doesn’t make their living off of ripping people off. The appearance of professionalism is the embodiment of confidence within the business world.

## Okay, so you’re convinced… now what? ##
Not having a toll free number for your ecommerce business (no matter how small) will cost you more in the long run than the short term savings will save you. The best part is though that toll free numbers are not NEARLY as expensive as one might be inclined to think! In fact, at the moment the prices for toll free numbers are as low as 2.7c/min from places like www.patricklongdistance.com

## What other services can I benefit from? ##
It just so happens that toll free numbers are not the only affordable telecommunications service that might be useful to the owner of an ecommerce web site. Conference calling (for those teleseminars), low long distance rates, broadband or t1 internet access, and more are all examples of things that can be gotten more cost effectively off the internet via web pages such as the one I provided in the last paragraph.