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Laying Solid Foundations For Your Ebusiness
If your online business is to be successful, you can stack the odds in your favour by building solid foundations to give your visitors the confidence that you are a serious business owner.
Start the right way, and include all the information on your website which will give potential customers the confidence and assurance to buy from you, or give you their personal details, then keep coming back for more.
Choose the Right Name for your Business
Before you can make a start on laying solid foundations for your ebusiness, you need to choose the right business name. A winning business name can produce instant results; give you instant credibility, respect and bring in the target market customers you seek.
It is wiser to find a memorable name that reflects the nature of your business and is generic enough to allow product or service growth in the future. Your chosen name might also become your brand, if you think about this whilst you are deciding on a business name. Learn more about how to choose a business name, and what to consider about brand building:
Read our Tips for Naming your Business
Register the Business Name as a Domain Name
It is always wise to register a domain name the same as your business name, to protect your name and make sure no-one else can use it. This will show the owner of the domain as the business, and fortify your credibility. even if you set up websites with more domain names at a later stage, these will still contain your business name and show customers who you are.
See our Tips for How to Choose the Best Domain Name
Establish a Legal Identity
Once you have the name, decide on the type of organization your business should be. Incorporate your business to show that you are a legitimate company, with recourse for your customers should they require it, and not an internet opportunist wanting to make a quick buck and run. There are other forms of legal identity besides incorporating, so find one which gives you the most credibility and business advantages.
To establish a legal identity you will need to select your industry category; have decided on a business name; a business address (not your home address); acquire a separate business phone number; register for relevant tax identities; and all the fundamental requirements for a real business. For an ecommerce website, you will need a legal identity to obtain a merchant account.
Set Up your Terms and Conditions of Business
Develop Terms and conditions of doing business with you, so that your customers know exactly what they are agreeing to do when they take the action you want them to. This might include such things as the terminology used, license agreements for using your products, copyright information, payment terms, warranties, standards of quality, variations of contract, validity, jurisdiction, and so on.
For an example, see our Terms and Conditions
Formulate the Best Customer Care Policy you can
Weave your customer care objectives into each step of the design, content, navigation, order or payment security, communications, delivery, and other functions of your website.
As you delve into this website, see if we got this right - if you feel we could improve our customer care, we will be delighted to hear from you, just send us your feedback
Host your Domain Name with a reliable Web Host
Look for a reliable web hosting service (avoid free services) that can provide you with 99% uptime, and also provide you with a unique IP address so that you don't share your web address with others. Learn more on these pages:
Learn more about Web Hosting and IP Address Stumbling Blocks
Learn why you might want to consider paying for a Unique IP Address
Learn more about Commercial Web Space Web Hosting and Secure Server Hosting
More on Starting Up your own Ebusiness
For lots more advice on starting up your own ebusiness, check out Stage 1 of our Stages of Development series, Getting Started: Things to Think About where you will find much more information, tips and step by step guidance to help you get it right, and take you on to the next step for developing your ebusiness.
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