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Getting On The Web For Under $100!
By Joe Reinbold

One of the most asked questions from small business owners, mail order dealers and network marketers is generally, how can I get myself on the Internet when I don't have the budget that the big guys and gals have? Why? Because we are used to spending a lot of dollars on operating expenses such as advertising, printing, and postage to name a few. In the non-internet world we had to spend a considerable amount in order to get the word out or we didn't create sales. And without sales we wouldn't stay in business!
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One of the real perceptions is that you need to have a large operating budget to get on the Net and make a go of it. Just look at those big complex web sites! Sure there are some big beautiful sites and malls out there on the Net! But they all had to start somewhere and if you read some of the success stories you'll find that they started with little or no money in their pockets.

One of the unique things about the Net is that YOU can start with very little. A lot of us started in mail order and/or network marketing and you can pick up any opportunity publication and see the hype. "Start Your Own Home Business for Under $100"! Sure you can START it for under $100, but in the non-internet world, you have to spend a bundle to promote whatever you are going to sell. Even getting involved in an illegal chain letter will cost you postage and copies or printing and in most cases you won't make any dollars. Marketing on the Net is considerably different!

There are many ways to start your business on the Net or to expand your present business without spending a fortune. First there are numerous locations where you can obtain multi-page websites FREE. For example, your own ISP may give you some free pages. We started our online business on a five page free site. There are also many very inexpensive hosting companies where you can host your own site for less than $10.00 per month. For example, our hosting company where we host our three business sites, Perfect Presence, has a hosting package for $8.95 per month. The package is ideal for someone wanting to establish their own online business.

Once you have your website set up, then you are going to want to advertise it in order to get some traffic. This you can also do for free! There are hundreds, some estimate thousands of FREE advertising sites on the Web. You can place free classifieds at sites all over the world to get visitors to your site. You can click here to check out some of the ones that we use.

So far, you have your product or service on a web site and you have the ability to advertise all over the world. And at this point it might not have cost you anything!

As you consider expanding on the Web, you are going to want to have autoresponders that will work for you 24 hours a day to answer inquiries, furnish price lists and maybe even a newsletter. There are many providers out there and they go from free, to inexpensive to expensive. Our own service at www.123response.com has free service as well as an upgraded Deluxe service. Autoresponders can help automate many of the routine aspects of your business, especially if you do it part time while holding down your regular full time job.

What you may want to do also at this point is consider additional income sources that will be compatible with your online presence. You can do this through the use of affiliate programs. There are many affiliate programs, which are free to join, that you can make a great deal of additional income just by adding them to your web site inventory. Good affiliate programs do all the work for you while you just get people to their site through the personalized link they give you. They furnish the sales site, take the orders, process the payments, and deliver the goods. Then they send you your commission. It is that simple. You might want to check out our article on Creating Multiple Income Streams. If you would like to take a look at some of the affiliate programs that we have been involved in (some of them over three years or more) just click here. So while you are marketing your own product on the Web, you can also give your customers some alternative services that they might need to expand their online business.

One other element to consider when planning your online activities is to give your customers as many ordering alternatives as possible. So consider giving them the ability to fax the order to you with a check, email it to you with a check and most importantly have the ability for your potential customers to use their credit card to order. If you have a merchant account and can accept credit cards with your present business, make sure that you give them that option. Many new to the online business arena do not have a merchant account through a bank and it can be an expensive start up cost. One way to get around that large expense is to use a service like PayPal. We use them for our ordering processes. PayPal, owned by eBay, has millions of users worldwide. You pay a small transaction fee for each order processed, that's it. It is easy to join both, just click on the links just mentioned and set up your free accounts. Your buyers don't even have to be members of either one in order to make a credit card purchase.

A major advantage of marketing on the Web is that your store is open twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. And customers can "walk-in" to your store from around the world! It is so satisfying to wake up in the morning and find a considerable number of order notices in your email. In addition when you pickup your regular mail you can find regular commission checks from sales of products and services you weren't even aware of from the affiliate programs you are a member of.

You may need to spend thousands of dollars to market your product and/or service in newspapers, on radio or TV and through direct mail. But getting your business presence on the Web doesn't have to cost you an arm and leg. Once you're online and business starts to pick up, you can consider expanding to your own domain and many other opportunities. By combining your own business marketing activities and some good services/products that do not conflict with your primary product or service, you can create multiple income streams.

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Article by Joe Reinbold, Publisher of Home Income Quarterly E-dition, a weekly online marketing and home business newsletter. To subscribe visit The Entrepreneur's Home Business Link where you will find the solutions to your home business needs at: http://www.homebizlink.com

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