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Five last articles
  • Building a Web Store on Shoestring Budget in less than Four Hours

  • Thursday, May 12, 2005
  • Effective Web Search with Google's "My Search History" Tool

  • Monday, April 25, 2005
  • Beware of Spyware

  • Thursday, April 7, 2005
  • How to Build a Business Website

  • Tuesday, March 22, 2005
  • Effective use of your online time

  • Saturday, March 5, 2005
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    This is more like a Business Blog. Rusbiz.com is a B2B portal with features that cover a wide range of online business activities. As the CEO of Rusbiz.com, it is my obligation to be in touch with e-business related issues that concern Rusbiz members. I am planning to write about some of these topics over here. I hope that subjects that personally interest me will not go unattended either.
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    5 hot Internet businesses for 2005 Tuesday, December 7, 2004
    5 hot Internet businesses for 2005

    If you are planning to start a new business in 2005, you should seriously consider one of the many Internet based businesses available today. The online businesses have numerous inherent advantages in comparison to their brick and mortar counterparts.

    Investment is relatively small
    The basic elements to start an online business are the followings: a good product or service, an online presence, and a good marketing plan. All these things can be done on a shoe-string budget. You won’t require more than US$ 2000 to start any of the business described below. In most of the cases, the investment can be even lower.

    Quick to launch
    Once you know, what products or services you are going to sell, you can, basically, start your business within three to four weeks. Some of the online businesses don’t even take more than two to three days to start.

    Large audience
    Internet is big and it’s getting bigger! Whatever business you prefer to start, Internet allows you to tap instantly into a huge number of potential customers, which is, virtually, impossible to do with a brick and mortar enterprise.

    Huge growth potential
    With the Internet, sky is the limit! If you have a good product, service or idea, you can create a dot com behemoth over night! Smart guys are doing this! Internet success examples are abound.

    Work from home
    The best thing about online business is you can take care of it even while you are on vacation. No office is necessary; you work from home, if that is what you prefer.

    Less paper work
    Since starting for your quotation and purchase orders to the invoices and shipment tracking, everything is done online; you hardly have to do any paper work. Check out an example of how easy it is to manage your business processes online at http://www.rusbiz.com/deal_manage.html

    Flexible time schedule
    No longer have you had to work nine to five! You set your own schedules. Although, with any new business, initially, you have to work very hard, however, the time flexibility allows you to do other important things whenever it’s necessary.

    There is no limit to Internet business ideas. Savvy entrepreneurs are constantly coming up with mind-boggling online projects and striking rich in no time.

    Here I have chosen several of the online businesses with great upward potential with proven success history.

    Selling information

    If you are asked, what do you do on the Internet most of the time? The answer, most probably, will be searching or retrieving information. You are not alone! A survey conducted by Neilsen Media Research shows that Books and Information Category tops the highest selling product and service on the Internet with a significant margin in comparison to other categories. This makes information a natural product for sale on the Internet.

    Information sells online in the formats of e-books, articles, reports, data, whitepapers etc. If you have expertise in any specific field, you may consider selling your ideas in one of the mentioned format. Check out Clickbank’s marketplace to get a good idea what people are selling. You will be truly amazed by the scope of ideas!

    Resources
    http://www.clickbank.com
    http://ezine.rusbiz.com/article/13.htm

    Travel agency

    According to Jupitar Research the U.S. online travel market has grown at a fast pace over the last year, totaling $54 billion in 2004, or 23% of travel purchased. The online market is projected to grow to $91 billion in 2009, or 33% of travel purchased.

    Apart from being a soaring market, travel agency is also highly rewarding and satisfactory business. The interesting thing about this business is your own network of acquaintances is also your potential customers.

    The success of this business will depend on your target market and product that you are going to sell. Choose a very niche product and focus on a specific market segment. For example: Red Sea Rivera of Egypt is increasingly becoming a primer destination for many sun worshippers. Try working with several of the hotels from this area. Create package deals and offer to European customers.

    Resources
    ASTA http://www.astanet.com/index.asp
    NACTA http://www.nacta.com/
    OSSN http://www.ossn.com/
    ICTA http://www.icta.com/

    eBay store

    eBay has grown into the largest online marketplace in the world. Entrepreneurs are taking advantage of this. Opening a store on the eBay is fairly easy. However, the competition is stiff! There are nearly half a million stores are selling almost anything you can think off. In order to be successful you have to choose your products very carefully. The best selling items on the auction marketplace are collectibles, books, computer software and hardware, clothing, home and garden supplies, business supplies, wholesale lots, DVDs, special events tickets and even cars and real estates. If you don’t have your own products or you don’t want to physically handle a product, you can consider selling drop-ship items.

    The main reason why you should mull over selling your products through eBay is the sheer number of visitors eBay gets. By no means, an average website can bring you so many customers.

    If you find difficulties doing the auction sales yourself, you can also concentrate on seeking out products and selling them through eBay drop off stores. You can also come up with your own drop off store.

    Resources
    http://www.entrepreneur.com/ebaycenter/0,6316,,00.html
    http://www.i-soldit.com/
    http://www.quikdrop.com/

    Web service firm

    Services required by the Internet users and online businesses are increasing enormously. The Internet service industry is evolving so fast that for their various requirements, many companies, today, prefer outsourcing as oppose to doing things by hiring employees.

    Large and small companies started to realize that it’s more cost-effective and time-saving to outsource sophisticated business related services, which are not their core business.

    This has created a flourishing industry, part of which did not even exist several years ago.

    To be successful in this market you have to know what’s the odds are. A rush to provide complex solutions of vast range that fail to provide benefits at reasonable costs for businesses will sure take you out of business very fast.

    The services that you can provide may include:
    Website design
    Website promotion
    Online security consulting

    Resources
    http://ezine.rusbiz.com/topic/4.html
    http://www.hwg.org/
    http://www.webreference.com/
    http://www.guru.com/

    Export Import Business

    Thanks to the Internet, getting into import export business has never been easier. As the nations are accumulating wealth, their demand for foreign made products is also swelling. You can be a part of this action too! Whether you are planning to import or export, Internet resources can be of great help too you. The trade leads site, B2B exchanges and various marketplaces have made sourcing and selling products and services globally simple, effective and inexpensive. You can also create your web store with many of the B2B exchanges and run your business processes solely online.

    Resources
    http://www.itintl.com/
    http://ezine.rusbiz.com/article/24.html
    http://www.alibaba.com
    http://trade-leads.rusbiz.com
    http://marketplace.rusbiz.com
    http://www.export.gov/

    New MSN search engine: How good is it? Tuesday, November 23, 2004
    New MSN search engine: How good is it?

    If you have an online business or you just use Internet as one of your marketing tools, you know that how important are the search engines in your quest to get more targeted visitors to your website. The changes in search engine field can have unexpected outcome for your online endeavors. That’s why it is important to be well-informed on impending progress in this sphere.

    Microsoft has recently come out with the latest beta version of its much touted search engine. Supported by 5 billion indexed pages, it is poised to become one of the most powerful search engines in the market. Right now MSN is using Yahoo provided search results for queries done through its search page, which it’s planning to change somewhere in early next year with its own. You can check out the search engine at http://beta.search.msn.com .

    Google’s immense success and profitable business model enticed Microsoft and others to look into lucrative search engine market seriously. Amazon, for example, has recently launched its web search site A9.com. Today, Google carries out almost 50 percent of all searches on the Internet. Yahoo with 24 percent of the market share is trailing in a distant second place. MSN with 14 percent lags far behind from the competitors – a situation, which won’t be very easy to change.

    However, Microsoft has a long history of copying booming products; make their replicas some times, arguably, better then the originals, and clinch larger portion of the market shares. Microsoft has successfully done this to Borland’s dominance of programming languages in the early days. The list of victims continued with once utterly popular word processor –WordPerfect, market dominant spreadsheet – Lotus 1-2-3, Novell’s Netware and finally Netscape. Since 90 percents of all personal computers run on Windows, Microsoft gets an extra edge against its competitors, which it’s capable of exploiting very effectively.

    What is new in MSN search?

    This version of MSN search incorporated several interesting features, which other search engines are lacking at this moment.

    Direct answers to plain language factual searches

    Unlike Google or Yahoo, Askjeeves has better ability to find answers to direct plain language searches. MSN search has taken this one step further by adding Microsoft's Encarta reference tools to its features. Ask, what is the capital of Russia? You will get the right answer at the beginning of the result page. Questions like “What is the size of a Blue whale?” also brings in exact answer. No doubt, students will love this feature as it makes a lot easier for them to get specific answers to the questions related to facts and figures.

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    Near me

    Microsoft's new search engine includes a ''near me'' button that helps users find websites for a given location. In this release, this works only in United States.

    Once you press this button MSN search figures out where are you located using your computer’s IP address. However, this can be easily superseded by changing setting preferences. This is important if you are located in New York and looking for something near Boston.

    Search Builder

    In other search engines, if you would like to customize your search you have to use advance search options from a separate page. MSN search has made it a lot easier for average users by adding the ability of customization right on the search box.

    Once you click on the Search Builder from the link right underneath of the search box a drop down menu will open. Initially, the menu might look a little confusing; with little patience you will be able to use available great features easily.

    The tool “search terms” allows you to add Boolean search options. Site/ Domain tool is used for limiting a search to specific site or domain, or excluding them from your query. “Links to” tool helps you make your query within the sites linked to a specific site. Country/ region and language options are required to make geography or language specific searches.

    The best option from this group of features is the “Result Ranking”. This option allows you to refine searches and give you a better control over the search result by using a set of three bars. By sliding the bars up and down you choose whether you want to see more of exact match or approximate match, more popular or less popular, static or dynamic pages as search results. You can generate an impressive range of results for a single query thanks to this option. This could be very useful for some types of searches. For example: if you are looking for news based pages, you might prefer to choose more dynamic pages rather than static ones.

    Preference setting

    Most notable options on the setting page are “Safe Search” – ability to filter out sexually explicit images and texts, and ability to fix the number of results displayed from one particular site.

    Relevancy

    Many reviewers claim that if you compare the search results with Google, MSN search engine “falls short” in relevancy. However, my results showed otherwise.

    I ran a search on the phrase “trade leads”. The results from both the search engines were very relevant. The only difference in MSN I noticed is our http://trade-leads.rusbiz.com managed to turn up on the first page. But, a search on the word “e-catalog” was brought better – more relevant – results on MSN then Google. This time too I was happy to see http://e-catalog.rusbiz.com on the first page of MSN search results.

    Conclusion

    If you consider all the new features of MSN that Google does not have yet, its ability to cover natural language queries, quality level and relevance of results, ability to refine searches, there is no doubt that MSN search engine is as good as Google.

    Drop-shipping - a great way of making money online Friday, November 5, 2004
    Drop-shipping —  a great way of making money online

    Using the Internet to sell products and services to ever increasing number of net users is a good way to start your own business. If you are not taking advantage of this great opportunity you are just missing the boat! Consider this: e-commerce, contrary to popular believe, is thriving and increasing at a double digit growth rate. According to Jupiter Research, Online sales during this holiday season in United States are expected to reach $21.6 billion, a 19 percent increase over the same period last year. Jupiter also predicts in the report that 86 million U.S. residents will make holiday purchases online this year compared to 73 million last year, which is an 18 percent increase.

    No doubt that this is the right time to get into online business.  Building a website for selling products or services is no longer that difficult. You can make your own website by using available sophisticated but easy-to-learn-and-use programs like Macromedia Dreamweaver, Microsoft Frontpage, Adobe Go live, etc. There also exist various online web store builders similar to Rusbiz.com, which allow you to create powerful web stores using simple editors and numerous templates. You can also setup a store with E-bay and sell products through it. Finally, you can hire professional web designers to develop your website. So, the important question is not how to get online, but what to sell on the Internet?

    In one of my articles – What to sell on the Internet? – I wrote about selling information products. Although this is an interesting concept, you might think that this is not your cup of tea; and you still prefer to work with some tangible products. In ideal scenario, probably, you want to sell a product of your choice but don’t want to carry your own stock and don’t want to handle the shipping. Is there a way of doing this? Yes, there is! It’s called “Drop-shipping”.

    What is drop-shipping?

    When a manufacturer, wholesaler, distributor or importer, after receiving an order from their retailers, individually pack and deliver the product to the customer of the retailer with retailers address as shipper, this selling technique is called drop-shipping.

    The advantages of drop-shipping include:

    • You do not have any inventory. So, there is no stock carrying expense involved.
    • You pay for the item only when it is sold and you got paid from your customer. You don’t need to invest money in buying the product.
    • You can sell just one item at a time. No minimum quantity required.
    • Your drop-shipper will supply you with necessary product image and specification. You don’t have to spend money on creating your own.
    • You fix your own selling price of the product. Convenient, when you know your niche market well.
    • You can offer various products on your web store from multiple suppliers.

    Select a product to sell

    Once you decided to go with drop-shipping you need to find products to sell and find drop-shipping suppliers for those products. According to the same report from Jupiter following are the most favorite categories for online shoppers: Books – by far the most popular category, after that comes clothing and shoes, music, toys, video tapes and DVDs, gift certificates, consumer electronics, accessories, videogames, bed and related items, and bath items.  You should also consider that this year, total Internet sales of consumer electronics are expected to rise 32 percent to $7.5 billion, making it the fastest growing group among all retail sales categories online.

    The market research wizard developed by Worldwide Brand Inc. is a great tool, which shows in a probability scale whether it is worthy trying to sell your selected product online or not.
    You can find it over here.

    Locate drop-shipping companies

    After selecting the product the next step is to find a reliable drop-shipper for it. This might not be an easy task! The things that you should look into a drop-shipper are the followings:

    1. A reputable supplier with drop-shipping experience
    2. Ready to ship one item at a time
    3. Do not ask for any membership payment
    4. Will use your name as shipper
    5. Will enclose blank invoice or invoice from you
    6. On the packaging there will be no indication that they are the supplier.

    You might think that the easiest way of finding a drop-shipper is just to buy one of the numerous lists on the Internet for sale. I won’t recommend you to use them for number of reasons. Often, these lists are outdated or carry wrong information. Even if you find the companies through the lists, since many people use these lists, you get into fierce competition for market share not even starting to sell.

    Use the following approach instead:

    Online search

    The first step is, naturally, to use the search engines. Using various combinations of the keywords of your product with words: manufacturer, wholesaler, drop-shipper, dealer, see if you can find the original source of the product.

    If several online retailers are already selling this product, do some detective works! Check out the sites thoroughly. May be, you can find a clue, which will help you track down the supplier.

    If it is an imported product go to the sites like Alibaba, ecplaza, Rusbiz, trade-india. Locate the manufacturer and get in touch with them to find who you should contact in your country to retail sell their products. If the product is manufactured in North America, the best source to find them is Thomas register.

    Trade exhibitions

    You should definitely attend the trade shows related to your category of products. This is an easy way to find a number of suppliers, who might be willing to work with you. 

    Trade magazines

    Trade journals and publications are also a good resource for finding suppliers of your products. Although, you might have to go through a sizable quantity of them before you stumble on the right supplier.

    Conclusion

    Drop-shipping has some inherent drawbacks too. The biggest of them is you have to totally rely on the drop-shipper to fulfill your order and get the product to your customer on time. The others are: you don’t have any control over the price or availability of the product. However, a good drop-shipper cares for his reputation since his business depends on retailers like you. That’s why you have to be very careful in choosing the right drop-shipper.

    How to search your PC with Google Desktop Wednesday, October 20, 2004

    How to search your PC with Google  Desktop In this era of Internet, most people are frequent users of computers. Many of us use computers through out the day, accumulating morasses of information in various formats, which include email, digital photo, word document, spreadsheet, presentation file, ebook, article, other downloaded files, music, visited web pages, and many others. We stuff them in multiple folders in our PC. Before we know it, our hard drives become a storeroom of misplaced items. As a result, finding a needed file of information some times become a daunting task!

    The search function integrated to Microsoft Windows is not a big help either. It requires you to know, albeit vaguely, where the file could possibly be located. If your data storage is significant and you made a search on your whole hard disk, it might take ages to get search results and, then again, there is no guarantee that you will find the right file. Frustrating?  Thanks to new Google Desktop Search this is about to change!

    What is Google Desktop Search?

    Google Desktop Search is a free downloadable small program, which will quickly and easily find your files no matter where in your hard disk they are stored. The great thing about this program is by making your computer searchable, this program frees you from having to manually organize and sort your files, emails, and downloads. You no more have to mull over where in your PC the information you are looking for is residing – in your email, files or web pages that you browsed recently.

    At present Google Desktop Search works only with the full text in Outlook and Outlook Express email, text, HTML, Word, Excel and PowerPoint files, AOL chat, and Web pages viewed through Internet Explorer. Other files like PDF will be probably added in future version.

    How it works?

    Google Desktop Search is fairly easy to download and set up.  The address for downloading the program is http://desktop.google.com.  Once you installed the program, it begins initial indexing process of your hard disks. This may take several hours for an average size disk.  The one-time indexing process only works when the computer has been idle for more than thirty seconds. Indexing for Google Desktop Search is an ongoing process, new files and emails get updated automatically. The search index created by the program resides on your own computer.

    On your system tray you will see a swirled icon in Google colors, by clicking on it you will open the regular Google search page with the addition of Desktop along side with other search areas. Once the indexing is done, files are searched in under a second and the results are impressively precise. The top bar shows quantities of files found under the four categories, which include emails, files, chat and Web history. The results are shown in much the same way as regular Google interface. You can choose to see relevant results from all or any of the categories. You can also sort results by relevance or by date. By clicking on any result you open the file in respective application software.

    The email query results are the best! No longer have you had to remember in which folder you stored the email written to John in reference to Peter. By searching for Peter or John, you will find all relevant emails and related correspondence. You can read and answer to any of the discovered email from the thread. This really saves time when you need to follow up to a large numbers of emails each day.

    There are two more text buttons next to the search field. One is Desktop Preferences and other is Remove Items. Desktop preferences allow you to choose the types of files you would like the program to include in its index out of available ones. You can also point out not to index specific folders from your hard disk. If you share your PC with others, it’s a good idea to eliminate your private folders from the Desktop index. You can also specify not to index certain websites from your cached web history as well. The Remove items button allow you to eliminate selected results from the index.

    The advance search option allows you to search by phrase by putting the phrase within quotation marks, to eliminate a word from search by putting a minus sign in front of the word, to search by file type, and to search within a web URL. A neat feature is to integrate your desktop search with your web search. This is very handy if you have already done an extensive search for some information and after a few days doing search for similar information once again.

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    Privacy question

    By default, Google Desktop Search collects a limited amount of non-personal information from your computer and sends it to Google. This includes summary information, such as the number of searches you do and the time it takes for you to see your results, etc. You can opt out of sending this information during the installation process or from the Desktop preferences later. According to Google Privacy Policy no personally identifying information, such as your name or address, will be sent to Google without your explicit prior permission.

    What is missing?

    I bemoan not having PDF files in the search process as yet. I have dozens of e-books and PDF whitepapers residing in my PC, and I really would prefer to have them indexed. That way, I’d have been able to read materials, when I needed them most.

    The other thing I want to see is clustered result of my query, which shows organized search results into meaningful hierarchical folders similar to the way Vivisimo search engine works. This clustering is particularly helpful for desktop search, as this allows us to see other relevant documents connected to the searched word.

    Conclusion

    Due to Google’s immense popularity as a search engine, it’s logical that most users will prefer Google’s desktop search program as oppose to other similar programs, such as Copernic and Hotbot.  Finally you can search your very own computer with similar ease and preciseness as you have been searching the Internet for quite some time.

    Attracting traffic with banner ads Thursday, September 30, 2004

    Attracting traffic with banner adsInternet is an ever evolving business platform. Doing business on the Internet differs in a number of ways from every day brick and mortar business. Change here is more frequent, more dramatic and may have greater impact than in a conventional business. Success in this climate can only come from quick response to the changes. Look at web advertisement! Just in a few short years, we have seen rise and fall of banner advertisement, email marketing, pop-ups, pop-unders and number of other marketing tools.

    Consider banner advertisement. In the beginning of Internet era, banner advertisement was one of the primer methods of online marketing. There were not many quality sites in those days. In search of good feature and content filled websites visitors were clicking through banners aggressively. Today, things are totally different! Over using of banners on the web pages forced to train our eyes not to notice banners any more. Visitors tend to avoid clicking through the banners unless there is a very compelling reason to do so. Does that mean the banner advertisement is dead? Not so soon!

    Although, banner click through rate is quite low in comparison to what it used to be, depending on your objectives banner advertisement can still be very effective. Banner ads are used today, either for creating brand recognition or for bringing in more traffic to the website and consequently generating more sales.

    Brand recognition

    As an overall brand awareness campaign, companies place banners on targeted websites.
    Banners of products with mass appeal are frequently posted on high traffic portals. If your goal is to make any of your products or services popular to certain niche market, you should find websites catering this particular audience and post banner ads. When visitors see your banners, whether they click on it or not same like traditional bill boards and TV advertisements it helps you building consciousness to your brand.

    According to a recent study, online banner ads can be as effective as television advertising as far as brand recognition is concerned. A survey was conducted among members of American Online who saw an ad of a product as a banner on the website and on TV commercial. The result indicated that 40 percent of the audience remembers the static banners and 41 percent remembers the TV commercial at the time of the poll conducted a few days later.

    Forester Research claims that you can get similar brand recognition effect from online ad campaign in comparison to traditional forms of advertisements for around 60 percent less cost. However, same like offline ads, in order to create a sustainable brand recognition, your online advertisement campaign also needs to run for a prolong period of time.

    Generating traffic

    Banner ads could be a good source of high quality traffic for your website if you manage your banner ad campaign wisely. If your main purpose of the campaign is to generate more sales by attracting traffic - which is any way should be the main goal of any e-commerce site you have to select sites to post banners where you target audience frequently visit. Pay per click search engines like Overture or Google Adwords are good options for your textual banner ads. Since the visitors are already looking for a website like yours by searching for the keyword that you have selected to place your ad, you get highly targeted traffic from this.


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    There are no fixed rules of effective banner ads campaign. You have to learn the program works best for you by trial and error. The principal idea behind any advertisement is to grab viewers attention, ignite their curiosity and motivate them to act. For banner ads it is no different!

    Do's and don't's of banner ads

    The following tips should help you getting better result from your banner advertisement campaign:

    1. Choose an attention grabbing content. Space is so limited in a banner same like newspaper headlines you have to come up with something that really gets viewers attention. Since you have to do it in one or two sentences, try using something funny, outrageous but intriguing. You can also use pictures, which deliver similar effect.
    2. Call to an action. Many people like to be guided. Tell them what to do such as Click here or Go to the website.
    3. Focus on one offer. Your banner ad should carry one single message. By including several offers in one ad, chances are you will confuse viewers rather than intrigue.
    4. Make it readable. Even a greatly designed banner will fail to motivate a viewer if the text on it is not readable.
    5. Avoid information overload. Too many pictures, colors and texts make banners look clumsy. Viewers tend to ignore this type of banners. Animated banners should have less than four frames.
    6. Dont use heavy banners. Make sure that your banner file size is less than 5K. Bigger files take longer time to load.
    7. Test your banners before publishing. Check how your banners will look with different browsers. Verify that the banner link URL is correct and linked to the right page on your website. Whenever, you make changes to your website, make sure to double check your banner ads.

    Recent practice shows that a banner, which looks like a text has 4 times more click through rate than a conventional banner. So use text banners to increase efficiency of your banner ad program.

    Since advertisement is the main source of income for many websites banner ads are here to stay. Although, there is no doubt that their look and use will constantly be evolved.

    How to implement e-business solutions successfully Thursday, September 9, 2004
    How to implement e-business solutions successfully

    Getting your business processes online is not an easy job! According to Gartner Group, a renowned research firm, a full 75 percent of all e-business projects fail due to poor planning and unrealistic expectations of new technology. The productivity gains and cost savings promised by e-business solutions are often lost not because of the technology itself but because of improper management of their implementation. In most of the cases, when a massive e-business solution installation goes wrong, the management of the business is to blame. Failure to understand the scale of the project, oversimplification of the project, inappropriate expectations and lack of resource commitment are few of the mistakes made by management that debilitate the implementation and use of the systems.

    Pitfalls of E-business solutions installation process

    A large distribution company has decided to use a new online supply chain management solution. The people – those who were supposed to use the system – were quite skeptic about the ability of the system, as they did not have enough knowledge and had very little or no training in using a similar system. As a result, it took over a year for the company to bring the solution to its full operation. Productivity suffered severely. The final implementation cost came out to be several times more than initial budget.  A large number of companies are reporting to face similar difficulties with the implementation of their e-business solutions.

    The problems that occur while a company tries to implement e-business solutions, most likely, include:

    • Senior managers do not spend enough time and efforts to learn and understand the solutions. As a result, they have no idea how their workers will adapt to this new solution; and fail to set forth quantifiable objectives for them in terms of efficiency and productivity.
    • The end users do not receive required training. As a result, treat the new solution as an added burden rather than a tool to increase efficiency and productivity.
    • In many cases, IT infrastructure is not up-to-date enough and lacks power to support the new solution.
    • Due to inadequate understanding by the management of the e-business solutions that they plan to adopt, often, the time and money allocated to the project are far less than required.
    • Often the advanced Internet based e-business solutions require to be integrated with portion of old systems that the company is presently using, which in turn, sometimes generates software and system incompatibility.
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    How to avoid pitfalls

    E-business solutions are sophisticated systems that encompass significant areas of the company and its relationship with customers. That’s why implementation of these projects should be carried out according to detailed plans.

    Preparation

    Create a well developed scope. In creating the scope involve all end-users of the solution, not only the technical and business model experts. Get answers to the questions like:

    • What is the single most important goal that the company is planning to reach thanks to this solution?
    • What critical problems the solution is meant to solve?
    • Are the time and money spent justifies its implementation?
    • What are the implementation milestones?
    • How you will know that you have reached those milestones?

    Once you got all the relevant people of the company involved in the process, choose an implementation taskforce of experts from all required sections. This team should be responsible for developing the implementation plan. According to this plan assign resources and deadlines. Upon completion of each stage of implementation get senior management involved in order to review the progress.

    Education and Training

    Education should cover the “why” side of the solution and training the “how” side.

    • Identify the people that required getting trained and educated.
    • Define objectives
    • Define training and education criteria and select syllabus
    • Set the evaluation method
    • Conduct the actual learning process
    • Assess their progress

    Implementation

    Implementation of the solution should take place according to the strict predefined stages.

    Upon completion of each stage of implementation get senior management involved in reviewing progress. Conduct reality check!

    • How does the solution meet your expectations so far?
    • Is it doing what it’s supposed to do?
    • Do you need to revise any of your priorities?

    Once the implementation is over, set up a thorough post implementation meeting with the taskforce and the relevant end-users. The important thing here is to identify if everybody involved with the project is satisfied with the result or not.

    In order to successfully implement e-business solutions, it is very important that you fully understand the technologies behind it. If require hire a consultant and work closely with her. In the long run, this might save you substantial time and money.

    Here are other things to remember:

    1. E-business solutions are mere tools. Don’t expect them to radically change everything that you learnt about business processes.
    1. E-business solution implementations like any other project require strict step by step project management.
    1. Before considering an e-business solution, make sure that there is a sound business need to get it. E-marketplace, Private exchange, Business portal are few of the e-business solutions that help you attracting new customers and markets. These solutions also allow streamlining many of the vital business processes. In your e-business strategy these solutions should be at the top of the list.
    1. Keep track of the new technologies and keep an eye to your competitors’ e-business strategies. E-business is an extremely fast moving segment; you should be ready for changes and embrace them whenever it’s necessary.

     

    Rules for Achieving Online Success Friday, August 13, 2004
    Rules for Achieving Online Success

    The Internet brought a great deal of benefits to our life. Access to a lot of free and useful information is, probably, one of the most important out of them. However, this abandon of free information has also become a problem to some extent. You started to spend a little too much time on the Internet. For you emails, chat rooms, messenger services along with aimless web browsing dominate substantial portion of your workdays. As a result you feel that you are loosing control of your working hours, your productivity is decreasing and you are accomplishing far less in a day than you are capable of. This makes you frustrated, miserable and negative. What to do? How to get out of this mess?

    According to Brian Tracey, a renowned self-help guru, Principle of control is one of the most important factors of life. This principle ascertains that you feel positive about yourself to the degree to which you feel you are in control of your life. The same way, you feel negative about yourself to the degree to which you feel that you are controlled by external forces.

    The thing is if you don’t feel positive about yourself, it would be impossible for you to become successful. This means to become happy and successful you need to regain control of your life.  The following suggestions will help you achieve this:

    Set Goals

    Goals are like road maps. If you are planning to visit a new place and don’t grab a road map of the place with you, most certainly, you will have difficulties in finding the place. A written goal will give you a clear idea of what exactly you would like to achieve. Goals also give you a sense of control over your directions.

    Goal should be Specific: I would like to become a better online businessman is not a goal. It’s a mere statement! Goals should have clear, substantiated and detailed target!

    Goal should be measurable: I would like to get 100 thousand new visitors to my site within six months is a specific and measurable goal.

    Goal should be realistic: I want my site to become like Yahoo! within one year is probably a unrealistic and impossible goal. If your goal is too easy to achieve or an impossible one to reach, you will soon loose interest in it. Make sure that your goal is high but attainable.

    Set a deadline: Each of your goals should have specific deadlines for their achievement.

    Create a detail plan of action: List every action you have to take in order to achieve a certain goal.

    List obstacles: Write down all the obstacles that you might encounter on your way to reach this goal. Each time you overcome an obstacle from your list, you will feel good about yourself. This will work as a motivation for you to continue.

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    Make Lists

    While developing your plan of actions for your goals, make two basic lists, a comprehensive master list and a more specific daily to do list.

    The master list is a single ongoing list of all things that you plan to do in order to achieve your goals. It does not matter whether it is a major goal achieving work with a year long continuation or a small urgent task you need to finish today. Whenever you have come up with a task that you have to do, you add it to your master list.

    Each evening create a specific daily to do list for the next work day. Make sure that this list is not too long; and all tasks of this list can be finished within the next working day. If some of the tasks, however, remain untouched at the end of the day, just roll them over to the next day’s list.

    To use this list effectively you have to distribute your tasks according to their priorities.

    Remember Priorities

    Since it is impossible to predict whether you will be able to finish all the tasks from your list in one day, and since some of the tasks are more important than others; you should prioritized the tasks according to their importance in achieving your goals.

    To develop a priority-based to do list, write all the tasks you are planning to carry out the next day. Go through the list carefully and mark each of them according to their priority: A to be the most important and D to be the least important tasks of the list. Reconstruct the list according to the assigned priorities.

    Start working form the task number one from you list and go down accordingly. This priority-based to do list will be able to guarantee the followings:

    • You will know which tasks should be carried out first
    • You will always have a comprehensive to do list, allowing you to focus on the things that you need to.

    However, make sure that you don’t have more than three tasks with highest priority. As too many high priority tasks will keep you under stress and will constantly distract you from the job at hand.

    Focus on One Thing

    To be successful in any field you need to have many qualities. The ability to focus on the tasks of highest priority and continue working on them until you bring them to their logical end is one of the vital skills of success.  Many people of mediocre abilities achieved great success thanks to just this one single quality.

    Once you made your to do list and prioritized it, concentrate on one task at a time. No matter what we do, our mind can concentrate in one thing at a time only. If you try to do several things simultaneously, this will only distract you and slower your pace in accomplishing the task with highest priority.

    These simple and well-known rules can really do miracles to your life! Try them, you won’t be disappointed!

     

    Be Aware of Phishing Scams! Sunday, June 20, 2004
    Be Aware of Phishing Scams

    If you use emails actively in your communication, you must have received various messages claiming to be from Ebay, Paypal and a number of banks. A recent email as if from U.S. Bank Corporation that I received contains the subject “U.S. Bank Fraud Verification Process” and in the body of the mail it says “We recently reviewed your account, and suspect that your U.S. Bank Internet Banking account may have been accessed by an unauthorized third party. Protecting the security of your account and of the U.S. Bank network is our primary concern. Therefore, as a preventative measure, we have temporarily limited access to sensitive account features. To restore your account access, please take the following steps to ensure that your account has not been compromised:”. It continues with a link to a webpage, which looks very similar to original web page of the bank.

    The misleading web site appears authentic with familiar graphics and logos. The wordings are professional right down to the legal disclaimer at the bottom of the page.

    If you happened to be holding an account of the claimed bank, followed the instructions of the email and input your account, pin, password, etc. you are doomed. You just have handed over access to your account to a con artist, who, in a matter of days, will drain off all the money available in that account.

    This new scam, which is proliferating in a very rapid pace, is called “Phishing”. Phishing is a form of identity theft, where a con artist with the help of official looking email containing link to phony web pages capable of harvesting information, tricks an unsuspecting victim into divulging sensitive personal data. Scammers use these data to bilk victims out of their savings.

    One of the most common phishing campaigns being waged has targeted users of Web auction giant eBay and its PayPal division with financial services giant Citibank serving as another popular target. However, recently, every major bank has been hit with this scam. Crooks send out huge amounts of emails with an expectation that some of these email address owners may have online access to their accounts at the bank.

    The term “Phishing” is a deviation of the word “Fishing”. In hackers’ lexicon, in many words, “F” becomes “Ph”. The term derives from the fact that scammers use sophisticated bait as they “fish” for users’ personal information.

    According to Gartner, a research firm, illegal access to checking accounts gained via phishing has become into the fastest growing type of consumer theft in the United States. Roughly 1.98 million people reported that their checking account was breached in one way or another during the last year and US$ 2.4 billion were defrauded from the victims!

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    Gartner also estimated that 57 million U.S. Internet users have received phishing emails and 3 percent of them may have fooled into revealing their personal sensitive information.

    The Anti-Phishing Working Group has also spotted a dramatic increase in reports of phishing attacks in recent months. Since November, 2003 phishing scams increase by about 110 percent each month. In April alone, the group identified 1125 unique phishing scams, a sharp lift of 178 percent from the previous month.

    MessageLabs, a company that watches phishing scams closely, has noted an even more dramatic increase in number of phishing emails. It claims to see phishing messages jump from just 279 in September, 2003 to a staggering 215,643 in March of 2004.

    The scammers also started to use more sophisticated technologies in recent months. The latest generation of phishing scammers uses several methods to trick users, including pop-up graphics to mast the true web URL of the phishing site and the installation of Spywares and Trojans on victim’s computer. The perpetrators also take advantage of security bugs in web browsers, in which the URL in the address bar appears to be for one site but is, in fact, a link to a totally different site.

    A new Windows worm under the name “Korgo” is able to infiltrate into victim’s system with a key logging Trojan, steal information that the victim input in web forms and secretly transmit to designated server. There are a number of variants of this worm and they are spreading rapidly. However, Microsoft in April came up with a patch to seal this glitch. Many computers without the patch are still vulnerable to this potentially dangerous worm.

    A U.S. Treasury report provides consumers with steps to prevent and report phishing scams:

    • Do not respond to or open any e-mail that warns that an account is about to be closed. Contact the company directly by phone and inquire of this e-mail.
    • Do not submit financial information unless there is a symbol for a locked padlock on the browser's status bar. Also look for the https:// at the beginning of the Web address. If both of these signs are absent, the Web site is not secure.
    • Always review your bank statement and credit card statements immediately upon receipt.
    • Verify the domestic telephone number listed on the Web site through directory assistance or other reliable sources and call the number. Many phishing attacks have originated outside the U.S. and don´t have a domestic number.
    • Report suspicious activity or if you have been defrauded to the FTC and the FBI.
    • Phishing e-mails can be forwarded to uce@ftc.gov. Complaints can be filed at www.ftc.gov. Phishing attacks can also be reported to the Internet Fraud Complaint Center at www.ifccfbi.gov.

    Other cautionary measures you should take in order to protect yourself are:

    • Since most of the phishing emails come through spam, get a spam filter and install on your computer.
    • If you suspect a phishing attempt, report immediately to the bank. Every bank web site has a link or a toll-free number to report scams. Don't be ashamed if you were tricked into divulging account information. If you report it immediately, your account will be protected until you receive a new PIN.
    • Change your password and PINs regularly. Banks advise that you use separate PINs and passwords for different accounts, that way if one gets compromised, your entire financial life won’t be revealed.
    • If you are a frequent user of EBay, download its Web browser toolbar, a small program that runs with a user's Web browser. It flashes red when the user visits a possible spoof site. The toolbar uses a database of spoof site URLs, submitted by customers and is updated quite often.
    • Check your computer frequently for possible Trojan virus.

     

    Why Suppliers should use B2B exchanges Saturday, June 5, 2004

    Why Suppliers should use B2B exchangesBusiness to business e-commerce is on the rise! Worldwide B2B e-commerce revenues are estimated to reach around US$ 2 trillion in 2004. This is a significant leap from last year’s US$ 1.4 trillion. However, according to a recent survey, although, more than 70% of companies have already used Internet as a purchasing channel, a mere ten percent of their overall spending is directed via the Internet! Contrary to popular believe, this means, B2B e-commerce has still large potential to grow.

    Internet has the capacity of changing the conventional way of doing business. Today, you can not only buy and sell your products and services on the Internet, you can, virtually, shift all your business processes to online solutions as well. If you take advantages of new Internet based technologies, the outcome would be tremendously beneficial to your business. How to do this without spending a fortune and not putting a huge pressure on scarce corporate resources? The possible answer could be B2B exchanges!

    A B2B exchange is an online marketplace, where buyers, sellers and intermediaries form communities, exchange views, offer products and services, and conduct business transactions.

    By becoming a member of a B2B exchange you can benefit in both cost-saving and revenue increase – two primary requirements of productivity increase.

    New sales channel

    By becoming a member of a B2B exchange, you open a low cost, highly functional and easy-to-use sales channel for your company. You expose your company to a new targeted audience that otherwise would have been untapped. Prospective customers can buy products and services from you, using various venues and features of the B2B exchange, where you are a member.

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    Marketplace: All B2B exchanges include a marketplace, where suppliers can post sales offer of their products and services. Buyers, looking for specific products, can easily find best suppliers that suit them from the marketplace. A populated marketplace can easily become a good sales channel for a supplier.

    Electronic catalog: As a member of the B2B exchange, you are allowed to add all your products or services to the consolidated online repository of the exchange. Adding your products to the repository helps to create online standardize electronic version of your product specification – if you don’t have that before – and use the same catalog with other electronic sales systems – even with other B2B exchanges using XML interface.

    You can publish sales offer of your entire catalog to the marketplace, eliminating a need for other web presence. You can add products or services to the repository one by one or you can use XML interface to upload your whole electronic catalog.

    Web Store: Some B2B exchanges allow you to convert or integrate your website to their exchange. This helps you to handle sales conveniently from your website and the marketplace of the exchange seamlessly. You can make a web store from scratch with the help of integrated website builder of the B2B exchange as well.

    Auctions: One of the great features of many B2B exchange is their auction systems. As we all know from the immense success of Ebay, auctioning is a great way of selling products online. Some exchanges boast reverse auction system, where suppliers bid for a deal posted by a buyer.

    As a supplier, you can participate in those tenders without any extra cost involved.

    Low customer acquisition cost

    Your mere presence in the B2B exchange might bring you new customers! Since the buyers come to the exchange themselves; your cost of getting customers through this channel is relatively low in comparison to other traditional channels. You can even increase your visibility by advertising in the key places of the exchange, where your prospective buyers frequently visit. Being highly targeted, these ads produce incredible results.

    Improve customer service

    Ability to have constant interaction through the B2B exchange allows you to serve your customers better. You can track the whole ordering process from payment to delivery and bring greater efficiency in customer service. The integrated functions of an exchange such as sales management, internal messaging service, lead management, etc. also help you managing customers service process effectively.

    Efficient information sharing method

    When needed, you can instantly update your catalog and inform customers about changes. Whether you are launching a new product or having a web seminar, through the B2B exchange you can share the information more efficiently. Some B2B Exchanges use sophisticated knowledge management systems to create, capture, reprocess and reutilize information intended for specific group of audience. These contents or information can be displayed on demand or in time to a member – when needed.

    Business processes management

    One of the primary objectives of using B2B exchanges for you should be their ability to handle, run and administer various business processes. These solutions assist you to streamline your business, reduce overhead costs and reduce documentary errors.

    Using technologies in a bid to streamline business processes like supply chain is nothing new. Companies have been using various solutions to support product development, customer service, procurement and other integral processes for many years. Before the Internet era, many companies have invested enormous amount of money in infrastructure building to automate supply chain process. Today, thanks to the Internet, even small companies have opportunity to use highly sophisticated supply chain solutions for a small cost. Many B2B exchanges, such as Rusbiz.com, allow small companies to use supply chain management solution for a small fee. The major benefits of using supply chain solutions include:

    1. Reduced sales time
    2. Better inventory control
    3. Lower overhead
    4. Reduced manufacturing cycle time
    5. Reduced cost of goods

    Business to business e-commerce is evolving very fast. The fact is, at one point, most of all business transactions will take place via the Internet. B2B exchanges are a way of building cost-effective e-business environment on the Internet, which is capable of producing concrete and quantifiable business benefits to the participants.

    Doing business online Private B2B Exchanges Saturday, May 15, 2004
    Doing business online - Private B2B Exchanges

    Business processes are the building blocks of an enterprise. If one of these processes fails to live up to its expectation, business starts to flounder. How to minimize the risks, get a better monitoring of the processes and, at the same time, reduce costs involved? The answer is – business process automation.

    Although, automated business processes based on online technologies can create incredible value to existing business, many companies are slow to adopt technological innovations and reap benefits from them. However, lately, things have started to change! According to a recent poll conducted among mid size companies shows 52 percent of respondents plan to spend over a million dollar on business process automation. Large companies – early adopters of online business processes – have been immensely profiting from the value created by process automation. Intel recently announced that it saved one billion dollar last year alone thanks to online business process management.

    In broader sense, business process management technology delivers solutions to understand, analyze and simulate business process models. Companies adopt this technology to streamline their business operations, lower overhead expenses, reduce maverick buying, reduce paper-based – mistake prone – transactions and get better control. The ultimate goal is to make the corporation a fully process-managed enterprise, transformed through strategy, design, realization and actual operations.

    Companies require streamlining their business processes to help solve various crucial but specific problems, such as:

    • An electronic supplier, in order to stay competitive, requires reducing order fulfillment cost aggressively.
    • A merchant needs to reduce shipping time by better monitoring his inbound shipping.
    • A manufacturer needs to cut production cost by reducing manufacturing time of a key product.
    • A bank needs to develop and market a financial product faster than its competitors.
    • A large distributor needs to consolidate buyers and suppliers to bring efficiency to its business.
    Although, business processes are wide in range; and there are many complex issues that require meticulous work, automation of some basic processes may bring notable result for virtually any company. These processes include supply chain, procurement, logistics, inventory control, etc. By adopting an online business to business exchange companies can streamline most of these business processes bringing added value to their operations.

    A B2B exchange is a unified online platform, where buyers and sellers login to communicate, collaborate and make business transactions. A private B2B exchange, mostly, consolidates suppliers and buyers of a specific company, which owns and operates the exchange.

    There are two ways of integrating B2B exchange to automate business processes. A company can participate in existing B2B exchange or create its own private exchange.

    While for small companies, it is more viable to participate in a major B2B exchange that has required components, larger companies should consider creating their own B2B exchange.

    The profits companies can reap from joining an existing B2B exchange or creating their own private one could be enormous.

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    Customer Base Development

    A supplier, once registers with a B2B exchange, gets immediate access to a large community of prospective buyers of his products or services.

    Increase Revenue from Existing Customers

    Business process automation allows companies develop products faster, buyers get faster and easier access to product information, receive quicker response to their requests, get better customer support and may buy products online. These turn into more sales.

    Add Profit from Value Added Services

    Once the exchange is set as primary sales channel, available free resources can be used to create more value added services for clients. Some of the services that the exchange may offer also can be used to generate more value.

    Reduce Order Processing Cost

    The supply chain solutions of a B2B exchange may allow sellers to reduce order processing cost significantly. Studies show that cost of processing a purchase order can be reduced from US$ 70 down to US$ 6 only.

    Sales and support costs

    By automating sales and customer support processes companies can reduce over head costs over 25-30% easily.

    Inventory keeping costs

    Clearer visibility and forecasting ability allow companies considerably reduce inventory keeping costs.

    Since an existing B2B exchange may not have all the necessary features and functions, a good option is to build a private exchange based on one’s own specific business process automation need. This exchange, at its minimum, should be able to cover major portion of supply chain and inventory control.

    The following elements should be integrated to create substantial value to a private B2B exchange:

    Supply Chain Management

    Supply chain management is the core solution of an exchange and can deliver great values to existing systems. Implementation of this solution will help achieve incredibly high return on investment. Business process automation in this component of the exchange includes both supplier and buyer–side quotation, requisition, purchase order and invoice.

    Marketplace

    This is the venue where the exchange owner company will post their products for sale. A shopping cart should be integrated to the electronic marketplace in order to automate the buying process. The offered-for-sale products will be directly related to inventory control management component of the exchange.

    Auction

    Electronic auction system can use both English and Dutch auction methods. For convenience the auction component can be integrated to the electronic marketplace.
    Online auction helps liquidate surplus goods easily.

    Reverse Auction


    This solution allows automate electronic procurement, where suppliers compete for a business deal real time online.

    Members Storefront

    The participants of the Private Exchange – both buyers and sellers of the exchange owner company get a Storefront that reflects profile of the company, their products and other information.

    Forum


    A Forum or Discussion Board is an organized, on-line interactive message board where participants conduct discussion on a set of topics by posting questions, comments and responses.

    Directory of Companies

    This is a listing of all registered participants – buyers and sellers of the exchange owner company – either by business category or by alphabetical order. An advanced search engine tool can be incorporated in order to find a company based on data provided.

    E–catalog

    E–catalog is a hierarchy of product and service categories. All products and services handled by the exchange owner company should be consolidated in the catalog.

    Private B2B exchange is a powerful concept, which engulfs a fairly big portion of business processes requiring automation. This is more like a business ecosystem that has an ability to change the way companies think and do business and create tremendous value to their owners.

     

    Using Google Tuesday, April 20, 2004

    Using Google Thanks to a unique algorithm that produces most relevant results to any given query, Google has become, indisputably, the best search engine on the Internet. On the last count, Google has indexed over 4 billion pages and tackles around 200 million searches a day! A cluster of 100 thousand servers are used to store, crunch and spew out the query results with lightning speed that you are so accustomed to see.

    This phenomenal growth has made Google from a garage startup to an Internet behemoth faster than any company has done before. The prodigies behind this unique search engine, Larry Page and Sergey Brin in the process already got enlisted themselves in billionaire club.

    Google is no longer a mere search engine! It is increasingly broadening its offerings to include great new services and excellent tools. Among these services, most notables are News - a news aggregation and searching service, Blogger - an online journal-keeping solution, Froogle - a marketplace for comparison shopping, Groups - online discussion groups, Answers - a place to get hard-to-find information for a price, etc.

    Google also recently unveiled two more programs. Orkut - a social networking service and Gmail - a free web mail service. Orkut is an online community, where a person can participate in it by invitation from a member only.

    If you constantly frown over limited space of your hotmail or Yahoo accounts because they get filled up with junk mails and force you to delete old messages frequently, you will love Gmail with its 1 GB of storage capacity. There are several great features available in Gmail system too. One of them, dubbed as Conversations, allow you to view all exchange mails with somebody, once you select one of the mails. Sorting and searching emails also become much easier with Gmail. The only catch is Gmail displays relevant ads - based on the keywords found in your email - on the right side of the screen when you view an email, much like Google displays ads when you view search results.

    Although, Google is constantly adding new and extremely useful features, most of us unfortunately do not use all the capacities of the search engine itself. The following tips will make your Internet browsing more effective if even you are an avid net user.

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    Choose most specific search words

    Google returns web pages that contain all the words in your query. If you would like to see the most relevant pages on the first page of your search result, be very specific with your choice of words. For example: if you would like to research on former NHL hockey player Makarov, you should start your search with Makarov not hockey player. Even better if you search for the words: hockey player Makarov. Because just the word Makarov will show web pages on "Makarov" a Russian-made handgun and numerous other people and products with the name Makarov.  Refining your query in Google means adding more specific words to your initial search. In this example you will hit the right web pages if your search contains: NHL hockey player Makarov.

    Sets - a new feature

    What if you are looking for a pair of Valentino designer jeans but can't recall the name of the designer?  Query on Italian designer jeans may bring you the right result; however, there is a better tool that Google is planning to implement soon, called "Sets".

    Fill up the names of some designers that you remember in the given form such as Levis, Wrangler, Versace and click either of the two buttons and voila! You will get a list of designers name and probably, Valentino will be there. But bear in mind that this feature is still at Beta stage.

    Calculator

    The other day, I was sitting in a colleague's office. She needed to calculate some basic stuffs and looking for her calculator on her desk. Much to her dismay, she could not find the calculator and started to fumble through her computer programs in her attempt to find Microsoft calculator.  I noticed that she was online and the browser was open. I, politely, asked her whether she knew that Google could actually calculate most common mathematical expressions. It came out to be, she did not! She was just amazed after trying it herself. Google is even capable of unit conversion! Give it a try!

    Definition

    If you are looking for a definition of a particular word or a phrase, Google is the best place to get it. In Google search box, write "define:  the word or phrase" without the quotation marks and click search button. If there is a definition available for your search term you will, most certainly, get it. It's a very useful feature for students and people, those who write research papers.

    Synonyms

    You may think that search engines are too dumb to show query results of the synonyms of your search term. It's not so! At least, in the case of Google! If you use tilde "~" in front of a keyword in your search term, Google will bring results on the synonyms of that word as well.

    Searching within a website

    Another great feature of Google search engine allows you to make your query within a specific website.  First you write your search term in the Google search box and then write "site: the website or domain name". For example: if you are looking for word "Microsoft" within the website www.micromedia.com you will write: Microsoft site: micromedia.com.

    Check backward links to your website

    If you have a website, Google search engine also has a nice feature to show you which web pages are linking to yours. In the search box, write: Link: you website address.

    Other important tips to remember are:

    • There is no need to use "AND". Google always relate all the words in a search term with Boolean "and".


    • However, if you would like to make your query for two words - one or another - you can use "OR".  You have to write "or" in capital letters to give it Boolean value.


    • Google is not case sensitive. You can write your search terms either in capital or in small letters. You can even mix them up.


    • Google omits most of the very common words, such as the, in, etc. If you, indeed, need to add a specific word forcefully, use plus (+) sign in front of that particular word. Same way, you can exclude a word from your search expression by putting minus (-) sign in front it.


    • If you would like to make a search on an exact phrase or expression, put the words within quotation marks. That way, your search result will show only those pages where the exact expression was found. In order to search the phrase: For whom the bell tolls, write "For whom the bell tolls" in the search box.

    I'll also suggest you to download the Google Toolbar. Apart from the search box and its ability to block pop-ups, Google Toolbar also shows the pagerank of the website you are visiting now. Pagerank is a system of evaluating web pages - developed by Google founders and used as the core of Google's search engine algorithm. The Toolbar also includes feature with the ability to fill up online forms from stored information automatically. You can also keep your daily journal or blog right from the toolbar.

    Much to net users delight, Google, in accordance with its ambitious mission statement to organize world's information  and make it universally useful and accessible, so far doing a great job by providing us the best search engine and extremely handy features and services.  We can only hope that the flow of innovative ideas from Google will not slow down in future, when it becomes a public company.

     

    Seven Key Qualities of Successful Entrepreneurs Monday, April 5, 2004

    Seven Key Qualities of Successful EntrepreneursA recent poll conducted by Forbes magazine shows that majority of its readers would prefer to become a billionaire rather than a Nobel peace prize winner, a great scientist or a famous athlete. There is no secret that most of the average people dream about getting rich albeit very few makes any real effort to become one.

    According to statistics, more than 100 thousand people become millionaires each year in the United States alone! Overwhelming majority out of them is self-made and owners of business. This means, if you would like to pursue your goal of becoming rich, you have to start your own venture.

    Becoming an entrepreneur is not an easy task! There are certain qualities that are absolutely necessary if you would like to become successful in your business ventures. Some of these qualities are built-in parts of your inherent personality, and some of them get developed over time. Knowing these characteristics and identifying your weak ones - those, which need strengthening - will, eventually, help you become a successful entrepreneur.

    1. Common Sense

    Studies show that most successful businessmen consider common sense as the foundation of their success. Common sense is defined as an ability to make sound judgments on the issues, which you encounter in everyday situations.

    Good judgment depends on acquired knowledge and past experience. The combination of these two creates necessary prerequisites in developing common sense in a person. Common sense allows you to understand complex issues in simpler terms and get into the core of a problem.

    2. Specialized Knowledge of your field

    It is easier to start a successful business, if you have deep knowledge of the business field that you decide to pursue. About half of all home-based start-ups are launched by people who decide to use the knowledge, which they gained from their previous work experience of a particular niche area.

    Philip Green, a billionaire, who made his fortune in garments retailing, claims that corner stone of his success is his knowledge of rag trade. He, presumably, can price a fabric simply by rubbing it between his fingers. Just by looking at a rack of coats he can predict which ones won't sell next season. That's the kind of knowledge required in order to become successful in entrepreneurship.

    Around 45 percent of all start-ups fail to survive more than two years. One of the main reasons is many entrepreneurs do not accumulate needed industry knowledge before jumping into business world.

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    3. Self-confidence

    Self confidence is a key entrepreneurial skill for success. It is easy to become demoralized, frustrated and resentful if you lack self-confidence.

    Self-confidence is concerned with how a person feels about his ability. A successful entrepreneur believes in his abilities. He is not scared to explore un-chartered territories, take risk and take difficult decisions.

    Self-confidence, however, is not a personal trait that either you have or you don't. A person can have high self-confidence in one situation and totally lack in another. This is one of those skills that can be developed by training.

    4. Ability to get things done

    Successful entrepreneurs are persistent and hardworking. They master self-discipline to such extent that if a work is important and related to their goals, they will, eventually, complete it.

    Getting things done is the vital link between motivations and their outcome. At times, entrepreneurs force themselves to choose work over fun, a boring job against a pleasant one, working on tax papers rather than reading a glamour magazine. This requires a self-control that many people simply fail to develop in them.

    5. Creativity

    Creativity is the ability to use your insights and come up with new solutions to old problems, get things done in a different way or find a totally different approach for conventional things to work together. Entrepreneurs need creative thinking ability virtually in everything. Each new product, each new marketing method, each business decision - all these are fertile ground for creative thinking.

    Often, entrepreneurs become immensely successful thanks to one single creative idea!

    6. Ability to lead

    Successful entrepreneurs are capable of leading people and get work done by them. They use a combination of various methods - effective motivation, planning, coaching and evaluation - to lead people. They are concerned about the wellbeing of others and easily get along with people.

    7. Self reliance

    Successful entrepreneurs try to take full responsibility for their actions. They know that what they are today, and what they are going to be tomorrow, depend solely on themselves, as it is the outcome of their own choices and decisions. They are proactive people, who set goals, walk an extra mile to achieve them and rely, primarily, on their own resources and abilities.

    If you would like to check out if your personality fits the typical entrepreneurial profile, the following site has questionnaire that will help you asses your entrepreneurial skills:

    http://www.rateyourself.com/subject.cfm/Subject_ID/2

    If, even, you have all these great qualities and you feel quite confident about yourself, you will never know how good an entrepreneur you are, unless you give it a try! So, the best way to prove your abilities, is to jump start a new venture!

     

    How to start a successful import business using the Internet Part II Monday, March 15, 2004

    How to start a successful import business using the InternetThe Internet has opened up a whole new era of business opportunities. Falling trade barriers combining with easy access to trade information thanks to the Internet have created dramatic possibilities and sparked the growth of global online trade in virtually every area.

    Many companies are taking advantage of electronic media quite aggressively by making new contacts, tapping into new markets and reducing costs with the help of online technologies.

    Whether you are starting a new import business or planning to expand your existing business, you too can use the Internet as your primary channel for getting information, sourcing products or services, finding suppliers and doing your marketing.

    Before the Internet era, finding a viable product for importing was not an easy job! Trade shows and traveling to foreign lands were the two best options available for getting hands on information on a product and its supplier. Today, required information on any conceivable product from virtually any market is available at your finger tips.

    Finding a product

    If you know what you are planning to import, a substantial work is already done! Otherwise, your first step is to choose a feasible product or service to import. Whether you are planning to import a general merchandize or an industry-specific product, do your homework right.

    Browse through Catalog repositories, B2B exchanges, electronic trade boards, trade journals and virtual trade shows to find a product. If you know the manufacturing country from where the product is possible to source, check out the country specific portals and exchanges. Here is a list of high quality electronic trade boards:

    For China made products: www.alibaba.com
    Sourcing from India: www.trade-india.com
    For Russian Products: www.rusbiz.com
    Products from Europe: www.europages.com
    From South Korea: www.ec21.com

    For other country-specific or industry-specific B2B exchanges check out this list: http://dmoz.org/Business/E-Commerce/Marketplaces/

    Your criteria for choosing a product for importing should include:

    • Your prior knowledge of the product you intend to import and its industry. Your possibility of success increases considerably if you know the product well.
    • Access to required quantity of this product. If you spend time and effort in developing a local market for a product and unable to deliver, you will loose business and reputation.
    • Quality of the product. This is a crucial aspect for developing a market for any product. Quality of the product should be consistent with market requirement.
    • High profit margin. As import incurs many expenses that are specific to this type of business only, prior to import anything, you should carefully calculate all required expenses and see that you still make handsome profits. You can check out the sites of your prospective competitors and make a price comparison to get initial idea on your products present market price.

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    Finding supplier

    Once you know what you are planning to import your next step is to find a reliable supplier for this product.

    Emarketplace or B2B exchange
    B2B exchanges can be a good help in getting suppliers of the products you are planning to import.

    The possible steps, you have to take to find a supplier from a B2B exchange, are listed below. As an example www.rusbiz.com is used.

    Register your company. Often this service is free!
    Go to Advanced Search
    Write your product name in the relevant box
    Select required criteria and click on Search
    You will find a list of companies.
    Check out each of them until you find a suitable one.

    Chamber of Commerce
    Another option is to contact Chambers of Commerce to find a supplier. A Chamber of Commerce is an association of companies that protects and promotes business interests of its members.

    For a complete list of Chambers of Commerce from various countries check out this page: http://www.worldchambers.com/CCII/index1.htm.

    Trade Leads
    If other methods did not bring any fruitful result, you can consider posting classified ads in a range of trade boards. There are many trade boards available on the Internet. While posting trade leads make sure that you specify your requirement precisely. A well-written ad will bring much better result. Post your trade leads frequently until you find a good supplier for your product.

    Once you found a supplier that suits you, check him out thoroughly. Your supplier should meet the following criteria:

    • The supplier company must carry the product for a substantial period of time.
    • It should have experience in export – preferably to your country.
    • It should have readily available export references.
    • It should be a reputable company in its country.

    If the company meets the above criteria get Dun and Bradstreet report of the company to verify its financial background.

    Selling imported products

    Before even thinking about importing a product or service, you should know exactly who your customers are and how you are going to sell your products to them. Although, there are numerous ways of selling a product, selling through the Internet is gaining ground fast.

    Selling through your own website
    Considering the growth of e-commerce, today, any consumer-oriented product is viable to sell through the Internet. Your success will largely depend on your ability to market your website appropriately. Your website should have the following qualities among others: appealing design, well described product specification with clear pictures, great content, fast connection, easy-to-use shopping cart and a good merchant account.

    Drop ship
    As a drop ship distributor, you carry the inventory and your joint venture partners make the sales. Once a product is sold you get the payment from your partner but ship out the product directly to the end customer.

    Selling through distributors
    Selling through resellers with expertise in your field lowers marketing and selling costs. If you sell products through a number of distributors and each of these distributors use diversified marketing method, your sales potential get multiplied without spending extra on marketing.

    E-marketplace
    An E-marketplace is a business community, where you can expect to see a large number of buyers and sellers. For a seller it is a low cost, highly functional and easy-to-use sales channel.
    Benefits of selling products through emarketplace also include:

    • Low customer acquisition cost
    • Improve customer service
    • Efficient information sharing method
    • Reduce supply chain cost
    Entrepreneurs who want to get serious about importing have to acquire substantial knowledge of the process. Many of the information needed to carry out an import export business is available on the Internet. Anybody with enough enthusiasm to learn can easily find them and use to build a profitable and interesting business.

     

    Promote your website using articles Wednesday, February 25, 2004

    Promote your website using articlesInternet is all about information! At any given time, majority of web users surf the Internet in search of some kind of information. Thats why it is only natural that marketing with the help of providing sought after information to web surfers should be a key method in your online marketing strategy. There are various ways of exploiting this effective and low-cost method of web marketing. One of them is to write articles related to your business field and distribute them for free!

    There are numerous inherent benefits in this fairly simple and innovative way of promoting your website and your products.

    You can establish yourself as an expert in your field

    People trust and tend to buy products from somebody they consider to be an expert. Once you start writing articles and if these articles provide valuable information, it wont take long for you to get accepted as an authority in your subject matter.

    Augment your own knowledge

    If you write articles, apart from the knowledge that you already have, you still have to do some home works on the relevant materials gathering and culling information, data, surveys, etc. This process eventually improves your own grasp of the subject as well.

    Get targeted traffic to your site

    As far as web marketing is concerned this is the main reason why you should consider writing articles. Each of your articles that you allow others to republish should carry a resource box which includes a short description of you as an author and a link to your website. If readers like your articles, they will visit your site to check out what else you have to offer.

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    Increase link popularity of your website

    All your articles published in other websites with a backward link to your website will help boosting your link popularity. Link popularity indicates the number of web pages that link to your website. Many search engines use it as one of the main factors in their algorithm which determines the search engine ranking of a certain website.

    If you are a novice writer and would like to pursue this unique method of promoting your website, you dont have to worry about where to start. There's a load of information available on the Internet about writing. However, before even you start writing your first article, no matter how good you are in your chosen subject matter, you still have to do some extra research to seek out an interesting topic, gather relevant materials on the topic, evaluate gathered information, organize your thoughts and plan your article.

    While writing an article, maximum time and effort, probably, you will spend on preparation rather then the physical process of writing itself.

    Here are five steps for novice writers to jump start their website promotion through article writing.

    Step I: Choose a topic

    If you feel this method of web marketing suits you, the first step from here is to choose topics for the articles you plan to write. While choosing topics, if your purpose is to attract targeted traffic, make sure that you stick to the subjects relevant to your business field.

    From the broad base of your business field try narrowing down several subjects that could be interesting to your prospective readers. Use those subjects and related materials as your article topics.

    Step II: Gather materials

    Once you have a topic to write about and ideas to focus on, brainstorm surrounding it and find several key phrases relevant to this topic. All of the information needed for you to explore your ideas and illustrate your points you can get from the Internet.

    Here is the process of retrieving information from the Internet:

    • Use Google and other search engines to find information on the search terms you identified. One of the best search engines for this purpose is www.vivisimo.com. Vivisimo’s clustering and meta-search method will help you finding many relevant information that you might not have thought of.
    • Browse through directories to find relevant websites and get required information from there.
    • Seek out specialized repositories of related information. www.bitpipe.com and www.knowledgestorm.com are two wonderful resources if you are doing research on business technology. If you are looking for articles on a topic, try Looksmart’s www.findarticles.com
    • Once you collected enough information, now is the time for you to jot down your ideas and related points. Note down you thoughts using some structuring systems like mind mapping, listing, etc.

    Step III: Make an outline

    Spend sometime on planning your article and develop an outline of the article. Process of making an outline of your article will help you visualize your finished product. An outline is a visual and conceptual list of your ideas and their place in the article. It should reflect your logical thinking process the way you want your readers to see it, a beginning and a culminating point.


    Step IV: Write the article

    Write your article addressing your readers in second person. Try starting your article with something that will spur interest in your readers. Your article should consist of words within the range of 600 to 900. This size for articles became a standard for ezines and, therefore, many ezine publishers simply dont accept larger articles.


    Step V: Edit your article

    After finishing, read the article loud. Work on the sentences that dont sound quite right. Stack the article aside and come back to it in a day or two. Revise it. You will find many ways to improve it this time. Your friends and co-workers can help you too. Let them read the article and make their suggestions.


    Writing articles is a skill like any other you develop by practicing. Why not start doing it now, and at the same time get targeted traffics to your website?

     

    "MyDoom" virus and how to protect your computer from it Tuesday, January 27, 2004

    "MyDoom" virus and how to protect your computer from it Remember the Sobig viruses of last year that wreaked havoc and caused significant financial damage to corporation world? Well, the first major virus of this year has potential to beat those attacks easily.

    What is MyDoom?

    The new virus, which is actually a more virulent variation of Mimail virus, is dubbed MyDoom by antivirus software maker Network Associates Inc. and "Novarg" by rival Symantec Corp.

    The virus, first detected around 4PM EST Monday January 26, 2004, immediately started to create a mail storm through out the Internet. According to experts, MyDoom virus is capable of generating up to 8 million infected e-mails in the first 24 hours if it is not slowed down. This is twice as much as the amount produced by the Sobig.F virus, which at its peak last year generated around 3.5 million e-mails on the third day of its outbreak.

    Within one hour of its first attack Network Associates itself received 19,500 e-mails bearing the virus from 3,400 unique Internet addresses.

    How does it work?

    MyDoom spreads itself similarly as any other email-borne virus. Unsuspected user after receiving infected email activates the virus by opening the attached file. As always the virus infiltrates only into Windows based PC. The attached file can be of any of these extensions: ".exe," ".scr," ".cmd" or ".pif".

    Randomized subject line of the infected message can have the following texts among others: Mail Delivery system, Test, Server report, Hello, etc.

    The body of the email shows one of the several texts, such as: "The message cannot be represented in 7-bit ASCII encoding and has been sent as a binary attachment,"; "The message contains Unicode characters and has been sent as a binary attachment."; and "Mail transaction failed. Partial message is available." The idea here is to trick users into opening the attachment. The opened attachment looks like a simple Notepad text file, which most of the people believe to be safe and incapable of carrying viruses.

    Once a computer gets contaminated with MyDoom, the virus along with the Trojan embedded in it does the following things:

    The virus resends itself using a built-in mailing program to e-mail addresses from the address book of the infected computer. It is capable to send out 100 infected email messages in 30 seconds to addresses stored in the computer. It also fakes the senders address and shows one of the e-mails randomly selected from the computer's address book. So it appears that the virus came from someone other than the person whose computer produced this email.

    The virus also copies itself to the Kazaa download directory of the infected computer, on which the file-sharing program is loaded. The virus camouflages itself, using one of seven file names, including Winamp5, RootkitXP, Officecrack and Nuke2004. Kazaa is a file sharing program widely used by teens to share music among peers.

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    MyDoom also uses the domains of the emails addresses it finds in the infected computer to make up numerous email addresses in an attempt to spread itself. This tactic is commonly used by spammers and called Dictionary Attack.

    Some experts claim that this virus also drops a file onto infected computer systems, collecting sensitive data such as passwords, user names and credit card information.

    The infected e-mails are also programmed to start a denial of service attack on SCO, the controversial software group which claims that important components of the Linux open-source operating system violate its Unix copyrights. A Denial of Service Attack means in an attempt to shut down a server, thousands of emails are sent to one single address. The attack clogs the bandwidth and cripples the whole mailing system of the company and forces them to either turn off the server or change the domain name.

    Finally, the virus also opens up communication ports of the infected computer, allowing a hacker to manipulate the machine remotely.

    One hack of a virus, isnt it?

    What to do?

    If you take the following steps, your computer will be virtually safe from any similar virus attacks:

    • Get an Antivirus program and install it in your computer.
    • Regularly update your Antivirus program.
    • Get a firewall and install it. A great free firewall that you can download and install is Zonealarm. You can download it from http://www.zonelabs.com/store/content/home.jsp
    • Regularly get patches for your version of Windows and update.
    • Use email filters similar to Eprompter. It gives you the ability to delete unwanted spam or suspicious looking mail, which might contain viruses. Get it free from http://www.eprompter.com
    • Scan your computer for viruses regularly. A great free tool that scans your computer remotely for viruses and eliminates them you can find at
      http://housecall.trendmicro.com/housecall/start_corp.asp

    No doubt that Microsoft has to do a better job to protect us from this on going slaughter. However, until this happens, Windows users have to be more vigilant and do everything possible to protect their machines.


    Protect your computer from the new virus "Beagle" Tuesday, January 20, 2004

    Protect your computer from the new virus "Beagle"If you received an email from somebody you know with the subject hi and the word test in the message body recently, welcome to the never ending world of computer viruses. You have just encountered the first virus unleashed in this year. The virus is named as Beagle or Bagle and spreading rapidly all over the world. Users in the United Stated will see the real outbreak on Tuesday, January 20, 2004 as on Monday US was closed in observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.

    The attached to the email .exe file with a random name, which uses the same icon as the Windows calculator, is the culprit! Once executed it runs an email harvesting program, which searches for emails in every single file on your computer and the computers connected to yours via internal network. The codes of the worm also contain invisible email proxy server program, which allows your computer to be put into action as a spam relay center. When opened the attached exe file, it runs the Windows calculator in an attempt to confuse the user.

    The body of the virus email looks as follows:

    Test =)
    (string of random characters)
    --
    Test, yep.

    It appears the worm is also programmed to send details about all infected computers to website addresses in Germany. Although till now these sites are not yet set up on the Internet.

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    The harvested emails will most certainly be used for spamming and selling to other spammers. This suggests that the Beagle virus is a creation of email spammers. Similar to Sobig virus, this one too embedded with an expiry date. The virus is set to deactivate on 28 January. Many experts believe this means a more virulent version may come out after this date.

    Network Associates has raised its alert rating for the program from "low" to "medium" because an increasing number of personal computers are becoming infected. After severe virus attacks of last year most of the companies have updated and protected themselves from this type of viruses. However, home users are at risk, as many still did not install any kind of antivirus software or do not update them regularly.

    Computer virus attacks cost global businesses an estimated US$55 billion in damages in 2003. Companies lost roughly US$20 billion to US$30 billion in 2002 from the virus attacks, up from about US$13 billion in 2001, according to various industry estimates.

    It looks like financial harm caused by various virus attacks will increase significantly in 2004.


    Here are some tips to protect your computer from Beagle and other viruses:

    Be vigilant
    Dont ever open an email that looks suspicious! The success of viruses that spread through emails totally depends on the ignorance and curiosity of unsuspected users.

    Update Windows
    Download the latest security patches for the version of Windows you use and install them.

    Install Antivirus Software
    If you still dont have an Antivirus Software, install one! Its worth the money spent!

    Update your Antivirus Software
    Antivirus Software companies constantly add new modules to their software in order to enhance abilities. You must update your software to ensure that you have the latest version capable of fighting the new virus unleashed.

    If you feel that your computer is already infected, find the file bbeagle.exe on your computer. The file disguises itself with Microsoft calculator icon. Delete the file immediately!

     

    Developing your export import business using Internet - Part I Saturday, January 10, 2004

    Since most of the businesses throughout the world have access to the Internet, many astute entrepreneurs and trading companies are using the Internet as one of the primary means for developing their import and export businesses.

    Already a big slice of global trades are taking place through the Internet. According to Forrester Research, a major marketing research company, worldwide online exports will escalate to US $1.4 trillion in 2004, and cross-border e-marketplace trade will exceed US $400 billion in this year alone.

    However, cross-border trading will create a division between the companies that actively import and export using the Internet and those that don't. Companies that are slow in adopting the Internet will loose competitive edge to the more proactive Internet-savvy counter parts.

    If you are already involved in international trade or planning to either import or export products, Internet could be your primary source of gathering data, researching prospective market, finding clients and, may be even, for doing your entire business online.

    First, lets look into the export side of the international trade. Like any other business, exporting requires proper planning. Well-documented and clearly written export marketing plan will work as your road map to success. The following steps are essential for any export endeavor.

    Identifying products for export

    Although, in any given time you may find numerous products that qualify as exportable one, your chance for success will increase substantially if your chosen product met the following criteria:

    You have been handling this product for local market for several years
    You have full confidence in the quality of the product
    The value of the product matches or exceeds the imported similar ones
    You have guaranteed availability of this product for export

    If you dont have a product to export yet, and you are serious about export oriented business, consider checking out your local trade shows to seek out an exportable product.

    Local online marketplaces are good options for finding products for export as well.


    Identifying potential export markets for your products

    To identify an export market you have to spend sometimes on gathering necessary information.

    You will need export statistics of your country to see which markets are presently buying products similar to yours. This will give an idea which markets are viable for you to target. Apart from checking the statistics from you own country, you also should verify export statistics from several other countries that manufacture and export similar products.

    After analyzing this information, choose couple of markets for further assessment. This time you will need more in depth information on these markets.

    Doing market research

    Market research is imperative in order to identify export potential of a product in a targeted country. There are two ways you can research your targeted market.


    By getting first-hand information from the targeted market
    This can be done by hiring a research company from the targeted market, participating in trade shows, contacting prospective customers, visiting the market personally, etc. Although, this method has a great advantage since you can get exact information tailored to your need. However, this might be very expensive and time consuming for most of the first time exporters.

    Getting information from the Internet and other sources
    Thanks to the Internet you can get almost all the needed information from various online sources. This includes: trade data statistics, country profile, demography and other market related data, list of prospective customers, etc.

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    To take an informative decision while selecting a market you will need answers to the following questions:

    How big is the demand for your product or similar products in the targeted market?
    What is the ratio between domestic production and import?
    Who are the main competitors in this market?
    What is the growth potential of the market?
    How strong are they in comparison to you?
    What is the import duty structure for your product?
    Is there any incentive available to you from your country for exporting this product?

    Answers to these questions will give you enough facts to compare the markets you have chosen for assessment. While taking final decision on export market, dont forget to study the business and social cultures of the specific country. This could be an important issue in selecting the right market for you.

    Selling your products

    Once you targeted the market you would like to pursue, you next step is to start selling your products to that market.

    There are several marketing options avai`lable for you to choose from:

    Hire an export trading house from your country
    The advantage, if you find right export trading house, is the experience and knowledge the company may have. The draw back is they might not be interested in your products, and if they do, you have to pay a major share from your sales to them as their commission.

    Find a distributor in the targeted market to sell your products
    This is, no doubt, a very good option. However, finding a good distributor for a product which does not have a proven track record of sale in the market wont be that easy.

    Sell products to customers from targeted market directly
    Initially, you might have to stick to this option only. B2B exchanges and emarketplaces from the targeted market can be a good place to start your venture.

    Here are the steps you need to take if you would like to sell your products through E-marketplaces.

    1. Seek out the largest emarketplace for the country of your choice.You should consider both vertical and horizontal marketplaces.
    2. Register with them.
    3. Create a Web Site, if you dont have yet, in the local language.
    4. Add your products to the e-catalog of the emarketplaces.
    5. Post your products for sale to the marketplace.
    6. Post frequent sell trade leads.
    7. Search for companies interested to by products similar to yours and contact them.

    International trade business, same like any other business requires months, sometimes even several years, to bring anticipated profit. Aggressive use of the Internet will help you achieve your goal with lesser investment and faster result.

     

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