Starting Your Online Business? Tutorial 2 – Ecommerce Software To Include In Your Business Plan

Many new businesses go into their online ecommerce solution without creating a business plan, this is a major mistake and it is recommended that a business plan is formed before the business goes to the next step. Business plans are much more than a tedious task of getting your numbers and forecast in order to please the bank, they provide a vital insight of where you see your business progressing too. They will also bring up issues that perhaps the business has not thought about such as ecommerce software. These business plans are a critical first step, as well as an ongoing process for your ecommerce solution to succeed.

Most new businesses do not require a huge business plan such as 40-50 page document which some authorities advise, your new business requires the basics. An outline of these basics can be located at your local bank. Once you have these basics in your business plan you can always add sections later as your ecommerce solution becomes more advanced.

An online business requires certain equipment and software for operating a successful ecommerce solution. First of all your office requires the basics for active use of your ecommerce software and business. These are:

  1. A computer, latest equipment has hardware which should at least include 500GB Hard Drive, 2GB Memory, iCore Duo Processor and Wireless Access
  2. Current Browser and eMail Software
  3. ecommerce Software
  4. Web Hosting with SSL Certificate
  5. Merchant Account
  6. Printer, Scanner, Fax – All in one Product
  7. Graphics Software
  8. Book Keeping Software
  9. FTP Software
  10. Google Account – Analytics, AdWords and Webmaster Tools

All of this equipment is a necessity for a successful ecommerce solution, include all of these needs into your business plan. There is funding available for business start-ups, especially for equipment, your local business support officer will have more information on the various funding options. Having up-to-date equipment is a business essential so by adding in the depreciation of the equipment into your plan ensures your assets are covered.

Your online business must complete a plan as this will be a guide of where your ecommerce solution will progress too in the short-term, and be amended to fit into the businesses long-term strategy. By including all necessary software and hardware the business will get an idea of costs and requirements to make the business a success. This information is also useful if the business intends to look for funding from banks or other sources.

Internet Basics: FTP is Like a Can-and-String Phone

Ever tie a string between two tin cans to make a “phone” when you were a kid? Whatever you say into one can comes out the other can with only that little string connecting the two.

That’s what FTP is like.

FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol, which is a fancy way of saying it’s a can-and-string phone, but for computer files instead of speech.

FTP is a protocol (an agreed upon way computers will act regarding a certain task). Using FTP software, you can send a file from your computer (your “can”) across the Internet (the “string”) to another computer (the other “can”) where a duplicated copy of the file will end up.

You can also get a copy of a file from another computer using FTP software. You can also delete a file on another computer. Or rename one. Or create a folder. In fact, with FTP software, you can basically do any type of file management on another computer that you could do on yours.

Now if you’re thinking someone could use FTP software to get into your files and delete them or rename them or whatever, don’t worry. Unlike the can-and-string phone, not just anyone can grab the other end of the line and gain access to your end. You need a username and password, and you need to know where the other computer is on the Internet. In other words, you have to have some inside info before you can use FTP to hook up with another computer.

Web developers use FTP a lot, because they create webpages on their personal computers, but then need a way to get them onto the server where others can access them on the Internet. When the webpage file is ready, the web developer will send the file to the server through FTP.

And that’s why FTP is like a can-and-string phone.

FTP Web Hosting – Fear Factor Conquered!

FTP web hosting or, to give it it’s full and rather scary title, file transfer protocol web hosting is a ‘techie’ phrase that strikes fear into the heart of many would be online entrepreneur. Yet it really isn’t a problem area as you are about to find out.

First of all what the heck are we talking about?

After you have created your website the next stage is to get it online so that the whole world can admire it. Incidentally do you know about the first class, free website builder Kompozer – you really should check it out before spending money unnecessarily.

Your site is put onto the worldwide web by a ‘hosting’ company who you will normally pay a small amount each month for the privilege. FTP is the software program that is used to fill the gap between your computer and the hosting company. In other words file transfer protocol gets all the files and images you have stored on your computer to make up your site from your pc to the hosting company.

If you are shown how, this ‘transfer’ process is a simple matter and no where near as tricky as you may have heard. The other piece of good news is that you don’t need to spend a penny to get hold of first class ftp software.

You should get a hold of your copy of Filezilla, the only ftp software I use, it is, as I have said free of charge and like Kompozer is a no strings attached, straight forward deal.

Have you spotted the missing link?

You will find this free software, at best, difficult to use without something that I have already touched on. The critical phrase is ‘if you are shown how’. Without a step by step, click by click guide you may finish up, as many have before you, by making life unpleasant for your pc or even your nearest and dearest!

In the interests of domestic harmony we need to find you a first class, easy to follow, guide that can show you how to get a site created and onto the web in hours not days or weeks.

In case you are worried that this sounds like the build up to pushing yet another overpriced product, put away your credit card, you won’t be needing it!