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"DOING BUSINESS ON THE INTERNET"


AN INTRODUCTORY SEMINAR ON HOW TO USE THE INTERNET
Developed and presented by:

MARK S. DEION

DEION ASSOCIATES & STRATEGIES, INC.


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Please note: Due to the ever-changing face of the web, there may be some links included in this seminar that have become obsolete. For a comprehensive and regularly updated collection of business and internet related links, please visit our Helpful Home Page List with 2500+ links in 150+ categories.
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COPYRIGHT © DEION ASSOCIATES & STRATEGIES, INC.

15 Sackett Street Warwick, Rhode Island 02886-2333 USA
Tel: 401-732-0457
Fax: 401-732-8767
E-Mail: marks@deionassociates.com

URL: http://www.deionassociates.com


TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

I. SOME REASONS FOR USING THE INTERNET.

1. Marketing of a product.
2. Marketing of a service.
3. Advertising the existence of a company.
4. Researching potential customers.
5. Researching competitors.
6. Data research.
7. Business transactions.
8. Customer communication.
9. Personnel communication.
10. Cost reduction.
11. E-Mail.

II. SOME THINGS TO DO TO MAKE USE OF THE INTERNET EFFECTIVE.

1. Identify current company strategies.
2. Review the current internet activities of other companies.
3. Develop your basic internet strategies and stages of implementation.
4. Test your strategies with internet experts, personnel, and potential end users.
5. Define equipment needs.
6. Define personnel requirements.
7. Review potential internet service providers.
8. Establish evaluation procedures.

III. SOME THINGS NOT TO DO.

1. Do not create a poor quality presence on the internet.
2. Do not think that the internet will do all of your work.
3. Do not inundate personnel with internet response work without having a strategy in place to deal with this work.
4. Do not offer something on the internet which you cannot supply.
5. Do not ignore people who have communicated with your company via the internet.
6. Do not attempt to do everything on the internet all at once.

IV. SOME THINGS TO ALWAYS DO ONCE YOU'RE ON THE INTERNET.

1. Always respond to requests in a timely fashion.
2. Always update your internet data.
3. Always review and evaluate the effect of your internet presence.

V. SOME HELPFUL LINKS TO HOME PAGES.

1. Home page list.

VI. Article: "THE INTERNET: A PARADIGM SHIFT IN THE MAKING"

by: Mark S. Deion
DEION ASSOCIATES & STRATEGIES, INC.

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INTRODUCTION:

The internet is here! Technological changes are occurring daily which are revolutionizing the way we access information, do business, and interact with others. Many of yesterday's traditional barriers to communication have been eliminated by the PC and modem.

There is no single source of information which can accurately and conclusively identify everything which you can do on the internet. Fortunately, there are millions of sources of information which are available to assist you with your introduction to the internet. Seek out the sources which meet your current and anticipated needs. Many of these sources change as quickly as the internet does, and the internet changes from moment to moment!

The internet is a tool. There are positive and negative aspects related to the use of this tool. It is important that you utilize this tool to generate positive results. Your levels of success will be directly related to how innovative you are in the use of this tool. There may be many instruction manuals on how to use the internet, but the best instruction manual might be the one which you create yourself!

The following information should serve as a basic guide for your initial internet plans. It is in no way intended to be all-inclusive, but should serve as a "starting-off point" for the development of your own internet program. Some of the home pages listed should provide you with some excellent resource information to begin your plans.

OPEN MARKET and DIGITAL EQUIPMENT CORPORATION, are 2 companies which are referenced repeatedly. Both of these companies have created excellent sources of information which might facilitate the development of your internet program. The data bases which they have created, identify many of the issues which you will have to deal with, and they cover the full range of internet program development and implementation.

Your successful use of the internet will only be limited by the restrictions which you place upon yourself. Think freely, be innovative, be an explorer! Most of all,....GoodLuck!


I. SOME REASONS FOR USING THE INTERNET:

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1. Marketing of a product.

The internet allows you the opportunity to market a product to millions of individuals / companies who are browsing the web. If you are attempting to establish or expanda market presence, the development of a home page to market your product might be an affordable way to do so.

There are millions of people accessing the internet every day, in an effort to seek out qualified vendors. Properly positioning information about your products on the internet, allows potential customers to search for, and access your marketing information.

It is relatively simple to provide someone who is browsing the internet with basic product information, and a method whereby they can request additional product information, or, order a product from you while they are viewing your home page.

A basic list of products, product information, contact information, order information, additional information request forms, are just some of the items which you might want to include on a basic home page. Ease of use for the end user is something which should always be considered when developing a home page.

There are many ways to market a product without actually creating a home page. A company may choose to provide product information to industry sponsored home pages. These home pages are usually maintained by industry trade groups, and link browsers to potential vendors. One of the basic benefits by establishing this kind of link, is that the company does not need to maintain the home page, the sponsoring organization does this.

Some helpful home page links:

http://www.industry.net - Industry Net Commercial Directory
http://www.directory.net - Commercial Directory
http://www.semi.org - Semiconductor Equipment
http://www.openmarket.com - Open Market
http://www.gmarketing.com - Guerrilla Marketing
http://www.marketingtools.com - American Demographics
http://www.maritz.com/apoll - AmeriPoll
http://www.successful.com - Successful Marketing
http://www.submit-it.com - Submit It Register a Home Page
http://www.switchboard.com - Business Name Directory
http://www.gkb.com - Global Knowledge Base
http://www.niyp.com - NYNEX Yellow Pages

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2. Marketing of a service.

Many of the issues for marketing a product also apply to marketing a service. Some items which you might want to add could possibly include: a basic description of your company and the services offered, a list of satisfied customers (only after obtaining customer's permission to use their name), helpful recommendations which would be beneficial to the potential customer, weekly or monthly tips, newsletter forums, Q&A sections, FAQ's.

It might be helpful to provide sample case studies (in an abbreviated format), which illustrate how your company was able to provide a beneficial service to a customer.

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3. Advertising the existence of a company.

Traditional modes of advertising have always required that a company chose what the best forms of advertising would be, and which forms of advertising would expose them to a pre-defined target market group. Since there are many costs related to advertising, it is imperative that the company have a clear understanding of where an advertisement would reach the greatest number of desired targets in an effective and cost efficient manner.

Proper positioning on the internet makes advertising extremely cost effective. The ability to reach millions of potential customers becomes directly related to positioning, rather than having to reach out to potential customers via limited modes of advertising, or, on an individual basis.

An ad in a newspaper might only reach the distribution base of that newspaper. An internet program has the potential to expose your company to a global market place. The expenses required to advertise your company globally on the internet are far less than what would be required to advertise your company globally via more traditional modes of advertising.

Using the internet as an advertising vehicle, does not exempt the advertiser from performing the necessary research required to develop an effective and interactive advertising device. A poorly designed home page or internet program can result in negative perceptions of your company on a global basis.

One of the basic benefits of using the internet as an advertising tool, is the ability to inexpensively reach a global market base. It allows the company to generate a list of qualified leads in a very cost effective manner. Traditional advertising methods have always required that a company budget funds to identify who to do business with. Effective internet programs should allow a company to dedicate more of their financial resources to negotiating a business transaction with pre-qualified leads. The internet provides an opportunity to significantly reduce the expenses related to the research and discovery of qualified leads, and allows for more of a company's finances to be used to deal with actual qualified leads.

Some of the theories identifying these changes in advertising tactics are discussed in more detail in: "THE INTERNET: A PARADIGM SHIFT IN THE MAKING" (Section VI.). The basic premise of this paradigm shift is that companies can now advertise via target market access points, rather than having to market to potential customers before they have been qualified as potential leads. The development of access points, allows qualified leads to expend some of their resources in the process of searching for a qualified vendor.

There are many opportunities available on the internet which allow a company to advertise their products/services. The ability to create quality access points on an individual basis, or, in cooperation with other businesses on the internet, increases the possibility that a company will be able to effectively advertise on the internet.

Many publications and trade journals have begun to create their own home pages, providing links to their advertisers, subscribers and memberships. The Wall Street Journal is just one example of this. The Wall Street Journal maintains a home page which links browsers to all Wall Street Journal advertisers.

Some helpful home page links:
http://journal.link.wsj.com/ - Wall Street Journal
http://adfinder.wsj.com/ - Wall Street Journal Advertiser Directory

Numerous publications now provide a similar service to their advertisers. The links to a company home page can be found both on-line, and in the printed publications. The "customer request information cards" which have been inserted into many publications, are now being supplemented with instantly accessible, advertiser home page directories.

Some helpful home page links:
http://www.infoworld.com - Info World
http://www.iworld.com - Internet World
http://www.industry.net - Industry Net

A company need not be an advertiser to receive the benefits of these types of resource links. Many governmental, trade and civic organizations are also providing similar homepage links.

Many trade organizations provide home page directory links and company contact information about their members. Even if a particular company does not have an internet program in place, many of these organizations provide an internet reference about their members as an additional service to their membership.

Some helpful home page links:

http://www.nsbu.org/ National Small Business United
http://www.nase.org National Association Self Employed http://www.bmpcoe.org Best Manufacturing Practices Center
http://www.submit-it.com/ Submit It Register a Home Page

Chambers of Commerce are beginning to develop their own home pages which provide member directories, and pertinent business information.

Another method of advertising the existence of a company would be to participate in many of the newsgroups which exist on the internet. Newsgroups are locations on the internet where individuals or companies of similar interests can share information, discuss specific issues, etc.

Newsgroups provide a forum where one person might pose a question, and another might provide a solution. The ability to participate in a "question-answer / problem-solution" type scenario, which is presented on a global basis, greatly increases a company's exposure.

If your company is responsible for providing a viable solution to a problem posed in a newsgroup, the global readers of this newsgroup might chose to contact your company on a private basis to solve their problems.

Some helpful home page links:

gopher://gopher.tamu.edu:70/11.dir/newsgroups.dir - Newsgroup Directory

Many home page sites on the internet sell advertising spots which can be used to expose your company to the numerous web browsers who visit that site. If a specific home page site has a million web browser visitors in the course of one month, this type of advertising could be advantageous to your company's marketing efforts.

Some helpful home page links:

http://www.industry.net - Industry Net Commercial Directory
http://www.directory.net - Commercial Directory
http://www.semi.org - Semiconductor Equipment
http://www.openmarket.com - Open Market
http://www.gmarketing.com - Guerrilla Marketing
http://www.marketingtools.com - American Demographics
http://www.maritz.com/apoll - AmeriPoll
http://www.successful.com - Successful Marketing
http://www.clickit.com - Biz Wiz
http://www.submit-it.com/ - Submit It Register a Home Page
http://www.switchboard.com - Business Name Directory
http://www.gkb.com - Global Knowledge Base
http://www.niyp.com - NYNEX Yellow Pages

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4. Researching potential customers.

The ability to utilize the internet to search existing data bases can significantly reduce the costs related to market research. There are numerous sources of information, which can provide a company with a wealth of information about potential target markets.

Even if a company chooses not to market to potential customers via the internet, the vast wealth of market data available on the internet, could facilitate the gathering of customer / industry data in a timely and cost effective manner.

Search engines are just one tool which can be used to identify potential customers. Search engines allow a browser to search for just about any topic or informational source. A company may chose to search for specific company databases, or, internet locations where potential customers are located. Commercial sites, industry trade organizations, business and civic locations, are just some of the locations where a company might start their search.

Many home pages have their own internal search engines, allowing a browser to search the data bases which are available on that home page.

Some helpful home page links:

Search Engines:
http://www.altavista.digital.com - Alta Vista Digital
http://www.webcrawler.com - Web Crawler
http://www.excite.com - Architext Software's Excite
http://yahoo.com - Yahoo
Beavertail Media
target="_top">htt keith14@cox.net="http://www.gnn.com/wr" target="_top">http://www.gnn.com/wr - Global Network Navigator
http://guide.infoseek.com - Info Seek

Other Links:
http://www.openmarket.com - Open Market (commercial links)
http://www.dbisna.com - Dun & BradStreet
http://www.thomasnet.com/listyou.html - Thomas Register
http://www.commerce.net - Internet Commercial Directory
http://www.switchboard.com - Business Name Directory
http://www.telephonebook.com - Telephone Book Listings
http://www.yahoo.com/business - Yahoo Business Directories
http://www.gkb.com - Global Knowledge Base
http://www.niyp.com - NYNEX Yellow Pages

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5. Researching competitors.

The internet can also be used to search out and review competitors. Knowing what the competition is doing, is an important factor in the development of a company's competitive strategies. It might be easier and more cost effective to determine a competitor's marketing activities by reviewing their home page marketing efforts.

Obtaining timely information about a competitors activities should allow a company to develop opposing strategies necessary for them to maintain a competitive edge. Opposing strategies might include: direct competition in a specific market area, re-positioning to a market area where the competitor has not created a presence, competitive pricing tactics.

If your company has a presence on the internet, remember that your competition might be reviewing your activities to facilitate their competitive strategies!

Some helpful home page links:

Search Engines:
http://www.altavista.digital.com - Alta Vista Digital
http://www.webcrawler.com - Web Crawler
http://www.excite.com - Architext Software's Excite
http://yahoo.com - Yahoo
http://www.jumpcity.com - Jumpcity Site
http://www.mckinley.com - Magellan / Mckinley
http://www.gnn.com/wr - Global Network Navigator
http://guide.infoseek.com - Info Seek

Other Links:
http://www.openmarket.com - Open Market (commercial links)
http://www.dbisna.com - Dun & BradStreet
http://www.thomasnet.com/listyou.html - Thomas Register
http://www.commerce.net - Internet Commercial Directory
http://www.switchboard.com - Business Name Directory
http://www.telephonebook.com - Telephone Book Listings
http://www.research-online.com - Business Research
http://www.yahoo.com/business - Yahoo Business Directories
http://www.gkb.com - Global Knowledge Base
http://www.niyp.com - NYNEX Yellow Pages

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6. Data research.

The vast amounts of data available on the internet might allow a company to enhance and / or increase their potential. Sources of information regarding every aspect of business, might provide an inexpensive tool which can be used by the company to educate or re-educate existing company personnel.

Some of this information might serve as a resource for the development of products / services which the company cannot afford to obtain via traditional methods of data research. This information might be used by a company to improve their internal operations or production capabilities. This information might be used to improve a company's ability to enhance and expand their business efforts with customers.

Search engines are just some of the tools which exist on the internet to allow anyone to research available internet data. By selectively utilizing any one of these search engines, data research becomes easy and inexpensive.

One of the primary benefits of these tools, is that any question which a company might have regarding any activity, can be easily researched and answered by use of the internet. Searching many of the government and business organization sites, will provide excellent access to information about many of the programs which might be advantageous to a company's activities.

Another primary benefit is that a company is able to obtain real-time information, without having to wait for the receipt of information which occurs with traditional methods of data research. Critical business decisions can now be made in a more timely fashion.

Some helpful home page links:

Search Engines:
http://www.altavista.digital.com - Alta Vista Digital
http://www.webcrawler.com - Web Crawler
http://www.excite.com - Architext Software's Excite
http://yahoo.com - Yahoo
http://www.jumpcity.com - Jumpcity Site
http://www.mckinley.com - Magellan / Mckinley
http://www.gnn.com/wr - Global Network Navigator
http://guide.infoseek.com - Info Seek

Other Links:
http://www.openmarket.com - Open Market (commercial links)
http://www.dbisna.com - Dun & BradStreet
http://www.thomasnet.com/listyou.html - Thomas Register
http://www.commerce.net - Internet Commercial Directory
http://www.switchboard.com - Business Name Directory
http://www.telephonebook.com - Telephone Book Listings
http://www.research-online.com - Business Research
http://www.yahoo.com/business - Yahoo Business Directories
http://www.gkb.com - Global Knowledge Base
http://www.niyp.com - NYNEX Yellow Pages

The U.S. Small Business Administration home page provides vast amounts of information, and numerous links other U.S. Government home page sites. The U.S. Department of Commerce home page provides links to numerous commerce related home pages. Each of these government sponsored home pages have their own internal search engines, allowing you to search for just about anything which the U.S. Government maintains on the internet.

Many State and Local governments also maintain home pages, providing excellent information and related home page links regarding business development, regulations, and legislation. Many colleges and universities maintain home page sites where research data is easily accessible. Some colleges and universities actually offer degree programs via the internet!

Some helpful home page links:

Government sites:
http://www.sbaonline.sba.gov - US Small Business Administration
http://www.sec.gov - US Securities & Exchange Comm
http://www.business.gov - Business Advisor
http://gopher.census.gov/ - US Census Bureau
http://govtdoc.law.csuohio.edu/usgov.html - US Govt Home Pages
http://www.fedworld.gov - US Govt Link
http://www.city.net - US State/City Link
http://www.house.gov - US House of Representatives
http://www.doc.gov - US Department of Commerce
http://dtic.dla.mil/defenselink/ - US Department of Defense
http://www.odci.gov/cia - Central Intelligence Agency
http://www.odci.gov/ic - International Commerce

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7. Business transactions.

The internet facilitates instantaneous business transactions. Products / services can be: located, reviewed, ordered, purchased, and actually paid for in a few easy steps. These are just a few of the types of transactions which can be processed via the internet.

The internet allows for orders to be placed and paid for automatically at a fraction of the cost of what is required to perform these tasks in a traditional fashion. Such a process makes JIT (Just In Time) inventory control systems more feasible, thereby reducing the amount of capital required to maintain inventory. Such a process also eliminates many of the cash flow problems related to maintaining outstanding accounts receivable balances.

Some helpful home page links:

http://www.openmarket.com - Open Market
http://www.openmarket.com/products/merchsol/execwp.htm - Open Market (specific)
http://www.digital.com/info/home.html - Digital Corp.
http://www.infoworld.com - Info World
http://iworld.com - Internet World
http://www.pcmag.com - PC Magazine

Many government agencies and primary contractors are now utilizing the internet to solicit contract proposals. A company is now able to search for these potential contract opportunities in a timely and cost effective manner, rather than having to subscribe to numerous mailings and contract solicitation journals. The ability to selectively search for, find, and respond to these types of business opportunities is greatly enhanced by the internet.

Some helpful home page links:

U.S. Government links:
http://www.sbaonline.sba.gov - US Small Business Administration
http://www.fedworld.gov - US Government Link
http://dtic.dla.mil/defenselink/ - US Dept of Defense
http://www.info.usaid.gov - US Agency for International Dev.
http://www.odci.gov/ic - International Commerce

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8. Customer communication.

The ability to communicate with a customer is many times the determining factor between a sale or a lost sale. If a customer's request for information about a product/service which they are interested in purchasing is responded to in a timely fashion, the potential to close the sale may be increased. Additionally, as long as the company maintains open lines of communication with the potential customer, that customer might not defer their efforts to a competitor. As long as the company is facilitating the customer's needs at the time, the company has a greater ability to complete a successful business transaction.

Customer communication is also important after a sale has been made. Product/service support are also areas where companies are required to expend vast amounts of resources (personnel and financial) in an effort to retain existing customers. The ability to utilize the internet to accomplish many of these tasks can significantly reduce the cost of maintaining such services, and might also enhance the company-customer relationship.

Beneficial, non-sales related types of communications could also be established via the internet: customer information newsletters, product upgrade information, new product releases, etc.

Some helpful home page links:

http://www.openmarket.com - Open Market
http://www.teltrust.com - TelTrust Email Software
http://www.iworld.com - Internet World Vendor Directory
http://www.infoworld.com - Info World Vendor Directory
http://www.premenos.com - Premenos Corp. EDI Software

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9. Personnel communication.

Many of the benefits of increased personnel communications are discussed later under: E-Mail Section 11. The internet provides many opportunities to enhance the ability to communicate between employees, customers and vendors.

An innovative use of the internet's e-mail and data transfer capabilities, has resulted in the development of intranets, or, internal intra-company communication systems. Whereas the internet may allow for enhanced communication externally on a global basis, intranets allow for enhanced communication on an internal basis.

All of the benefits of the internet which allow a company to communicate with external sources and contacts, are also capable of being implemented on an internal basis to facilitate intra-company communication. Technology is rapidly being developed to support intranets.

Intranets are similar to the internet, but remain within the computer networking capabilities of a company. An intranet allows a company to develop intra-company communication in a much more efficient manner. Many intranets are developed to also interface with a company's internet presence, facilitating internal and external communication.

Intranets allow a company to coordinate all of their efforts on an internal basis. Some of these benefits might include: comprehensive data sharing on a company-wide basis; contract management; corporate scheduling; contact management; intra-company communication (E-mail); inventory processing and control; order processing and control; financial management; and many other corporate functions.

Some companies have actually created internal home pages on their intranets to disseminate company information to personnel. Intranets can be extremely beneficial for companies which have numerous departments, multiple locations, etc.

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10. Cost reduction.

There are many costs related to utilizing the internet. In some instances, these costs may be minimal, while in other instances these costs may require significant capital expenditures. It is imperative that a company determine what the perceived financial savings will be by utilizing the internet, before making any final decisions.

It is possible that the initial cost savings capable of being realized by implementing an internet program will more than adequately finance the costs related to implementing an internet program.

If a company is currently spending $100,000. to perform specific marketing activities, and an initial internet usage program would cost $20,000., but would reduce overall marketing expenditures by $50,000., the immediate net savings would be $30,000!

It is important to identify how the use of the internet can reduce current operating expenses before deciding that use of the internet is too expensive! Simply using the internet to replace some direct mail, marketing and communication activities, might create enough of a cost savings to finance the initial costs related to an internet usage program.

The internet provides an opportunity to significantly reduce current operating expenses related to: personnel, operations, marketing, advertising, communication (internal/external), customer relations and support, and many other areas. These potential cost reductions should be seriously reviewed.

Although the benefits of internet usage may increase potential revenues and profits, the potential cost savings may provide the necessary capital required to implement an internet program.

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11. E-Mail.

The ability to use the internet to send and receive e-mail messages can provide a company with an extremely cost effective tool. The cost savings in sending a single or a bulk e-mail message is significant. A company can now communicate to numerous contacts at a fraction of the cost of traditional communication methods. By properly utilizing e-mail technology, a company can distribute one message to a thousand people almost as easily as sending one message to one person.

E-mail technology has eliminated the expense of communicating via: letter, telephone, and fax. Additionally, e-mail communications are usually casual in nature, since the emphasis is on speed of communication, rather than on format.

A traditional one-sentence response to a customer would normally require that a letter be written on stationery, processed and mailed. The cost of responding to a customer in this fashion is expensive. Responding to the same customer via E-mail, basically eliminates all of these costs!

E-mail technology can be used to allow on-the-road sales personnel to communicate with their home or branch office, customers, etc. Sales personnel would be able to access company data bases, ordering departments, inventory and shipping departments; and would be able to perform their jobs in a much more efficient manner.

E-mail technology can significantly reduce telephone charges incurred to communicate or transmit fax data. Recent technological developments have actually allowed for telephone conversations to be transmitted over the internet at a fraction of the cost of traditional telephone charges.

When communicating via e-mail, always sign your communications with a valid response address (your e-mail address and company name/sender's name). Blind communications which only identify the e-mail address can sometimes be disconcerting if the receiver of the message doesn't know who the sender is.

Some helpful home page links:

http://www.openmarket.com - Open Market
http://www.digital.com/info/home.html - Digital Corp.
http://www.teltrust.com - TelTrust Email Software
http://www.infoworld.com - Info World Vendor Directory
http://www.iworld.com - Internet World Vendor Directory
http://www.roguewave.com - Rogue Wave Software
http://www.pcmag.com - PC Magazine


II. SOME THINGS TO DO TO MAKE USE OF THE INTERNET EFFECTIVE:

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1. Identify current company strategies.

Before you start, know where you are starting from!

Before a company does something new, it should determine what it is currently doing. The use of a new technology might not necessarily correct an inefficient operation, and in fact, it might compound certain in efficiencies.

A company should perform a detailed analysis of their current business strategies, and how they are currently being implemented. All proposed uses of the internet should be directly related to supporting, improving or expanding a company's strategic plan.

Some helpful home page links:

http://www.openmarket.com - Open Market
http://www.digital.com/info/home.html Digital Corp.
http://www.gmarketing.com - Guerrilla Marketing
http://www.soho.org/sohoamerica/ - Business Assistance
http://edgeonline.com - Entrepreneurial Assistance
http://www.bmpcoe.org - Best Manufacturing Practices

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2. Review the current internet activities of other companies.


Before designing an internet usage program, it is recommended that a company perform extensive research regarding the activities of other companies on the internet. Reviewing the home pages and internet programs which have been developed by other companies on the internet, will provide valuable insights about how the internet can be used in a positive fashion.

Reviewing pre-existing sites might illustrate certain features which you determine are not user-friendly, or are ineffective. Sites which: take a long time to download, contain confusing or useless information, are difficult to navigate through; are just some home page attributes which you might want to review before developing your own site. The identification of ineffectivesite attributes, will allow you to avoid incorporating similar mistakes in your own home page or internet program.

Reviewing pre-existing sites which are excellently developed, will allow you to itemize all of the features which you might want to include in your own home page or internet program.

Some helpful home page links:

http://www.openmarket.com - Open Market
http://www.digital.com/info/home.html - Digital Corp.
http://www.infoworld.com - Info World
http://www.industry.net - Industry Net Commercial Directory
http://www.directory.net - Commercial Directory

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3. Develop your basic internet strategies and stages of implementation.

The implementation of an internet program requires the extensive coordination of many factors. A failure to develop an internet implementation strategy could significantly prevent positive results.

All phases of the internet program must be coordinated with internal personnel, internet service providers, home page designers and maintainers, equipment providers, etc.

Realistic goals and objectives must be developed with respect to implementation and the anticipated results. Personnel requirements and financial resources are just two of the important factors which must be seriously considered during this stage.

A company may determine that their initial presence on the internet should be limited in nature. Sometimes, a multi-staged approach to implementing internet programs is advisable, to allow personnel the time necessary to acquire the knowledge and experience necessary to make the best use of the internet. Providing existing personnel with the opportunity to learn how to use the internet is something which will greatly enhance a company's ability to maximize the use of the internet.

An initial internet program might only deal with market research functions, or, e-mail communication to customers or vendors. As personnel become more proficient with the many aspects of the internet, it should become easier to assimilate all of the benefits of the internet into a concise internet program strategy which is capable of being implemented by the company.

A definitive strategic plan with time-tables and evaluation programs, should be established to allow for the effective implementation of an internet program. This strategic plan should be coordinated with all company personnel and internet service providers.

Some helpful home page links:

http://www.openmarket.com - Open Market
http://www.digital.com/info/home.html - Digital Corp.
http://www.gmarketing.com - Guerrilla Marketing
http://www.teltrust.com - TelTrust Email Software
http://www.infoworld.com - Info World Vendor Directory
http://www.iworld.com - Internet World Vendor Directory
http://www.submit-it.com/ - Submit It Register a Home Page

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4. Test your strategies with internet experts, personnel, and potential end users.

It is important to seek out expert assistance and advice when developing an internet program. It is advisable to research more than one source of assistance, to become familiar with the numerous types of programs and assistance which are available.

Before finalizing any internet plans, seekout critical reviews from internet professionals. This process might help to avoid critical flaws which might have been overlooked in the initial planning stages.

Developmental stages should include intensive communication with company personnel to ensure that a cooperative relationship exists between all divisions/personnel of the company that will be responsible for internet program activity. Since specific personnel will be responsible for responding to any internet activity which is generated, it is imperative that they be included in the development, analysis and review process.

Test your proposed internet program with qualified end users. Request their critical comments and advice to determine if your internet program will provide them with a useful and user-friendly resource which they would be willing to utilize.

A well developed yet limited presence on the internet might prove to be more advantageous, than a major presence on the internet which poorly interfaces with personnel and the end user.

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5. Define equipment needs.

It is important to identify the basic equipment necessary to adequately support your internet program. The selection of the proper hardware, software and peripherals, will play acritical role in how effectively you are able to implement your internet program.

Computer speed, storage space, work station and internet access capabilities are all issues which should be reviewed by the company and internet equipment/software professionals.

A clear understanding of what the company intends to do on the internet, will provide a better understanding of the types of equipment which will be required to support these activities.

Some helpful home page links:

http://www.digital.com/info/home.html - Digital Corp.
http://www.openmarket.com - Open Market
http://www.psi.net/ - PSINet
http://www.inter.net/ - PSINet
http://www.sun.com - Sun Microsystems
http://www.gcomm.com - Galacticomm
http://www.infoworld.com - Info World Vendor Directory
http://www.iworld.com - Internet World Vendor Directory
http://www.pcmag.com - PC Magazine

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6. Define personnel requirements.

A successful presence on the internet will most likely increase the work responsibilities of various members of personnel. Supportive efforts must be outlined prior to, and during implementation.

A successful global presence on the internet might result in thousands of requests in a very short period of time. Personnel should be prepared to efficiently process these requests. An increased work load is easily handled, provided adequate personnel have been assigned to respond to these requests. The installation of processing software and supportive equipment will greatly enhance the capabilities of personnel.

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7. Review potential internet service providers.

There are numerous internet service providers. It is important that your service provider have the technical expertise, equipment and support services necessary to meet your needs.

Quality and accessibility are two basic issues which should be reviewed in detail. A server which provides limited access to the internet, will reduce the potential impact your internet presence will have.

Poor server quality and equipment will also reduce the potential impact of your internet presence. If a server's equipment continually fails, your internet presence fails as well.

There should exist a definitive and ongoing relationship between the your company and the internet service provider. This should facilitate the constant review and development of your internet presence, as well as the ability to interface with the latest technological developments which might be beneficial to your program.

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8. Establish evaluation procedures.

Everything you do on the internet should be reviewed and evaluated frequently! Business and marketing trends may change over an extended period of time. The internet changes from moment to moment! If you intend to maintain a competitive edge by use of the internet, you must be prepared to evaluate your use of the internet frequently, or, your presence on the internet may quickly become archaic.

The moment you establish a presence on the internet, you will most likely become aware of adjustments which should be made to your internet program to make it more effective. It is important that you design your internet program to allow for constant review, analysis and improvement.

The internet is a tool, and as a company uses this tool, they will most likely discover better ways to use this tool. If the initial internet program was developed with specific goals and objectives in mind, a performance review should be implemented to evaluate the effectiveness of the existing program. Constant review of your internet program should be a standard procedure.

If your internet program does not generate the positive results which were initially anticipated, it might be due to a minor planning or implementation design flaw. If your internet program is primarily used for research, and the anticipated results are not achieved, there might be procedural changes which need to be made to re-define your research parameters. If your internet program generates a massive positive response, original personnel and equipment plans might be inadequate to handle the volume of transactions which need to be processed. If there is no process in place to identify these potential problems, your ability to resolve them will be severely limited. This is especially critical if your internet program is creating a negative response on the part of end users or company personnel.

Company personnel might be able to make recommendations regarding a more efficient use of the internet after they have experienced the results of initial internet access. Their recommendations might come from the comments they have received from end users, or, from their research of competitive activities on the internet. Their recommendations might be directly related to the company's ability to process internet responses, or, the identification of additional cost reduction benefits which were not perceived in the initial planning stages.

As a company increases their use of the internet, they will most likely discover new and additional ways to use the internet. Constant revision and enhancement of your internet program should be a standard procedure.

III. SOME THINGS NOT TO DO:

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1. Do not create a poor quality presence on the internet.

Merely positioning oneself on the internet is not a guarantee for success. Just as a company can favorably market their products/services on the internet to a global marketplace, they can just as easily unfavorably market themselves on the internet.

An internet presence which provides mis-information might not be favorably received by the end user.

An internet presence which does not provide pertinent and easy to use information might not be favorably received by the end user. Home pages which are difficult to move through, graphics which require inordinate down-load times, ordering or processing formats which are difficult to use; all of these things might tend to dissuade the end user from continuing any activity with the company.

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2. Do not think that the internet will do all of your work.

Many companies have made the mistake of thinking that as long as they have a presence on the internet, something positive will happen. Although this sometimes occurs, it is better to plan a definitive strategy to generate a specific type of response.

Companies that have introduced poorly designed home pages, or, have failed to respond to informational requests in an efficient manner, have many times discovered that the potential customers they attracted to their home page quickly move on to more effective home pages.

Another potential problem, is when a company initiates a presence on the internet which generates such an overwhelming response, that the personnel of the company is totally inundated with work to do which they are incapable of handling. If a company uses the internet to create a greater market presence, it must be prepared to deal with the anticipated response.

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3. Do not inundate personnel with internet response work without having a strategy in place to deal with this work.

Using the internet to communicate with people, research data, process business transaction, or perform other activities, can very easily create vast amounts of work.

A properly developed home page, or, e-mail newsletter-type communication can result in thousands of responses in a very short period of time. It is important to assess what the potential response will be to your efforts on the internet, and develop plans which allow company personnel to deal with the responses generated.

The amount of information available on the internet is enormous. Just accessing some of these data bases to perform basic research could possibly swamp a company with reams of reports and informational sources. No one enters the Library of Congress intending to read every book available. A company should not enter into the internet thinking they can access and review every source of information available. Selective elimination and pre-determined research parameters are two processes which a company should establish to facilitate their research efforts on the internet.

Use of the internet should allow a company to become more efficient, not less efficient.

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4. Do not offer something on the internet which you cannot supply.

If you market a product/service on the internet, make sure that whatever claims you make are honest and reasonable. Do not make a claim that you cannot, or do not intend to honor. A failure to comply with your offer will result in counter-productive marketing, and may result in litigation.

If you maintain a home page to market a particular product, and you have an established cybercash transaction program in place which allows customers to pay for a product in advance, failure to complete your end of the transaction (delivery of the product), could be devastating to the company.

If a company were to receive 1,000 orders (with pre-payment) for a particular product advertised on the internet, and the company is unable to deliver the product, the potential legal and marketing ramifications could be detrimental to the company.

If you offer to provide information to people on the internet, make sure that you can deliver the information in the time frame which you stipulate.

If you provide product/service customer support, make sure that you are able to fulfill the claims which you stipulate.

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5. Do not ignore people who have communicated with your company via the internet.

The internet has made it easy to send and receive information almost instantaneously. Users of the internet become accustomed to relatively quick response and turn-around times. If your activity on the internet generates requests, and you fail to respond in a timely fashion, this might result in a negative perception of your abilities on the part of the person making the request.

There is no established rule regarding what the recommended acknowledgement time should be. But, the internet should allow a company to communicate in a much more timely fashion than other traditional means of communication. Some companies have actually created software programs to immediately respond to a request for information, indicating that the initial message has been received, and that it will be acted upon in a designated period of time. Ensuring a customer or message sender that their request has been received, and will be quickly acted upon, is just another way to utilize the internet to generate positive relationships.

When communicating via e-mail, always sign your communications with a valid response address (your e-mailaddress and company name/sender's name). Blind communications which only identify the e-mail address can sometimes be disconcerting if the receiver of the message doesn't know who the sender is.

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6. Do not attempt to do everything on the internet all at once.

The internet changes from moment to moment. Constant technological improvements are being made regarding equipment, software, and utilization of the internet. A company does not need to do everything on the internet in order to realize some sort of positive and profitable result.

Although a company may envision that numerous activities can be accomplished by utilizing the internet, strategies need to be developed to ensure that the company's activities on the internet generate the desired results. Certain issues require specific attention in an effort to ensure positive results: personnel training, equipment and software acquisition and installation, marketing plans, financial plans, time schedules for all phases of internet activity.

It is imperative that every activity on the internet be well developed and planned out in advance. A poorly designed internet program can have significant negative results.

The internet is a tool which can be used to expand a company's productivity and profitability. But, too much expansion can easily overwhelm a company's production, operating and financial capabilities.


IV. SOME THINGS TO ALWAYS DO ONCE YOU'RE ON THE INTERNET:

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1. Always respond to requests in a timely fashion.

The internet is a technological tool which allows for almost instantaneous communication. Any action which results in a reduction of the benefits of this tool, reduces the positive impact which could be achieved.

Many people utilize the internet because it allows them to receive a quick response. If a response is not received in a timely fashion, the initial sender of the request may develop a negative perception about the person or company they made the request to. Ultimately, they might choose to look elsewhere for the same information. Ultimately, they might chose to pose the same question to one of your competitors.

An excellent goal to strive for might be to: "respond upon receipt" . Although this may not be possible in all circumstances, it is an objective which should be part of your strategies. After all, the sooner a transactions is completed, the sooner a company can attend to the next transaction.

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2. Always update your internet data.

The internet allows for information to be updated at any time. This means that many providers of information can update their data on an as it is happening basis. If a company markets information on the internet which is time sensitive , and the information is old data , they might be perceived as non-current by a viewer. The viewer might move to another more current source of information.

If the information a company places on the internet is standard information, it might be helpful to use one of the software devices which indicates a recent "LastTime Updated:" message, indicating that the host company has reviewed the data to maintain its validity. This ensures that the host company has currently reviewed that data, even though the data might not have changed.

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3. Always review and evaluate the effect of your internet presence.

The internet can accomplish many things, some of which might not even be anticipated in the planning stages. It is important that a company review their initial plans for internet activity once they are implemented. It is important that initially anticipated results be reviewed and evaluated in relationship to actual results. It is highly probable that significant changes need to be made in order to realize positive results.


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V. SOME HELPFUL LINKS TO HOME PAGES:

GOVERNMENT
http://www.sbaonline.sba.gov - US SMALL BUSINESS ADMIN.
http://www.sec.gov - US SECURITIES & EXCHANGE COMM
http://www.business.gov - BUSINESS ADVISOR
http://gopher.census.gov/ - US CENSUS BUREAU
http://govtdoc.law.csuohio.edu/usgov.html - US GOVT HOME PAGES
http://www.fedworld.gov - US GOVT LINK
http://www.city.net - US STATE/CITY LINK
http://www.house.gov - US HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
http://www.senate.gov - US SENATE
http://www.whitehouse.gov - THE WHITE HOUSE
http://www.doc.gov - US DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
http://dtic.dla.mil/defenselink/ - US DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
http://www.info.usaid.gov - US AGENCY FOR INTERNAT. DEV
http://www.odci.gov/cia - CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY
http://www.odci.gov/ic - INTERNATIONAL COMMERCE

MISC
http://journal.link.wsj.com/ - WALL STREET JOURNAL
http://adfinder.wsj.com/ - WSJ AD FINDER DIRECTORY
http://www.research-online.com - BUSINESS RESEARCH
http://www.gkb.com - GLOBAL KNOWLEDGE BASE
http://www.niyp.com - NYNEX YELLOW PAGES
http://www.telephonebook.com/ - TELEPHONE BOOK LISTINGS
http://www.marketingtools.com - AMERICAN DEMOGRAPHICS
http://www.maritz.com/apoll/ - AMERIPOLL
http://successful.com - SUCCESSFUL MARKETING
http://www.gmarketing.com - GUERRILLA MARKETING

OTHER BUSINESS RESOURCES
http://www.openmarket.com - OPEN MARKET
http://www.directory.net - COMMERCIAL SITES INDEX
http://www.openmarket.com/lexis-nexis/bin/sba.cgi - LEXIS-NEXIS BUS ADVISOR
http://www.directory.net/Lexis-nexis/sba - LEXIS-NEXIS SMALL BUS SERVICE
http://www.digital.com/info/home.html - DIGITAL CORP.
http://www.commerce.net - INTERNET COMMERCE DIRECTORY
http://www.industry.net - MANUFACTURING DIRECTORY
http://www.nttc.edu - NATIONAL TECH. TRANSFER CNTR.
http://www.soho.org/sohoamerica/ - BUSINESS ASSISTANCE
http://edgeonline.com - ENTREPRENEURIAL ASSIST
http://www.bmpcoe.org - BEST MANUFACTURING PRACTICES
http://www.dbisna.com - DUN & BRADSTREET
http://www.thomasnet.com/listyou.html - THOMAS REGISTER
http://www.ibex-gba.com - IBEX: GLOBAL BUSINESS
http://www.copyright.com - COPYRIGHT CLEARANCE CNTR
http://www.premenos.com - PREMENOS CORP EDI INFO
http://www.gcomm.com - GALACTICOMM
http://www.sun.com - SUN MICROSYSTEMS
http://www.psi.net/ - PSINET
http://www.inter.net/ - PSINET
http://www.roguewave.com - ROGUE WAVE SOFTWARE Products List
http://www.teltrust.com - TELTRUST EMAIL PRODUCTS
http://www.semi.org - SEMICONDUCTOR EQUIPMENT
http://www.nsbu.org/ - NATIONAL SMALL BUSINESS UNITED
http://www.nase.org - NATIONAL ASSOC SELF EMPLOYED
gopher://gopher.tamu.edu:70/11.dir/newsgroups.dir - NEWSGROUP DIRECTORY

MAGAZINES
http://www.infoworld.com - INFO WORLD MAG/DATA
http://www.iworld.com - INTERNET WORLD MAG/DATA
http://www.pcmag.com - PC MAGAZINE
http://pathfinder.com/Life/lifehome.html - LIFE MAGAZINE
http://pathfinder.com - MAGAZINES, RTC
http://www.usnews.com - US NEWS & WORLD REPORT
http://www.newspage.com - NEWS PAGE
http://www.timeinc.com/timeuniverse.html - TIME MAGAZINE
http://www.ziff.com - ZIFF DAVIS PUBLISHING

NEWS
http://www.cnn.com - CNN NEWS
http://nytimesfax.com - NEW YORK TIMES
http://www.trib.com - AP ON TRIB COM
http://www.clarinet.com - CLARINET NEWS
http://www.usa.ft.com - FINANCIAL TIMES
http://www.reuters.com - REUTERS
http://www.sjmercury.com - MERCURY CENTER WEB
http://www.cbs.com - CBS HOME PAGE
http://www.nbc.com - NBC HOME PAGE
http://www.pbs.org - PBS

SEARCH ENGINES
http://www.altavista.digital.com - ALTA VISTA DIGITAL
http://www.webcrawler.com - WEB CRAWLER
http://www.opentext.com - OPEN TEXT
http://www.excite.com - ARCHITEXT SOFTWARE'S EXCITE
http://yahoo.com - YAHOO
http://yahoo.com/business - YAHOO BUSINESS DIRECTORY
http://www.jumpcity.com - JUMPCITY SITE
http://www.lycos.com - LYCOS
http://www.mckinley.com - MAGELLAN / MCKINLEY GROUP
http://www.gnn.com/wr - GLOBAL NETWORK NAVIGATOR
http://www.infoseek.com - INFOSEEK
http://www.clickit.com - ACCESS BUSINESS ONLINE
http://www.bizwiz.com/bizwiz - BIZ WIZ ACCESS BUSINESS ONLINE
http://rs.internic.net/cgibin/whois - DOMAIN NAME SEARCH
http://www.switchboard.com - BUSINESS NAME DIRECTORY
http://www.submit-it.com/ - SUBMIT IT REGISTER A HOME PAGE

**This home page list has been compiled for informational purposes only. No endorsement and/or confirmation of the information obtained by accessing these home pages is intended or implied. Access to any of the home pages listed in this compilation and/or any subsequent action is at the sole discretion of the user, and the user bears any and all responsibility for use of this home page information.


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VI. "THE INTERNET: A PARADIGM SHIFT IN THE MAKING"

by: Mark S. Deion

Deion Associates & Strategies, Inc.

The technology of the internet which was initially developed in the 1960's is only beginning to receive attention regarding its potential commercial uses. The internet was initially used by military, scientific and educational organizations to collect and distribute data. The use of this technology for commercial purposes, opens up a new realm of business development.

Although many advancements have been made during the past few years to "harness" the potential of the internet for commercial use, many of the beneficial aspects of the internet still remain untouched.

Preliminary steps have been made to utilizethe internet for business development. Home pages, e-mail, data search engines, and even "cybercash" are all relatively new developments which have resulted from the use of this new technology.

But, the internet has brought about a paradigm shift which is ignored by most who utilize this technology. A clear understanding of this paradigm shift must be realized if the internet is to be utilized to its fullest potential.

Commercial entities have always been responsible for the logistical and financial burdens of coordinating the efforts of their personnel and operations in relationship to establishing, maintaining and profiting from a relationship with an end user(customer).

Focussing on a specific target market group has always been directly related to the financial and logistical capabilities of the commercial entity. The efforts, energies and resources utilized to accomplish this have always been the sole responsibility of the commercial entity. This action is described in the following diagram:


Diagram 1:

                                    (action)

Commercial Entity >>>>>>>>>>>>>>> EndUser.


The paradigm shift which has occurred now allows the commercial entity to take some rather innovative and cost effective steps towards reducing their efforts while also expanding their influence on internal and external activities.

Rather than bearing the full responsibility for having to identify, qualify and acquire potential customers, the commercial entity only needs to properly position itself in a fashion conducive to ease of accessibility to end users who are already "qualified" and seeking the services/products being offered by the commercial entity. This action is described in the following diagram:


Diagram 2:

                            (action)                       (action)

Commercial Entity>>>>>>AccessPoint<<<<<<<<<<End User.


The shift which has occurred, now allows the commercial entity to expend their resources in a much more controlled fashion, directed towards a greater percentage of qualified end users. Commercial entities no longer need to finance the entire "action" activity in an effort to connect to a qualified end user. Effective use of the internet will allow the commercial entity to re-focus their marketing efforts towards a quality access point, thereby limiting the efforts required to reach qualified customers.

The quality access point should be a centrally located source of information for qualified end users. If the end user determines that the information obtained at the access point is something which they are interested in acting upon, they should have the option of initiating a relationship with the commercial entity. This process allows the end user to bear some of the costs and responsibilities related to connecting to the commercial entity.

A primary benefit of such a scenario is that the potential exposure of the commercial entity increases as the number of end users (who are active on the internet) increases, without the commercial entity having to incur inordinate expenses to market to an increasing market base (as occurs in traditional marketing activities).

The global marketing capabilities of the internet are already evident. Effective use of this paradigm shift requires the definitive creation of primary, quality access points, rather than massive efforts to communicate on an individual basis to unqualified end users. A major portion of the responsibilities of doing business can now be shifted directly to the end user.

The commercial entity can now concentrate their efforts on the development of quality access points, without having to engage their entire marketing resources until an end user has initiated a qualified relationship.

One major problem which has been recently identified pertaining to the use of the internet, identifies a failure on the part of commercial entities to comprehend and assimilate this paradigm shift.

Many commercial entities fail to develop quality access points, and continue to market their products/services on an individual basis via the internet. Utilizing traditional marketing efforts on a global basis can easily overwhelm the operating capabilities of the commercial entity, especially if the resulting work does not generate an increased success rate in business transactions.

Access to a global market may be desirable for a commercial entity, but such access requires that significant changes be made in the methods of dealing with increased numbers of potential end users.

The development of quality access points, which facilitates the identification of end users, drastically reduces the amount of unwarranted efforts on the part of the commercial entity. Such an action should allow the commercial entity to re-focus their efforts to the maintenance of quality access points, and re-dedicate their efforts towards the potential relationships which have been initiated by qualified end users who have accessed these access points.

Another interesting development emanating from the technology of the internet is the development of "intranet"technology. As commercial entities experience the demands on operational performance related to information processing, they have begun to utilize the technological capabilities of internet-like systems to optimize their internal operations.

Many commercial entities are realizing positive financial impacts due to the introduction of intranet technology to their operational activities, regardless of any activity on the internet. This "discovery" identifies one of the fundamental requirements of utilizing internet technology: a commercial entity must have clearly identified operational practices and procedures in place prior to implementing internet technology.

Numerous commercial entities thought that the internet would provide them with unlimited business opportunities, but they were unprepared to efficiently process these opportunities. The internet can provide unlimited access to many things, but an effective use of this new technology requires that information processing technologies be drastically altered to make commercial entities internally more efficient.

Although increased access to, and use of the internet, may be considered as an innovative and new technology, it must be utilized with a new way of thinking. The paradigm shift which has occurred does not allow for the optimum use of this new technology unless the traditional modes of operation and business development are significantly altered to match the potential of the internet. The ultimate positive impact of this new technology is severely limited if archaic methods of operation are utilized to implement this new technology.



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Deion Associates & Strategies, Inc.
Mark S.Deion

106 Tyler Street
Warwick, RI 02888-2704 USA
Tel: (401) 732-0457 • Fax: (401) 732-8767
E-mail: marks@deionassociates.com
URL: http://www.deionassociates.com

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