Building a Web Store on Shoestring Budget in less than Four Hours

Starting a business online is no longer as difficult as it used to be! Now, there are plenty of interesting business ideas that anybody can pick up from various Internet resources. Startup related cost, which used to deter many in taking action, has become negligible. Many people already started to notice this! According to a recent report GoDaddy has gained 294,368 new sites in just the first 5 months of 2005 while the top four domain registrars combined, including GoDaddy, have gained more than half a million. Mind it! This is not the quantity of domains registered, this is the quantity of websites hosting with them! This recent explosive growth means one thing. Online business is on the rise!

So, if you have one or several products to sell to a large geographical area and you would like to start an online business fairly quick but you don't have much money to spend on it, there are still ways to do so.

Using the integrated features of many portals you can start your dream e-commerce site on a shoe-string budget within several hours. I am going to show you how to do this on Rusbiz.com.

Sign up
Preparation needed:
Write an informative, precise but easy-to-read profile of your company in less than 600 words. If your company's name is less than 12-letter long you are fine. If not, choose a nice name, preferably, by shortening the company name. This you will require for login name. Create a logo for your company. You can do it later if you don't have a logo as yet.

Steps: Register your company by filling up the membership form. Choose a membership other than basic. You need an option with the ability to build a web store. Copy and paste your prepared profile. Once you submit the form you will be taken to a page called My Business.

Time required: Maximum one hour including preparation.

Add products to the e-catalog
This step will help you create electronic catalog of your products that you will use on your website as well.

Preparation: Take digital pictures of your products. Each picture should not be more than 100 KB. Make thumbnail versions of your pictures. Thumbnails should be less than 10 KB. Both pictures and thumbnails should be of JPG or GIF formats.

If your product requires special instructions, schemas, etc., make an electronic copy of them as well. This should be of doc, txt, or PDF format and less than 50 KB in size.

Steps: Now from your My Business page click on the "Add Product" button. You will be prompted to "Add Product" page. Next step is to select the correct subcategory, where your product should be listed. First, choose the main category and than keep on selecting the right subcategory until you end up on the final subcategory. This E-catalog is based on USPSC, electronic classification standard, which offers a ten-digit, five-level logical hierarchy for organizing products and services. Once you successfully selected the fifth level subcategory you will be prompted to a detail form. Add all the necessary information about your product. Insert the pictures in the designated places. Once you finished, submit the form. Continue doing the same for all the products. You have just created your first electronic catalog!

If you face difficulties, as a premium member you don't have to go through the steps outlined above, you can just send all the required information to Rusbiz customer service and they will take care of your e-catalog.

Time required: half an hour including preparation.

Build your web store
You will be surprised to know that part of your web store is already created from the information that you have inserted so far! From My Business page click on Manage web store in order to check and edit what you already have so far and what else do you have to do. Your web store has 9 more pages apart from the product pages. The pages are Home, Contact, Company events, Services, Employee information, Company News, Surveys, and FAQ.

Preparation: You can gather information for some of the vital pages to give your site a professional look and feel. As the pages are template based, you can edit and insert needed information, whenever you like.

Steps: From Manage Web Store the first thing you should do is configure your web store. This means, you have to select currency of your choice, payment and delivery methods. Next you should choose which of the products you would like to display on your home page. I'll also suggest you to fill up some of the above mentioned pages, i.e. employee bios, etc. This gives your web store a human touch.

Voila! Your e-commerce website is ready to go!

Time required: Maximum two hours including preparation.

Here are the advantages of having a web store like this one:

? You don't need to know HTML

? Navigation and editing of your website is easy and simple

? You receive instant access to Rusbiz community of thousands of prospective customers

? Shopping cart is an integrated part of the package

? Membership allows you to sell products through Rusbiz e-marketplace

? As a member you are also allowed to use Rusbiz business process management system

? You will get access to other useful features of Rusbiz system

? Your website will be indexed by major search engines within a matter of days

The best thing about this method is you can start with 3 months Simple Membership for just US$ 65! If you need to use a domain name, you can readdress it to your Rusbiz web store. After a while, if you feel that you require a full-fledged e-business website, professional developers from Rusbiz can take care of this as well. As more and more people are getting involved in online business, if you don't start now, you might miss the boat! So, take action!

Nowshade Kabir, is the founder, primary developer and present CEO of Rusbiz.com ? a Global B2B Exchange with solutions to create e-catalog, Web store, business process management and other features to run a business online. You can read various articles written by Nowshade Kabir at http://ezine.rusbiz.com

In The News:

Brad Loiselle  Hindustan Times
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