The Internet is a convenient and cost-effective tool that allows you to run your small business more effectively, potentially increasing your sales. For an affordable monthly fee and no Web site development costs, you can establish an electronic storefront capable of doing the following:

The basic definition of "e-commerce" is the process of publishing a Web site to market or sell your products and services online. This can refer to a Web site with a toll-free telephone number for calling in orders. However, online ordering is often the most expedient way to make a sale because it makes purchasing more convenient for your customers.

Benefits of E-Commerce
The primary benefits of using e-commerce are that it extends the reach of your small business and enables you to better serve your customers. By gaining access to new customers and markets worldwide, you can increase your revenues with a relatively minimal investment. It is relatively convenient and affordable for small businesses to take advantage of easy-to-use e-commerce solutions.

Getting Started
One way of getting started using the Internet is to create and publish your own Web site. Today's off-the-shelf PC software makes it straightforward to create a site in relatively little time. Easy-to-use templates mean that you do not have to be a technical or design expert. Your Web site can be hosted by an Internet Service Provider (ISP).

Another way is to take advantage of convenient e-commerce solutions. These solutions, many of which are available on the Internet, allow your small business to get started selling your products and services online. Such solutions typically fall into three major categories:

E-Commerce Solutions for Small Business

Improve Your Business with E-Commerce
Today it is relatively easy and cost-effective for you to get started using e-commerce. Given the rapid growth of worldwide Internet usage, this is becoming a valuable marketing and sales tool for small businesses. Although e-commerce may not be appropriate for every small business, you should consider taking advantage of e-commerce solutions to sell your products and services on the Internet.