Ecommerce Evolution

The highly competitive ecommerce arena has begun to see an evolution in the paradigm of packages prices and shopping cart platforms. Many ecommerce management software providers are successfully bundling their ecommerce software with storefront templates, shopping carts, and complete marketing services making it easy for the inspired entrepreneur to start an online retail business.While the internet itself always provided a revitalized, virtually unlimited opportunity for making money, there still existed – as with most pursuits – numerous challenges and a somewhat slippery learning curve. Foremost among the obstacles for excited proprietors and transitioning companies, was adapting an existing local retail business to the web: stores without stores, displays without bulky shelving comprised solely of pixels, customers service departments replaced by phone agents, and the unending yearning to create significant brand awareness in a market that had no regional boundaries.However, the advantage of the internet was the profusion of readily available information, and the game began to change slowly, and then rapidly, in a historically unrivaled communication of knowledge in the form of everything internet, from html tutorials to shopping cart solutions, all for the taking for those willing to eager to learn – and to pay. And, so the future and ecommerce were born, fast and unrelenting. The merchants of small town life often seen sweeping the steps of their shops each morning, tidying their stores for the days traffic, spent more time in front of their computers, changing the graphic on their banner ads, as the first, obvious element of online business was recognized. Though online retailers would still require consistently reputable customer service departments and quality products to sustain repeat buying and avoid dangerous complaints from newly sprung online review sites, proprietors foremost need was for a presentable online location – a good website – and ten thousand web design companies responded on cue in a Starbucks-sustaining din, accented by the sound of fingers-flying across Dell keyboards and the exuberance of freshman classes filling the seats of newly-created college web classes.A good web design, a user friendly shopping cart, the right niche products, and successful SEO and cost-per-click marketing quickly arose as ingredients of a winning web formula that companies had to struggle to discover, understand, and master. And, inevitably, as the necessary components of online business become more clearly defined, the opportunity to make money servicing those trying to make money selling was handsomely seized by ecommerce programmers, web developers, and web marketers.It is somewhat dizzying and mathematically staggering, looking back now in 2010, to remember just how fast the internet rose since its dawn, first cresting the technological mountains. Now those musing starting an online business over their cappuccino the morning after graduation can sign up with a monstrous drop-shipping conglomerate offering thousands of products, carefully select a design company promising exceptional custom work for a few hundred bucks, hire an inexpensive SEO firm promising first page results, and barrel head long into an unknown, optimism-laden online business future.Unfortunately, like falling stars on an August night, the sight of once-bright entrepreneurs burning out from their web dreams has become a regular statistical vision, and the reality considered by this article. Namely, how viable is creating an online business? And specifically, have ecommerce companies succeeded in delivering the services that give you a better chance of succeeding than failing?Sure, we’re way past the early ’90′s when everybody was jumping on the internet as it sailed away from it’s brick-and-mortar harbor, but ecommerce still has no end in sight and is, perhaps, more appealing possibility than ever for Americans analyzing the future of their financial well-being in a lengthening recession.Online adaption has taken place though, and while early internet pioneers faced a more uncertain journey – having less affordable options available for web services – modern web mavericks will face a different primary problem: themselves. There’s just too many people doing the same thing and the competition can be fiscally suffocating. It’s in the choices made during that critical growing stage that will play the largest role in being able to jump to the next milestone without drowning out. Like everything, to succeed online will, without question, require some investment, but spending little enough to put all the pieces in place – a dependable hosting solution, an appealing, dependable site, successful CPC and SEO marketing strategies, efficient ecommerce management tools, etc. – and getting a large enough return in the form of purchasing consumer traffic while make or break a new generation of potential web tycoons.Enter the aggressive arena of ecommerce and you’ll find numerous ecommerce software providers and web development companies standing by the gate ready to equip you for the battle for a nominal fee, themselves engaging in a tense contest to earn your money as you pass by. But choose wisely, young maverick, because paying too much for the wrong service could leave you strapped when you get the marketing gauntlet and have no padding left. There are specialized web designers, shopping cart providers, SEO gurus, custom programmers, and hosting giants all dangling their goods before you with appealing phrases like “scalable”, “custom”, and “#1″, vying for your selection. Other companies promise to do it all for peanuts, and while tempting, leave you with a nagging anxiety that may be getting less than you paid for, which is very little. Then there is an aisle of ecommerce giants that are well adorned, and seem stronger and more experienced, holding a long list of previous champions they’ve supplied, and they would likely be an excellent choice except that the young business warrior would suffer a debilitating loss just paying for the goods, before ever seeing their brand’s flag waiving in the arena.Though some may come to the ecommerce table with a sizeable sum and a wealth of business management experience, I am most interested in the plight of those who do not. For those weary occupational travelers, business confidence may fall sharply as hard earned start-up capital diminishes, and success will be carefully garnered by monitoring spending.For sake of those e-commerce combatants, we’re most interested in the growing breed of ecommerce providers who offer complete services – hosting, design, shopping cart, store management tools, analytics, seo marketing, ssl certificates – basically everything you need – at an affordable price. These vendors bring a ray of hope to the prospect of starting an online business, and can certainly bring forth operational proof of other companies they’ve assisted numbering in the tens of thousands. Which begs the question, with so many advanced yet simplified tools available and so many companies already enjoying success, how easy is it really? Does anyone with a desire, some cash, and a willingness to succeed really have a shot at the modern American dream – making a viable income working from home as an internet retail proprietor? A home-brewed latte, some checkered pajames, and a picture window for office adornments are the stuff of dreams for many office-scorched blue collar Americans.So, just how well do total ecommerce providers succeed at helping you succeed?There are numerous good ecommerce players out there – Volusion, BigCommerce, Shopify, and 3DCart are a few notables – that can provide your store with a site, hosting, ecommerce platform system, shopping cart, customer support, etc., however, they can vary significantly in quality, ease-of-use, and price – all factors that can affect the reality of online success.The question is, in a rush of e-commerce competition, have packages become like so many package products, appearing to include everything you need but lacking in fundamental quality. Children’s fishing sets are available at discount retailers that provide a pole, reel, lures, weight, bobbers, and an assortment of neon-colored tackle for under $15, but many Dad has faced crying toddlers after arriving at the vacation destination to discover that the reel jambs and the lures don’t work. When it comes to your ecommerce provider, you don’t want to be a victim of that old adage, getting only what you paid for. After all with competition and technology increases, can’t we demand that the functional value of our purchases exceed their cost, or at least exceed another product of the some price.Some ecommerce companies offer relatively cheap shopping carts and management tools, but their site templates are crudely commercial – replicas with differing color schemes – and obtaining a custom design is an additional service costing hundreds or thousands more. Once you enter into a deep-digging, nuts and bolts comparison you’ll discover the variety in price, quality, service, usability, is great even among competitors. Ultimately, selecting the right company will depend upon your particular business, target market, product catalog, knowledge level, experience and budget, with the latter likely holding more weight than all others.One of my favorite new ecommerce comapnies this year is AWDCommerce, (http://www.awdcommerce.com) an emerging Montana based e commerce software developer and a subsidiary of American Web Design, for their quality, cost, and small-town style customer support. They offer over 500 customized storefront designs for numerous industries of very high quality for a professional site, robust ecommerce management tools, exceptional small-town style customer service, shopping cart, unlimited products, support, and hosting for $39.99/mo. What I liked most is AWDCommerce combination of price, quality, and support – they provide everything, with friendly small town support to back it up, for under $40 a month. The storefront designs offered a superb quality against comparable templates – providing entrepreneurs with a truly, professional appearance – plus they offer agent-assisted assimilation and customization of logos and graphics, making the site formation easy for the unsavvy. Rather than offering “scalable” plans labeled like Olympic medals, they allow up to 10,000 products so you have room to grow without seeing a higher monthly bill. AWDCommerce developed ecommerce platform didn’t look as nice as some, but was very easy to use and offered a strong array of professional management features. The company also offers custom programming for any required app development and organic SEO and cost-per-click marketing services to help spread your brand wings.I wouldn’t be surprised to see AWDCommerce show significant growth in the e-commerce market this year, and are a good example of a smart, all-inclusive provider for proprietors with limited pockets seeking to get the most bang for their buck.There are many good companies out there able to provide a website, hosting, shopping cart, web-based management tools, analytics, and marketing and I would assert that, more than ever before, they do indeed make it possible for proprietor’s with the right niche product and work ethic to successfully launch an online business with as little as a few hundred bucks. One things remains certain though: choosing carefully in the selection of web services will have a measurable impact on your business once you enter the arena and find yourself before the cheering crowd, with internet royalty like Google and Yahoo watching your emergence with a robotic efficiency.So be encouraged. The merchant games have always been tough, and though the intensity may have make a daunting plateau, there may have never been as much help available or potential gain as now.As a previous cash-strapped, green-footed web proprietor myself, I wish all a happy deployment and good showing in the games.

Business Loans In Canada: Financing Solutions Via Alternative Finance & Traditional Funding

Business loans and finance for a business just may have gotten good again? The pursuit of credit and funding of cash flow solutions for your business often seems like an eternal challenge, even in the best of times, let alone any industry or economic crisis. Let’s dig in.

Since the 2008 financial crisis there’s been a lot of change in finance options from lenders for corporate loans. Canadian business owners and financial managers have excess from everything from peer-to-peer company loans, varied alternative finance solutions, as well of course as the traditional financing offered by Canadian chartered banks.

Those online business loans referenced above are popular and arose out of the merchant cash advance programs in the United States. Loans are based on a percentage of your annual sales, typically in the 15-20% range. The loans are certainly expensive but are viewed as easy to obtain by many small businesses, including retailers who sell on a cash or credit card basis.

Depending on your firm’s circumstances and your ability to truly understand the different choices available to firms searching for SME COMMERCIAL FINANCE options. Those small to medium sized companies ( the definition of ‘ small business ‘ certainly varies as to what is small – often defined as businesses with less than 500 employees! )

How then do we create our road map for external financing techniques and solutions? A simpler way to look at it is to categorize these different financing options under:

Debt / Loans

Asset Based Financing

Alternative Hybrid type solutions

Many top experts maintain that the alternative financing solutions currently available to your firm, in fact are on par with Canadian chartered bank financing when it comes to a full spectrum of funding. The alternative lender is typically a private commercial finance company with a niche in one of the various asset finance areas

If there is one significant trend that’s ‘ sticking ‘it’s Asset Based Finance. The ability of firms to obtain funding via assets such as accounts receivable, inventory and fixed assets with no major emphasis on balance sheet structure and profits and cash flow ( those three elements drive bank financing approval in no small measure ) is the key to success in ABL ( Asset Based Lending ).

Factoring, aka ‘ Receivable Finance ‘ is the other huge driver in trade finance in Canada. In some cases, it’s the only way for firms to be able to sell and finance clients in other geographies/countries.

The rise of ‘ online finance ‘ also can’t be diminished. Whether it’s accessing ‘ crowdfunding’ or sourcing working capital term loans, the technological pace continues at what seems a feverish pace. One only has to read a business daily such as the Globe & Mail or Financial Post to understand the challenge of small business accessing business capital.

Business owners/financial mgrs often find their company at a ‘ turning point ‘ in their history – that time when financing is needed or opportunities and risks can’t be taken. While putting or getting new equity in the business is often impossible, the reality is that the majority of businesses with SME commercial finance needs aren’t, shall we say, ‘ suited’ to this type of funding and capital raising. Business loan interest rates vary with non-traditional financing but offer more flexibility and ease of access to capital.

We’re also the first to remind clients that they should not forget govt solutions in business capital. Two of the best programs are the GovernmentSmall Business Loan Canada (maximum availability = $ 1,000,000.00) as well as the SR&ED program which allows business owners to recapture R&D capital costs. Sred credits can also be financed once they are filed.

Those latter two finance alternatives are often very well suited to business start up loans. We should not forget that asset finance, often called ‘ ABL ‘ by those Bay Street guys, can even be used as a loan to buy a business.

If you’re looking to get the right balance of liquidity and risk coupled with the flexibility to grow your business seek out and speak to a trusted, credible and experienced Canadian business financing advisor with a track record of business finance success who can assist you with your funding needs.

How to Know the Best Network Marketing Company

Without any doubt if you are an advocate of financial freedom or a person open to new business opportunities, chances are you have heard about multi-level marketing (MLM), direct selling, or network marketing business opportunity and your problem is to know the best network marketing company to join as there’re varieties to choose from.You may probably have an image firmly planted in your mind of what network marketing is, based on the seemingly endless debate over whether these companies and programs are legitimate business opportunities or not. You may have been in the industry for some time, shifting from one company to the other searching for the best company to join.This article will give you the real scoop about network marketing and how to know the best company to join in MLM. I strongly believe that the entire industry is poised for explosive growth and can be one of the most significant solutions to any country’s youth unemployment crisis. The biggest problem in the industry is amateur networkers coming into the industry without proper training about network marketing and the leaders in the industry are not doing much to train the upcoming and aspiring network marketers.Those who are in the industry are not willing to invest in their education to know the right way to do the business, that is why “The beauty of MLM is the low cost of entry and the bad thing in MLM, is also the low cost of entry. People fail to invest in their education once they join any MLM company and expect to be successful in the industry and once they are not getting the result they anticipated thy move to another company because the money they spent in joining the previous company is something they can forget without a fight.If they spend a fortune to start it, they will do everything possible to make it work; they will invest in their education, give their time because the money involves cannot go down without them looking for ways to recover it. But in network marketing they expect more from the little investment and if they don’t see that in few weeks they will start screaming SCAM. One thing network marketing does is to expose you to your weaknesses and require you to address them through education or you quit. Many leave the company once that weaknesses showed up and label that company fake.In every company business presentation the presenter will say they are the best and their distributors will go out to say the same to their prospects. I will not blame them for that as any company that puts money in your pocket is the best company to you. To be successful in any network marketing company require a renewal of your mind, you must have a positive mental attitude towards network marketing.I cannot list a number of Good network marketing companies, below are some of the factors that make up a good network marketing company and it will help you choose wisely.Check The Registration and Ranking Status: In the Network Marketing and Direct Sales industry there is an organization called the Direct Selling Association (DSA) http://www.DSA.org. There are thousands of Network Marketing Companies in the world, only about 200 or a few more of them are registered with DSA. The reason is because every member company must abide by high strict business ethics given by the organization which include on how they deal with their distributors. It does not mean that any other company that is not registered with them is not legit, but you will be on the safe side working with a company registered with them because they belong to a regulatory body that check-mate their excesses. For ranking check mlmrankings.com and businessforhome.org search on the company to know if they have been featured or rank on these sites. Check an honest review of the company through Goggle and YouTube to know what distributors and online network marketing coaches and writers have been saying about the company. I know there are companies out there with good intentions that are not registered with DSA, so explore every other means below to make your choice.How old is the company in business? You may hear terms like “ground floor company” or “start-up opportunity”. This entirely means the company is brand new. Statistics show that high percentage of new companies fail within their first five years because they are still in their formation stage. Every company started new and those that play the gamble of joining at the formation 5 years are the one reaping most of the dividend today therefore If you are OK with joining a new company in hopes that it will still be around after five years and you are one of the few that “got in early” then this should not be a problem for you.Check the Integrity of the Management Team. If the company is relatively new and you want to go ahead with it, check the integrity of the management team, the experience of the CEO and the team in Network Marketing Industry, their backgrounds and reputations. How many years’ experience they have in the industry and have they been successful in other companies in the network marketing industry. Their experience will help them shape the company to last a very long time than a money bag that just want to take advantage of the industry to amass wealth.If you can, talk to people that are currently involved with the company. Ask the person that is presenting the business opportunity to you if they can introduce you to other members, preferably members not in their team and listen to their stories about their real life experience with the company.Check Their Products or Services: This is a business, and just like if you were running a franchise or a storefront you must take a franchise of a product you know you can sell easily. Find out the features and benefits of their products to see if it will meet the need of the people you want to introduce into the business and those that will be your customers, will they use it and need more of the products?Examine the Compensation Plan. Compensation plans come in all shapes and sizes. Some are extremely complex to understand and others are very simple. You must know how fair and generous the overall distribution is. This is really important as the pay plan represents exactly how you’ll get paid–or not get paid. If you don’t understand the pay plan how are you supposed to know how much effort will be required for a certain level of pay?Sincerely Compensation explanation is complex subjects that cannot be explain fully in this article, even when you are explaining a simple compensation plan, but you must know the basis before starting your own network marketing business.There are five types of compensation plans used in Network Marketing industry, with many variations of each. There is probably no one plan that is perfect or right for everyone at every time. What may be the best plan for you today could change due to regulations, your experience in the industry and/or the type of product, even new technology. And, it’s those variations that can make the difference.Let’s take a look at the 5 different types of plans in their most basis forms, they are…

Stair Step Break A Way {Board Breaking etc)

Uni-Level

Matrix

Australian

Binary
Most new aspiring network marketing business owners always ask, which of these network marketing compensation plans is best. There is no one sentence that fits the answer to this question. It depends a lot on your personality and what you want to achieve from your network marketing business. The thing to remember is that, apart from retail profit where applicable, a network marketing compensation plan pays you for a combination of product sales and sales management. So if you are more of a traditional salesperson who can move tons of products, it may be advisable to go with the company that pays more for product sales than for managing sales teams. If you really want to make it big in network marketing, study the compensation plan of any company before signing up.Online Marketing: Make sure the company policy allows you to utilize the internet as a marketing tool and they must have system in place that will help you do that, such as your replicated website, online payment system, online product delivery system etc. People are utilizing the internet as their main marketing tool because of the automation on the internet that has allowed a much more consistent method of following up.The only reason why some companies don’t accept online marketing is due to people who utilize it to spam and that can give a very bad reputation not only to the distributor, but also to the company you’re working with.In conclusion, the best company in network marketing is the one that has a realistic pay plan, which is a compensation plan where the incentives given to members are achievable by the company through their product and services. You must also take notice of some of the points listed above to make your choices.