Small Business Internet Connections for Dummies

Small Business Internet Connections for Dummies

by Greg Holden, Holden

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Overview

Thanks to the growing popularity of the World Wide Web, the Internet is becoming a great place to do business. The Internet offers an all-in-one opportunity for a successful small business to compete with the Big Guys. Now, with the help of Small Business Internet For Dummies, you can use the Internet to promote your products or services, research clients and competitors, get stock prices and late-breaking industry news, create discussion groups and online communities, and manage personalized customer service and support. Watch your productivity soar and your Web site activity whirl when you use this tip-packed book on making the Internet work for you.

In Small Business Internet For Dummies, business pro Greg Holden (with help from Stylus Media) takes a roll-up-your-sleeves approach to mastering the exciting new online technologies that can make your small business an online success story. Understand how the Net works and how it can benefit your small business through safe, secure commerce. Find low-cost and no-cost solutions to all your online needs, and avoid the fallacies and pitfalls of doing business online. Now's the time to get online, says Holden, and Small Business Internet For Dummies can expand your reach into cyberspace so you can grab that elusive brass ring.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780764502880
Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
Publication date: 02/01/1998
Series: For Dummies Series
Edition description: BK&CD-ROM
Pages: 408
Product dimensions: 7.40(w) x 9.14(h) x 1.01(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction

A Little Pep Talk
Where This Book Is Coming From
How to Use This Book
What This Book Assumes
What's Where in This Book
Part I: Getting Started
Part II: Bringing the Internet to Your Employees
Part III: Improving Communication
Part IV: Securing Your Business
Part V: Selling Your Products
Part VI: The Part of Tens
Part VII: Appendixes
Conventions Used in This Book
Icons Used in This Book
Feedback!

Part I: Getting Started

Chapter 1: Making a Splash on the Internet
Small Business Success Stories
Grab that brass ring
Jump Right In, the Water's Fine!
Step-by-step Internet for bootstrappers
Low-cost Internet access
A no-cost Internet presence
The Study, Report, Propose Approach
What's behind the Internet hype?
Why get on the Net?
How to succeed in business (online) without even crying
Working Smart: Avoiding Internet Fallacies
Fallacy #1: You have to advertise
Fallacy #2: You need a home page
Fallacy #3: You can expect to rake in the cash
Fallacy #4: This is gonna break the bank
Fallacy #5: The Net has no rules
How Do You Spell Success?
Getting hits
E-mail inquiries
Orders
Employee satisfaction
Increased productivity

Chapter 2: Getting What You Need without Seeing Red
Scenarios for Conducting Business Online
Your Internet Shopping List
Best Bets for Net Hardware
What kind of computer do you need?
Modems
Using routers to direct traffic
Security systems
Internet software
Finding the Right Software Wares
Server software
All-in-one Internet gateways

Chapter 3: Making the Right Connections
Making the Right Connection?
Dial M for modem
Direct connections to the Net on the cheap
Megabits, gigabits, terabits, hike!
How to Choose an Internet Service Provider
Commercial providers versus ISPs
Searching for an Internet Service Provider
Where to find ISPs
Major Internet on-ramps
Local access providers
Web hosting services
Deciding which setup is best for you

Chapter 4: Shake Hands with the Internet
Understanding Protocols
How Web Browsers Work
All-in-one Internet navigators
Easy E-Mail on the Internet
Using standard Internet software
Trying out the online services
Sticking with your existing e-mail software
ABCs of FTP
Serving up software with FTP
FTP client software
Joining in Usenet Discussions
Real-Time Communications Software
Getting together with Internet Relay Chat
Making Internet phone calls
Videoconferencing
Older Internet Technologies
Burrowing with Gopher
Searching with WAIS
Getting down to basics: Telnet

Part II: Bringing the Internet to Your Employees

Chapter 5: Helping Your Employees Use the Internet
Learning the Net on the Net
Suggestions for beginners' Internet sites
Beginners' books you can buy
Magazines about the Internet
Developing an Internet-Savvy Staff
Deciding who gets Internet access
Sharing modems in an office network
Identifying techies who can help you
Encouraging employees to help one another
Setting acceptable use policies
Start with Your Internal Intranet
How intranets work
How intranets differ from other LANs
Using an intranet to collaborate
Pilot Projects to Get You Started
The new employees' Web site
Adding e-mail addresses and URLs to business cards

Chapter 6: Working with Off-Site Employees
Getting Connected, Internet Style
Making All Employees Part of the Family
Setting up an office that's not too remote
Scheduling software you can use
Consultants and Web Site Developers for Hire
Wanted: A Webmaster
Transfers Are Smooth with FTP and E-Mail
Intruders, Keep Out!

Part III: Improving Communication

Chapter 7: Reaching Out with E-Mail
Learning to Speak E-Mail Like a Native
Following the e-mail trail
Attaching files
Choosing the Right E-Mail Software
Features to look for
Internet e-mail standbys
Browser built-ins
Other Ways to E-Mail Information
Use an Internet information service
Setting up an e-mail server
Using the UNIX vacation program
Publicizing your information service
E-mail newsletters
Employee Considerations
Minding your "cc's" and "to's": E-mail etiquette
Wait before you send
Respect privacy
Multimedia e-mail: Adding images and sounds
Using Mailing Lists
Creating a mailing list with Outlook Express
Hiring an automatic mailing list service

Chapter 8: Niche Marketing with Discussion Groups
Finding Your Niche
Understanding Discussion Group Communications
Finding Internet discussion groups
Anatomy of a discussion group article
Searching Groups for Potential Customers
Netiquette
Avoiding flames
Answering questions
Placing ads and notices
Starting a Usenet Discussion Group
Creating an .alt discussion group
Creating a "Big Seven" group
Creating a Discussion Area with FrontPage
Creating pages
Editing pages
Publishing your pages
Testing your pages
Starting a discussion
Monitoring discussion
What you can do with an online discussion group

Chapter 9: Real-Time Communication
Checking Your Equipment List
Shopping for hardware
Easy, No-Cost Solutions
Chatting up your business
Other Ways to Get Together
Internet Phone
Creating a business presence with Internet Phone
Advanced conferencing with browser tools
Using Netscape Conference
Using Microsoft NetMeeting
Other videoconferencing options

Part IV: Securing Your Business

Chapter 10: Locking the Doors: Internet Security
Concerns for Small Business Owners
Problem? What problem?
Viruses and macros
Keeping track of who's who
Theft
Protect Yourself
Picking good passwords
Understanding Secure Sockets Layer
Certificates and digital signatures
Obtaining a personal certificate
Encrypting your e-mail messages
Installing a personal firewall
Communication filter
Protecting Your Office Network
Keeping your Web site separate
Setting up a line of defense
Security with WinGate

Chapter 11: Conducting Secure Commerce on the Net
Advantages of Online Commerce
Virtual Storefronts
What Does Secure Commerce Mean?
Setting Up a Secure Environment
Choosing the right items to sell online
Using the Web to make contact
Finding a Secure Server
Working with an Internet provider
Interacting through Web page forms
Installing your own server software
Shopping cart transactions
Working with CyberCash
SETting the stage for commerce
CyberCash and credit card payments
Internet checks
Micropayments
Alternatives to Using Credit Cards Online
Doing the e-commerce two-step
Using First Virtual as a go-between
Issuing ECash
Other Secure Commerce Schemes
Pretty Good Privacy
Cybermalls
Microsoft Wallet
Sealing the deal

Part V: Selling Your Products

Chapter 12: Getting the Word Out
Setting Your Internet Advertising Goals
Online versus Traditional Marketing
Interactivity
Cost
Broadcasting versus narrowcasting
Direct mail
Relationship building
Useful content sells
Assembling Your Internet Publicity Toolkit
Creating an Internet business card
Define your business in 20 words or less
Leave a trail of keywords to help the Net searchers
Give visitors a home page worth returning to
Banner ad
Delivering Results with E-Mail
Keeping an address book
E-mail newsletters
Games and giveaways
Alerting the media
Free Publicity on the Web
Search services
Internet indexes
Why Yahoo! Is Good for You
Write a good Yahoo! ad
Exchanging links
Shopping malls
Making partnerships
Paying for Publicity Help on the Web
Ad agencies
Announcement services
Placing banner ads
Ad networks
Building Relationships with Usenet
Being an expert
Becoming a Resource with FTP

Chapter 13: Putting Your Web Site to Work
When Should You Do It Yourself?
Web Site Models to Follow

An online store
A "just the facts" Web site
Customer service site
An E-zine
An intranet site
Weaving Your Site on the Web
Don't worry about HTML
Rely on your Web page software to make the job easier
Tips for Making Great Web Pages
Tip #1: Give people a reason to (re)visit
Tip #2: Remember your audience
Tip #3: Remember your other publications
Tip #4: Do one thing at a time
Tip #5: Care and feeding of your Web pages
Tip #6: Don't send visitors away
Tip #7: Proofread, check, and test your page
Dressing Up Your Web Page
Adding images and colors
Getting Your Page Online
Finding a host
Getting a domain name
Transporting files through FTP space

Chapter 14: Customer Service on the Internet
Online Customer Service Must-Haves
Making it easy for customers to find you
Building Relationships with Online Forms
How Web page forms work
Using Web page tools to create forms the easy way
Low-tech alternatives
Customer Service = Information

Chapter 15: Creating Online Catalogs and Other Publications
Getting Your Catalog Online

Just the facts, ma'am
Bells and whistles
Preparing content
Using conversion programs
Convert your database to Web pages
Capture images
Creating an Electronic Newsletter
Becoming a news hound
Start typing!
Format your newsletter
Sending your newsletter
Get an ISSN number
Starting Your Own Mailing List
Picking a type of mailing list
Finding a host
Setting up a list with ListSTAR
E-mail on demand
Using Netcasting to Push Your Content
Starting Your Own Channel

Chapter 16: Market Research -- and More -- on the Internet
Becoming an Internet Power Searcher

Hmm...where do I start?
Understanding Web search engines
Setting up a personal Internet index
Using personalized/customized news services
Finding people and businesses
Searching Other Parts of the Net
Digging for FTP riches
Fun with Gopher, Veronica, and Jughead
Business resources on the online services
If Your Computer's on the Fritz...
Software resources
Hardware problems
Where to buy hardware
Business Information You Can Find Online

Part VI: The Part of Tens

Chapter 17: Ten Ways to Make Your Business Site Sizzle
Ten Cool Web Page Eye-Grabbers
Presentation is everything
Search engine helpers
An FTP site
Improving communication
Some JavaScript tricks

Chapter 18: Ten Small Business Internet Success Stories
Big-Time Internet Success Stories
The personal touch: Virtual Vineyards
Competing effectively: Auto-By-Tel
Building a brand: Amazon.com
Casting a Wide Net
Rounding up cowpokes: Ranchweb
An online authority: Gregory Siskind, Attorney
One-to-one dialogue: Charter Sailing Unlimited
Give 'Em What They Want
Do one thing, do it well: SkyWeyr Technologies
Target passionate interests: Cameta Camera
No business too local: Scaife's Butcher Shop
Making connections: Garden Escape

Part VII: Appendixes

Appendix A: Online Resources for Small Business

Appendix B: About the CD-ROM

Index

License Agreement

Installation Instructions

Book Registration Information

Customer Reviews

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