Sunday, December 19, 2010

Using electronic payment methods is convenient, but are you wasting money? Is it safe?

Today, paying virtually all of our bills electronically has become the norm. However, we've also all heard about identity theft and are aware of the scandalous fees most banks attach to electronic transactions. Here we have a few tips that help assure that those electronic payments get to the right place, securely and without wasting money.

Sometimes you can be charged double fees when you use an ATM to make an electronic payment. For example, if you pay your phone bill by transferring money from your bank account to the phone company, you may incur a fee, both from the bank and the phone company!

Here's another way banks dip into your funds for a few extra bucks per transaction: let's say you stop at an ATM to withdraw cash (an electronic payment to yourself) for gas money or whatever. If that ATM is not owned by your bank, but another bank or vendor, you are typically charged $2-3 by that institution to get your cash out. To add insult to injury, your own bank then tacks on another $1-2 for processing the transaction! So, just one transaction ends up costing you an additional $3-5.

So, after becoming aware of that sort of 'fee structure, you decide, what the heck, I'll just pay at the gas station with my card and avoid those extra fees. Not so fast. In today's confusing world of finance, convenience is not free. You may think that making an electronic payment for your gas is like a POS transaction at the supermarket, which is almost always free. Not true. Most gas stations charge a transaction fee, typically around $0.45-0.50 for using your card, rather than cash. All these 'little' fees do add up, so be sure and check with each vendor before making your purchases.

Remember the days when your own bank didn't charge for using the ATM? Those days are almost behind us. Now, some banks even charge you for using the ATM to check your balance, running you another dollar or more.

The bank is supposed to display a message on the ATM, warning you that this transaction will incur a fee, requiring that you press the 'I agree to this fee' button. However, this is not always the case. I've been charged a fee at the ATM without any notification and it just showed up on the statement!
While having the ability to make electronic payments does save time, over time and with frequent use, those fees do add up. It's smart to read the fine print in your bank agreement to see just what those fees are and to which transactions they apply.

Now for the last word on making electronic payments. If you're paying by phone or online, you should always receive a confirmation number for the transaction. If there's any error in the processing, you can always fall back on that confirmation number. Otherwise, with no confirmation number, you may find yourself with a 'late payment' fee being tacked on to your account.
Follow these tips and you'll save time, money and hassles!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Advertising on the Internet

If you are new to the internet, then do not be shocked to discover that the internet is a little like taking a stroll downtown. There you will find all kinds of stores that sell almost anything and everything. From the smallest things like chips, until as big as a house and from the most popular items like gadgets and accessories until the items that would not even come across your mind. Downtown, you may find restaurants, auto shops and studios probably on the same street. While you are not going to find literal stores on the internet, you are likely to find more or less the same things if you decide to take a virtual stroll on downtown Google street.
If you are a regular online then you have likely come across thousands of advertisements that lure one to take a detour and try out something or download something. Advertising on the internet has become a big business and multi-national companies like Google and Yahoo are reaping huge benefits from this. What is more, doing business online eliminates a lot of expenses that would otherwise have gone to renting out office space or commuting. Advertising on the internet is undoubtedly one of the things that are driving internet traffic up and up each passing year.
Taking the analogy of the stroll down Google avenue, you are likely to encounter business owners looking for available space on this busy ‘street’ just to get even 1 client. For the time being, advertising on the internet is still largely controlled by these two giants, Google and Yahoo. What are called Google Adwords can be placed on one’s own ‘street’ or website. These clickable labels allow visitors to navigate to websites directly from a link and this turn in turn generates revenue for the Adword holder. Advertising on the internet thus involves selling out space on your website for others to advertise.
Google and Yahoo act as the advertising agents. This means that anyone looking to undertake advertising on the internet stands a better chance of going through such agents. This is because these experts are able to gather information that tell them where the largest flow of people are going or coming from and this will allow them to strategically position your business label where it will have a large number of ‘passersby’.
Advertising on the internet has its advantages over traditional advertising methods. For once, a website owner is able to accurately monitor from where traffic s coming from and thus if the advertising campaign is worthwhile or just a waste of money. In addition, the online platform has become a level playing field where any business, large and small can compete effectively. The internet is no longer an alternative for doing business, but rather it is quickly becoming the main platform from where all business transactions are undertaken. Thus, if you are thinking of advertising on the internet, you are likely to be more productive, get better results and monitor the advertising campaign more effectively.  

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Revolution of Business Trend

         At the turn of the twenty-first century, global communication is changing the fabric of society at a rate never experienced before. The traditional style of business and commerce is no longer competitive globally. The internet, in particular, has redrawn the map of global economy. To be competitive in today’s marketplace, companies need to expand commercial activities beyond international borders. There is no more physical border in the Net world. The global network of electronic infrastructure has played a significant role in this expansion but the technology itself is not the factor driving the business revolution. The changes are driven by the interaction of information technology and customer demand. Customers not only adapting to the new technologies, they are demanding more and more global competitions.
          Electronic commerce therefore, is arguably the most important economic trend of our time. Its presence on the internet, in particular, is becoming crucial to the effective functioning of organizations, especially in a world where companies need deal with suppliers, customers, partners and their own units distributed across the world. A global industry and business is created by the internet is no longer a projected vision of technocrats; it is a reality. The internet is already played an important role in determining corporate strategy and in creating values.
            This world wide popularity of the Internet as a commercial medium is remarkable, to say the least. However, along with the creation of enormous opportunities, it is becoming clear that the Internet has also brought new perils and pitfalls. Companies who invest in this emerging market find that customers, while demanding more global competition, are still reluctant to actually buy products that are advertised on the internet. Corporate managers are not keen on spending their workdays on the Internet, hence the growing interest in Webcasting, such as the broadcasting of selected Websites onto users’ computers. Users who are still immensely interested in the internet are becoming disillusioned with some of its early promises and are hungry for a more balanced perspective on what the Internet can do for them, both in the business and the social arena.
         Large companies are growing larger, small business are getting smaller and disappearing. What is the future for the self=employed and the small business as electronic commerce expands globally? Therefore, the Internet commerce emerged to correct this defect. Internet commerce was initially touted to be the tool that will enable small businesses to compete on an equal footing with the large companies and firms by being able to engage in global marketing, to directly access to potential customers, and to carry out the electronic commerce. The reality is, of course more complex. Although the Internet has not brought the increased sales as expected for small businesses, it is proved to be a valuable communication medium for improving relationship between sellers and customers, and an information transferring channel. Many Internet experts are optimistic about the future of small business that applied Internet commerce, providing issues such as cross-border trading, government support and trust are resolved. As Internet communication is one of the most useful components in the Internet commerce,  especially for small businesses, an understanding of social and cultural aspects of mediated communication is important. 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

What is an Internet Business?

Essentially, an internet business is any business that offers products or services on the internet. Potential customers visit your Web site and purchase your products online rather than by visiting a physical location. The Internet is also a marketing medium. Almost all the universal business and marketing principles that apply offline are applicable online. The few differences between that exist between an offline and online marketing come down to speed, cost and ease of execution. Internet marketing is typically easier, quicker and more cost-effective for the average person.
            You also require to know that the internet is the highway of information, and this is one of the main reasons why people go online. They want to find information that solves their problems, educates them, or affects them personally. An information-based business is like any other business, except the product focus is primarily on the intangible products such as e-books, software, membership or service-based sites, etc. In other words, we’ll focus more on marketing of the digital goods rather than physical goods. What matters, though, is not so much on what products you are selling, but the main concerns is the medium of your selling – Internet. Whether you want to sell e-books or tennis equipments, the question is irrelevant in the long run. The important thing to understand is that Internet-based marketing is driven by information. Fundamental marketing principles apply, but they are executed in a much different manner.
            There are so many different models for Internet business in the World Wide Web. However, there are two important models in the transaction of online business that should be understood and applied by every single user who wants to make online business. First of all is the direct proprietor, which is also known as the merchant or product owner. According to, proprietor can be defined as the owner of a business establishment or a person who has the exclusive right or title to something. Then, the second model of Internet business is third-party marketer, also usually known as an affiliate marketer. According to, the word affiliate can be defined as a branch organization or a business concern owned or controlled in whole or in part by another concern. However, the nearest meaning in our discussion is a subsidiary, the same like a normal company that has a subsidiary to expand the business.
            So, in other words, if you’re selling your own products and handling all of the payment processing and customer service, delivery, etc., then you are the merchant. If you realized that you are the employer of a business, at the same time also an employee for that business, than you is definitely a merchant. On the other hand, if you’re selling other’s products via referral – meaning you pass on customers to the merchant’s sales page but play no role in the overall process of selling the product. You’re not involved in the whole finishing point of payment and product delivery–then you’re the affiliate. The rationale I point out the distinctions between these two models is to illustrate you that there is more than one way of making sales and receiving income online. You do not need to have your own products in order to go into online business. However, you’ll eventually feel like to construct your business based around both models, as this is where your income can be truly high-ceilinged.  

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Relationship Between Business and Internet

The way we keep in touch with clients and consumers has been revolutionized spectacularly over the past few decades. It began with printer, then radio, television, phone and fax, and at this moment, all of us are now working in the fastest medium, which is the internet. The future is brilliant for businesses that exploit the Internet as a most important medium of communication and sales.
The figure of internet users and the number of transactions done on the Net around the globe is increasing at a astounding rate. The world’s inhabitants at present consist of nearly 1 billion Internet users and are expected to increase for another billion. The most important part is the greater amount of these Internet users has Internet access at home.
They do research, study, email, chat, download podcasts, listen to music, watching videos, participate in social networks and shop online. In other words, they do every single thing on the Net. The main question to be asked here is why larger part of the businesses around the world is moving onto the Net? It makes too much sense to contradict the understandable answer. Having a business online is the chance of our lifetime. Above and beyond the massively growing market reach given by the Net, there is also the reduced cost of having this kind of business.
If we take a look at all the time, cash and transportation cost that are wasted from the typical business’s operating budget, it is worthy to invest in the new medium of business. The collective business world has a shared opinion of the opportunity not to be missed in cyberspace. All businesses that have a Web presence are looking forward the advantages of advertising online. They are spending millions of their marketing budget to online advertising and promotions, where they are bearing in mind a bigger return on investment.
The participation of the Internet into all business and personal communications is foreseeable. What was once considered a trend is becoming the custom now. Overall similarity and trust in online transactions and consumer relationships improve each month as new security-based technologies are developed.
The latest media support groups speed up the learning curve of the common Internet users, a factor that earlier had slowed down the speed at which consumers feel confident enough in their own understanding of the web to make money-related based on their own online research. The time is now to get everyone to online.
In our lifetime, the ‘newbies’ will cease to exist. The future is really bright, so put on your shades and a thinking cap! Hot items like software, movies, music, books, electronics and travel are the mines of wealth for persons who are optimistic. Broadening the scale of the goods sold will happen quickly. The opportunity is there for you to create a dynamic business online if you do it right. It’s not a matter of throwing a Web site or blog together, putting it online, having the world beat a path to your door. But it is like having a real business, on the comfort of your chair.