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Where can I get a business plan (including hardware, software and the necessary processes) or a step-by-step guide to help me create an Internet-based business?
–C. Daniels, Clayton, New Jersey
If you are building a business on the Web, you will need time, money, resources and talent, says Nechelle Feaster, CEO of New York City-based FeastNew Media (www.feastnew media.com). Your business plan should detail development costs, revenue streams and marketing ideas for setting up shop on the Net. This will vary widely depending on the level of commerce you plan to conduct on your site. Check out www.bottom-up.com, an online magazine for Internet entrepreneurs, for guidance.
Next, determine what technology you’ll need to bring your business to the Web. A Web development firm will help you cover all aspects of an interactive venture. If your idea is compelling enough, you may be able to find a design firm that will produce the Website in exchange for equity in your company.
Also, consider a ready-made solution in which many companies will set up a store for you on the Web and charge a fee based on the number of items you sell. One example, the Yahoo Store (www.yahoo.com) will charge anywhere from $100 a month to sell 50 items. If you have something more elaborate in mind, expect to spend between $5,000 and $100,000 to develop a fully automated and professionally designed e-commerce site.
If you are feeling ambitious and think you can produce a professional-looking Website yourself, consider the following sites for direction: www.builder.com or www.html