The Internet market can be a complex landscape for the novice entrepreneur. However, in this age of advanced technology, and with the services sector expanding at a phenomenal pace, one can find a consultant for almost all business related requirements, including the increasingly popular e-business of today. E-business consultants take it upon themselves to help you to understand the intricacies of the e-business world, so that you are equipped to develop and implement winning marketing ideas, to make your business venture a success.
There are mainly two forms of e-business consultants available: paid or free e-guides, or e-business consultants, online and books. Both these provide very useful insights about handling various e-business related issues. Let us check out both, beginning with e-business consultants.
They will help you with practically everything, from advising you on your choice of system to providing help with the installation process. The main advantage of these consultants that they reduce your workload. The consultants will share a lot of your burden. All you need to do is specify your requirements, giving the details of your choices and your budget, and the consultant will help you to acquire it.
Good e-business consultants help you to analyze your specifications and then devise a workable technical design accordingly, plus installing all the required software, hardware and network requirements, in addition to identifying the most cost-effective solutions. They also offer training, or arrange for it, and provide on-going support.
The only disadvantage of e-business consultants is the cost. The consulting fee varies anywhere from $25 to $250 per hour, depending upon the experience and the skills of the consultant. They also quote per-project based fixed fee as an alternative option to the hourly rate. Before you choose any of the options, you need to compare both carefully, and make sure that the one you choose is clearly mentioned in the contract you make with them.
E-business guidebooks are inanimate consultants that help in handling all kinds of issues related to an e-business. Apart from helping entrepreneurs by way of developing a business plan, you can also consult them to design and operate your website, find out how to get the website registered, find a suitable Internet service provider, and what computer equipment would be required for operating a website.
These guides also help budding entrepreneurs to avoid quick-rich schemes on the Internet and posting the privacy policies on the website. They also provide tips of how to market your business in the best possible manner, in order to differentiate your company from that of your competitors, including the various methods of advertising like making use of online communities, chats, blogs and forums, or banner advertising and podcasting.
Some guides also help entrepreneurs to find safe order solutions. They also provide tips on how to use the website to accept purchase requests, and sell software or other downloadable items. This module also includes tips to fight against viruses, and how to protect the website and computers with anti-virus software. However, of course, they can only solve common problems. If unique problems crop up, these guides would be of little help.
Both the consultants have their own advantages and disadvantages, and it is up to each entrepreneur which consultant they select. The size of the business can help in making the decision. If the business involves more than 50 PCs, then it is probably a better idea to involve a human consultant, rather than a book, so that a round-the-clock support system is available. And if the business has only two to three PCs, a guidebook can be more cost-effective and informative.