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During our twenty (20) years of merchant credit card processing and working with small to mid-size Internet merchants, the most common comment we hear is “I’m going to open my business on the Internet because it won’t cost me anything to run the business. After all…it’s not like I’m opening a brick and mortar store on Main Street USA!” That type of mindset is a sure road to failure for a new Internet merchant.

When a merchant is planning to open an Internet business, he/she must prepare a business plan just as if the business is opening as an open door retail store. You WILL have a business address; the URL. Hence you will be paying a monthly or yearly “lease” to your website/URL registrar. Now you have to pay your “utilities” to keep your new Internet business open. This URL will have to be hosted; whether it’s a .com, .net, .org, .us, etc. That would be your Internet hosting company. They will be the ones responsible for maintaining your connection to the Internet 24/7.

OK, you now have your lease and your utilities set, now you need to hire a manager. Someone has to make sure that your store is open, stock is updated and maintained, the store is always clean and signed well, and your customers are handled in the manner you expect. That manager would be your web developer. You don’t have to do more than pay your “business” a weekly visit and provide any updates to your web developer/manager to make sure your store is always in tip top shape.

All stores need a “vehicle” to help their customers accumulate all of the wonderful products and services that they wish to purchase from you. Don’t forget to provide them with a shopping cart or order form. You definitely want to make their shopping experience as easy as possible so they shop with you frequently, safely, and securely whenever they’re in the “neighborhood”.

OOPS…don’t forget to hire an employee. “But I’m on the Internet”, you might say. “Why in the world would I need employees?” Well, who is going to service your customers, accept their money at checkout and ship the product or perform your services? That’s where Card Solutions International’s expertise comes in. We will be your new and only required “employee”. We have the means to greet your customers at checkout, happily accept their payment for your products and services, thank them for shopping with you, and invite them back.

Now that you have all of your operating tools in place you have to let the Internet consumer world know you are open for business. Yes, you need to advertise. That’s where Internet marketing comes in. Whether you start with Pay per Clicks or go directly to utilize search engine optimization, you have to get your name out on the street so you are able to be found and to compete with your competitors. The more the consumer sees your name “in lights” and the “doors” are always open, the more traffic you will have walking through your doors.

With all of that said, now compare your operating budget for your Internet store with a possible operating budget for an open door retail store selling the exact same service(s) and product(s) as your new store will be selling on the Net. The overhead for an Internet business is much lower than that of a brick and mortar store on Main Street USA. Where else can you get a lease for as little as $9.95-$35 per year? We become your employee who only gets paid if we “ring” up a sale. Forget minimum wages and employee benefits! The point is, all businesses, whether brick and mortar or on the Net, will carry operating costs and overhead. Make a business plan, consider the operating overhead costs of your business and include them in your daily operation. That way there are no surprises and you have laid the groundwork for a successful brick and mortar store on the Internet.

Good Luck!!!!!

For more information on available Internet tools and resources, please ask your web developer or visit and

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