It is not that long ago that I was an internet novice and at 43 years young learning all the do's and don'ts can be a bit daunting, Firstly you need to convince yourself that it can add value to your business and if done correctly will become a major factor in the way in which your business is shaped.

Eventually I caught on to the fact that a business really can move forwards by embracing the power of the internet, my suggestion to you is do your research before choosing a web company, and as with any supplier don't just choose the cheapest, look for someone who can work with you, obviously they need to be able to sort the technology stuff but in my opinion you need people who understand the marketing aspects.

Don't be fooled by those who promise for £250 you will be Google number 1 by the end of the first month, the internet is no different than any other type or way to do business - if it looks too good to be true, it is too good to be true.

I chose a Manchester based company check them out at www.i-com.net they built my site to the original brief and worked closely with me to achieve my objectives within budget, I think the results are fabulous and set us apart from our competition.The site is relatively new and so it is a little early to say how successful it will be but the initial signs are very positive so I suppose that story is for a future blog.

The more time I spend on the internet, the more I understand how others are succeeding with similar platforms just different products, don't get me wrong if you sell poor quality goods your business will fall flat as it would in any other business arena.

Here's an example of how similar platforms can work in areas you might not have considered and that are as far apart as you can get. I am a keen golfer and I have recently bought some new golf shoes for the summer season, like most golfers I like to support my professional and it was he who suggested I used the internet to order my shoes via the Footjoy site.

Without boring any non golfers Footjoy are the number one golf manufacturer and supplier of golf shoes to the industry, I went to a part of their site called Myjoys - this is an area within the www.footjoy.com site where you can choose from a range of shoes then personalise them to suit your self. For those who are interested in golf this is a great site and well worth a look if you are not interested in golf take a look as part of your learning experience about what can be achieved.

Simply they offer a series of different designs, you choose the size, base colour, flashes and highlight colours, the lace types and colour and then you can have your name or initials printed on them or even a range of different logo's. They have cleverly decided not to alienate the club professionals by enabling you to email the final details to your pro shop so they can then finalise the order therefore not missing out on the usual profit. This final bit could be improved with an affiliate program, but the site is new and still very impressive. Any way my shoes arrived today and they are great.

This site is very similar to mine,  www.betterprint.co.uk. Betterprint is a pre-designed business card, stationery and associated products web site, offering thousand of quality contemporary designs to select and personalise creating your very own image at low internet prices. Select a design, input your data, choose a typeface, decide what colours, pick from a range of finishing options and select a delivery timescale that suits you.

The similarities between the two sites are easily identifiable even though the products are very different, take a look at the sites I have suggested above and let me have your comments or feel free to comment on different areas you are exploring or have used in your sites.