Top Tips, True or False?

1.   I need a Plan - TRUE

Think about:

  • Who do you want to communicate with?
  • What are you offering?
  • How are you different from the others?
  • What will success look like?
  • How will you get there?
  • What resources do you need?
  • However - don't let too much planning get in the way of setting up your site and getting on with the business.

2.   It's all about technology - FALSE

  • The internet is a communication tool not a business.   To be successful, you must know who your customers are, you must have something they will want and at a price they will pay.   You then have to communicate this to them and make it easy for them to buy.   It is as simple as that.
  • Use trusted, tested and working technology initially rather than risking a bespoke or tailored solution that leaves you relying on a designer forever after and may not work.
  • Use the ideas and experience of others, but retain as much control over the site as you can.

3.   Marketing is not necessary - FALSE

  • People need to know about your great idea, so find out:
  • How they search on the net.  What are the keywords used?   How do they browse?   What are the major information sites in your sector? 
  • What do your customers look at off line and is it worth considering advertising, direct mail, PR, editorials etc.
  • Do you have any existing contacts/customers and what do they think and can you five them special terms?


4.   A web site is all about design - FALSE

  • If you are in business, then a web site is all about communication and making money.   Don't lose sight of this and make it easy for your customers to buy.  
  • Use clear links to "Shop Here" and make it obvious what you are selling.  
  • Only ask them to register once they have made a decision to buy, or in order to gain additional useful information. 
  • Make sure that the site is not so overloaded with fancy graphics that it takes ages to load.

5.   On-line payments are difficult and expensive to set up - FALSE

  • You need to be able to take payments online and there are are number of good payment providers available - Plummo works easily with Paypal and Nochex.
  • Don't forget to think about taking foreign currency payments, especially Euro's and US Dollars.

6.   I need a good hosting company - TRUE

  • While it is true that you need a good hosting company, this is one aspect that you don't need to worry about with Plummo - as this is all included for you, including registration and renewals of your domain name (subject to continued payment of the subscription). 
  • With Plummo you do not need to worry about space limits, download limits, the number of pages you can have and e-mail addresses.

7.   Trading on the internet I don't need to worry about the law - FALSE

  • You must be careful to comply with the law in the country in which your business is established.
  • In the EU, you must provide full contact details, including an address and phone number.    Also, you must accept goods for return within 7 working days.   Both of these points can be sold as positives to build confidence in your product.
  • In the UK, you have to take reasonable steps to provide access to people with disabilities, this could include larger text and alternative text tags to replace images.   You will also probably have to register with the Data Protection Registry (
  • You will only be allowed to send direct e-mail (and newsletters) to individuals who have agreed to receive it by directly opting in.   However, if you have obtained their details in the course of making a sale, then you may continue to communicate with them provided that there is a free method of opting out each time you send a communication.   This is good practice anyway and should be acted upon swiftly.
  • Use standard dislaimers and conditions of use.
  • It is a requirement of all Plummo users that their sites are legal and decent.

8.   For UK - I don't need to worry about tax - FALSE

  • For information on tax requirements take a look at
  • You must be VAT registered once your sales pass a prescribed threshold level.  
  • If you are not registered, then it is illegal to charge VAT.  
  • When selling to the EU, you should usually charge VAT at the normal rate (17.5% in the UK).  
  • When selling outside the EU, you don't charge VAT.

9.   I will get ripped off by fraudulent orders - TRUE

  • There are problems with all business and some foreign orders are more likely to be fraudulent than others. Watch out for; use of expensive shipping method and most expensive products, use of unidentifiable e-mail, such as Yahoo and Hotmail.
  • If in doubt stick to orders from the EU and North America and ask for some form of proof.

10.   I need to set up a company to trade on the internet - FALSE

There are a number of possibilities for company structure:


Back to top