Doing business online is indeed a cost-effective way to promote and expand one’s business. At the same time, doing business through the Internet is not one of the safest ways if you are not careful enough. Occasionally newspapers flash stories of people getting duped while doing business on the internet. Recently a well-known website was accused of alleged fraudulent practices to promote companies which otherwise were not worthy of doing business.
Hence, there are both advantages and disadvantages of operating in a virtual world. Without doubt, the internet has turned the world into a virtual global marketplace which can be accessed with just a click of the mouse. It not only saves time, and money, but also one’s efforts that generally go into promoting and selling one’s products traditionally. Having said that, you are also faced with risks of getting duped, doing business with non-existent companies, getting sub-standard products after making payment, etc.
So what should one do before taking one’s business online or rather what steps one should follow while dealing with companies online? Below are some tips that can help you in doing business online, safely:
1. Always check the credibility and financial status of the company before doing any business or making any transaction.
2. Check the company’s infrastructure before placing orders and make sure whether they are capable of fulfilling your requirements or not.
3. Search the company name in search engines. You never know you may find some negative or positive review posted about the company, which may be of help to you.
4. Look for any certification that the company has. Certified companies signify that they are verified by third party agencies and have good infrastructure.
5. Do not make any kind of payment online using escrow, W- Union, et al. Always work in payment mode like irrevocable LC, LC at sight.
6. Ask for product samples and take reference from buyers with whom they have done business.
7. Correspond with the company representatives on phone and email before giving any order and making payment. You should verify the company’s official email address, phone numbers and all contact details.
8. Cross check with other sources even in case of verified companies listed on any B2B portal or any other website.
9. If you have doubts, do not shy away from approaching the embassy of the country from where the supplier/ buyer belongs. Most embassies have a trade wing and can help you out.
10. Ask for their past business partners and contact them and know their experience of working with the company in question. Be alert, careful and always do some research beforehand.
While many people take their business online thinking it will be an easy way to bring in revenue, in actuality like any other business, it requires hard work and know-how. Taking one’s business online has numerous advantages. Having said that, bringing down the risks involved in online business to the minimal level should be the foremost area which one should look into to remain successful.