Security should also be a priority, and potential customers should be assured their details will be kept safe."How you treat customers matters," says James."Talk to them as often as possible and help them to get to know you and build confidence in you and the services you provide.The internet has certainly revolutionized the way we live our lives, and offers a place where individuals can compete with global organisations. Your business plan The starting point for any new venture is to create a business plan, says Tony Cohen, the head of entrepreneurial business at Deloitte."You need to know your target market, know your competition, attract funding, secure good resources, build consumer loyalty – especially blogger coverage – and forge alliances with strategic partners," he says."Preparation and research are key."Jeffrey Macklin from FDUK, a company that provides part-time finance directors to start-up businesses, says the objective of the business plan is to tell a simple yet compelling story that leaves the reader wanting to meet the management team and find out more about the proposition.That said, while starting up an internet business can be one of the toughest things you ever do, it can also be the most rewarding."Julie White, 38, of Milton Keynes, set up her own internet business, Truly Madly Baby, in 2005 after she had given birth to her son, Samuel.
James also recommends emailing your friends and family with details of your site."Fulfil every order as fast as you possibly can," he adds.Websites should be easy to navigate so users don't get frustrated and leave without making a purchase.After making a strong pitch, she received two offers from the dragons.But in the end, she decided to turn both of them down.Business angels are wealthy individuals who look to invest in growing companies wanting to raise between £10,000 and £250,00. Venture capitalists will only invest – usually a minimum of £2m – if they can see a significant return in three years, say.For internet start-ups with a sound business proposition but without the necessary security to obtain conventional lending, the Small Firms Loan Guarantee is another option, according to Steve Jennings, director of business banking at Alliance & Leicester Commercial Bank.Over the past 10 years, the growth of the internet has resulted in the high-profile successes of many internet-related businesses.Just a few weeks ago, for example, price comparison service became the second-biggest internet float in the world since the implosion, after that industry behemoth, Google.If you've ever had an idea for a product or service that you think could net you a fortune, you may well have considered setting up an internet business with the aim of sitting back and watching the money roll in.After all, in 2006, consumers spent £30.2bn on online goods and services, according to IMRG, the industry body for global e-retailing.