But he adds that equity investment is ideal for those businesses that do not want to increase their level of borrowing, or are unable to provide the necessary security.If you're considering equity investment, two options are so-called " business angels" and venture capitalists.For many businesses, raising funds may involve several sources.Bank finance in the form of a loan or overdraft is usually cheaper than selling shares or equity in your business, says Macklin.Keep the site clean and simple: people will buy from you if they trust the site and can find what they want."Make sure you update your website's content constantly, as innovation, imagination and invention are essential if you are going to succeed in the longer term," he says."Also make it easy for people to get in touch: your business needs to present a human face."Marketing One area where internet businesses often fail is marketing, according to Lisa Richards, a partner at accountants Smith Cooper."Too many people fall into the trap of developing their product or service and then expecting orders to come racing in," Richards says.
"But this is potentially a recipe for disaster."Your website Websites will set you back varying amounts. "While a basic one could cost as little as £500, a really good one that dominates the market could cost up to £20,000."If building your own website is not an option, try searching for web designers online, or ask friends and colleagues for recommendations, says Nick James, a small-business consultant and the founder of Nick-James.com, an online club for entrepreneurs.
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.
The business has been a great success, and Julie can now boast a six-figure turnover.
"Look out for chatrooms and discussion forums, and let people know you're there," he adds.
"Network with others and get referrals."You may want to get a company to do search engine optimization (SEO) for you to ensure that you catch any potential customers searching for your type of product on the likes of Yahoo! "But try to get them to work on the results," says Berry.