Are You Web Ready?

Business strategies to ensure e-commerce solutions and increase online profits

easy to navigate. Womack says it is important, in the initial planning stages, for companies to reach out to existing customers and ask them how they use the Internet to purchase goods and services.

ForSalespeople.com provides sales leads, business management, training articles, a directory of recruiters, company research, travel center, and a shopping mall (products offered via affinity programs with major retailers such as Staples).

The site averages a little over 90,000 hits per day and contributes 25% to 50% of the company’s total sales revenues.

Computer Solutions Group Inc.-the holding company for CSG Recruiting and Staffing and ForSalespeople.com-expects to earn $2.7 million in revenues this year from banner ads, recruitment fees, the e-commerce mall, affinity programs, and partnerships.

“We are a value to recruiters by making it easier for them to find and place salespeople,” says Womack. “For salespeople, we are a one-stop shop for them to find employment, news, and career advice.”

ForSalespeople.com is a prime example that Net enterprises can provide services more easily than traditional businesses.
-Carolyn M. Brown

Clicks ‘n’ Bricks:
Urban Cool Network
How do you define urban? According to Jacob Miles III, founder and CEO of Urban Cool Network Inc, “what really defines urban is lifestyle.” UCN encompasses a network of Websites-Urbancool.com and Urbancoolnet.com. Urbancool.com, designed for consumers, is an Internet portal offering free e-mail, search engines, and channels concentrating on family-focused entertainment, sports, politics, fashion, and finance. Urbancoolnet.com is a b-to-b e-commerce site that provides partnering companies with various Internet tools and services, including content development, Web hosting, research, and data mining.

In addition, local businesses and franchises can get UCN to erect one of its NetStand kiosks, which are placed in high-traffic urban locations-such as shopping malls-and contain computers with Internet access and a variety of other services. Now access to the Internet may be as simple as a trip to your neighborhood McDonald’s.

UCN approaches small businesses with the plans to set up the kiosks, at no cost to the companies. Advertising, access fees (to Internet Service Providers, for example), and value-added services generate all revenues (figure could not be disclosed due to SEC rulings).

Miles, a 25-year veteran of the technology, entertainment, and toy manufacturing industries, founded Urban Cool Network in 1998. As vice president of operations at Tonka, he was part of the team that launched the Sega Game Systems in the U.S. and put an Internet browser into a game machine for the first time. Miles was formerly president of Cultural Exchange Entertainment Corp., a toy company specializing in electronic learning aids and cartoons, which has since closed.

Initially financed by family and friends, UCN filed an Initial Public Offering this past May. The common stock will range between $9 and $11 and the company is listed on the Nasdaq Exchange (Nasadq: UBN). Miles should continue to own a substantial portion of UCN, with venture capital and the Wilhelmina Modeling and Talent Agency making up a portion of the minority shareholders.

The UCN chief understands the challenges of emerging e-commerce sites. He says virtual malls and b-to-c models “must

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