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>By now almost everyone is online and has at least one email account, but there are still some of us who don’t have our own website or domain name. Sometimes waiting is good; prices and services have never been lower or better than some of the packages offered today. With so much competition these days for hosting services, companies are making their money on your continued business, so even if you pay less per month, they still make money if you stay with them (and you will tend to stay where the monthly rates are low).

The best deal I have found is at 1 and 1 which offers a starter plan with domain name, 10 GB, an FTP account (you may want this later), 600 IMAP & POP3 supported email accounts with 2 GB of space, firewall protection, marketing discounts with the major online ad services, and spam filter for only $3.99 per month. Yes, that is less that $4 per month to have your own website (my first website cost me $50 per month and that was a discounted price!).

Ok, so now with email and a website, what if you want to start a business and accept credit cards? I researched credit card services and found many had a bait and switch sales team who would say anything to get you to sign up, even if the fine print of the contract had nothing to do with their actual fees. I am so glad I chose Advanced Merchant Services. Their rates may be a little higher, but 0.20% is a very small price to pay for sales representatives who return calls within a day. Their monthly minimum fees are also the lowest I found, at $23 versus the $50 at almost every other merchant card service. The most expensive rate is for telephone approvals and even that rate is a reasonable 3.79% versus over 4% at other institutions. If you are only going to be using your merchant account online with secure checkout or with physical card swipes the rate plummets to around 2%. Ask for Dan Robbins if you want your own merchant account and tell him Elaine referred you (Dan apologized once for taking more than 24 hours to respond to an email I sent him-all the more incredible since I live on the West Coast and the company is based on the East Coast).

Now that you have the tools, use them to build whatever business you love!

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