Eugene Carr, president and CEO of CultureFinder.com, an arts guide and ticketing service on the Internet and AOL, has this advice for aspiring e-entrepreneurs:

  • Make sure you can answer these questions: What's the clear and simple objective I set out for the consumer on this page? Is it information, buying something or clicking? Do I know which button I would like visitors to click first? If so, does my Web site design reflect that?

    If you don't know the answers to these questions, it's certain your audience will be confused.

  • Always remember that your audience must find your e-commerce site not equal to, but better (simpler, easier and quicker) than buying in the way they're used to offline, or they won't change their habits and buy online.
  • If you believe your site design works but you haven't tested it with strangers, you're fooling yourself.

Aliza Sherman is an entrepreneur and author of Cybergrrl: A Woman's Guide to the World Wide Web (Ballantine Books). She is currently working on her next book and new company.