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Business Information Review Sept, 2001 - Building an information service: how to change your life with technology

The author describes his own background in the information industry which culminated in his setting up his own business, Instant Search: a business information service to enable clients to call and Email from all parts of the UK and overseas to order reports and searches on companies which are faxed or Emailed back to them.

Describes how the original idea for the business stemmed from the knowledge that users tend to find it difficult to get information technology (IT) to work reliably and find it particularly difficult to configure modems.

Describes the main approach to the setting up of the business and the work undertaken to buy suitable computers and associated equipment, install telephone lines and some of the problems involved with credit card payment facilities (notably the reluctance of banks to deal with business other than well-established retailers with a satisfactory track record).

Other features of the setting-up stage discussed include: the attitude to customers and service; marketing; advertising; keeping track of advertising and promotions; financial rewards; supplier negotiations; and the impact of the Internet on the business as a whole.

Concludes that running one's own information-based business has many benefits and unexpected outcomes and is perfect for those people who thrive on variety and continual challenges.

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