I love the internet; in the last 50 years has there been a more important development in the history of business? People compare the net to other important media developments, such as the printing press, the TV or radio. Wrong. The internet is bigger than all of those put together.For business the internet is the ultimate leveller. For the first time we have a platform that allows the small guys, the spare room businesses and entrepreneurial spirits to compete with the big goliaths. And competition generally has intensified. As a software and services provider I can tell you it has forced the entire industry to up our game radically.The internet makes it much easier to find all of the products and services you need to start a business. Much of your business can be run online and you can even access cheap but talented resources from across the world. When your product or service is ready, you can let the world know too.Ten years ago I recall working for a mammoth international TV and media company that invested millions of both time and money into its billing and subscription platform. All it wanted to do was ensure no matter how or where you subscribed, it all came into a single system. This wasn’t rocket science, but at the time it was complex to stitch disparate software and web systems together, and it came with a suitably horrible price tag.The internet has turned this problem on its head; you don’t need a million bucks any more. There are hundreds of free or low cost solutions available to help you run a startup professionally.My own company, Actinic provides functionality out of the box for controlling multiple retail channels (e.g. web, shop, phone, mail). Ten years ago this concept wasn’t even around. Today you can buy standard applications and services at a commodity price.So, this is a very exciting time to be starting a business. The tools are out there for you to create both great products and services. For once you don’t need an IPO to afford them.What are you waiting for?