Setting up a new online business, or adding web presence to an existing business may seem to be a fairly daunting prospect. But in reality it need not be particularly complex or difficult, and neither need it be very expensive or time consuming. All you needs to do is follow a basic eleven point plan that will allow you to develop a fully fledged, profitable, website within about six months.
Starting a business based on internet is not something undertaken lightly, neither is it something which can be set up overnight, a successful Intenet based business is one based upon a knowledge of the technology, its potential and its limitations. Unfortunately all too many businesses have rushed into using the Internet, and many, even the very well funded, have burnt their fingers in the process.
The problem is that everyone seems to be telling businesses to take up online, and business people are being bombarded with articles in the press, statements by government ministers, and sales and marketing hype from a thousand and one consultants and service providers. The specialist business and Internet magazines are just as confusing.
It is no wonder, therefore, that the owners of many small businesses have either made a very limited, and often half hearted, attempt at having a web presence, or simply defered the decision till later.
But the Internet is the future, and success will go to those who take up the challenge of online buisness right now, and despite the impression given by some in the industry, setting up a profitable website or blog is not particularly complex or difficult. Neither need it be very expensive or time consuming. All one needs to do is follow a few basic steps.
The secret of successful online strategy for the small business
Step 1 – First find a niche market. – The real success stories on internet will not be these global giants but countless numbers of small, highly specialist, niche market retailers and service providers. The Internet allows such retailers to be found with relative ease by potential customers, it allows such retailers to become truly global in their scope, and the odds are that if the niche is small, the competition will be just as small. Read more on How To Find A Niche Market for your Online Business
Step 2 – Set up an Online Business. – If you are already in business then you have already taken this step and can simply go to the next stage. It should be remembered that setting up in online business is just like setting up in any other business, before you start trading, before you start spending money you need to set up the necessary business structure, a bank account, book keeping, premises, getting credit card merchant status, finding professional advisers, and of course registering with the appropriate tax authorities. Read more on How to Set Up an Online Business
Step 3 – Get the basic equipment. -If you are going to seriously take up online then you will need a certain amount of basic equipment and software. These need not be top of the range, very expensive products, they just need to be sufficient to do the job.
Step 4 – Find a good hosting service provider. – Having a good hosting can make all the difference between success and failure in any online venture. It is not a good idea to cut corners and cut costs in choosing a hosting, because your business on the Internet rests in their hands. It is well worth both time and effort to choose carefully. Read more on How to Find a Good Hosting Company
Step 5 – Register a catchy, easy to remember domain name. – Choosing and registering a good domain name is an essential prerequisite to being successful in any online business venture. It is as important as putting a good name above a shop, it is the name that your business will be known by, one that hopefully people remember. You could of course choose to use your existing company name, but it is well worth thinking about using a more descriptive, or memorable name, and it is well worth taking great care in the choice. Read more on How to Register a Catchy Easy to Remember Domain Name
Step 6 – Create create user -friendly website. – Having gathered the right equipment and software, registered a good domain name, and found a professional hosting, the next step is to actually create a web site. You may want to do this yourself, or you may think about getting someone else to do it for you, but whichever approach you take you want to end up with a good site which people will want to come back to. To achieve this you need to observe some basic rules of web site design, keep it clear, keep it simple, keep it informative. Read more on How to Create User Friendly Website
Step 7 – Make an online marketing plan. -Before you think about selling products to your web site you need to attract visitors. You need to promote your site, remember that no one will visit you unless they know you exist. Setting up a business on the Internet is like setting up shop down a dark alley way, the premises might be great, the products great, but you need signposts and flashing neon lights to get people to visit you. The same is true in online business, promote your site or die, it need not cost you much, but you must do it. Read more on How to Promote Your Website Online
Step 8 – Improve Website Conversion Rates. -Having got people to visit your site, you need to encourage them to stay, and having stayed a while you want them to return. This means adding visitor interest to your site, giving the visitor something for free, information, ideas, or entertainment. The process involves monitoring visitor statistics, adding features, and making appropriate changes to the site, a process known as improving conversion rates of website. Read more on How to Improve Website Conversion Rates
Step 9 – Identify your visitors, start a newsletter or discussion group. -With a steady stream of visitors coming to your web site, and hopefully returning, the time has come to try and identify these visitors, in other words to try and get their name and address, or at very least their e-mail address. Only when you can get this information can you really think about selling anything via your site. However, to persuade people to give you this information you need to give them something in exchange, such as an e-mail newsletter, or a discussion group. Read more on How to identify your website visitors
Step 10 – Think about generating revenue from affiliate programs. – Once you have started to build up a reasonable database of visitors it is time to start thinking about generating revenue from the site. Affiliate marketing is an excellent starting point because is simple to set up, do not require credit card processing, order processing, or delivery, and yet will earn your site an income, and if properly monitored will give you valuable information about the interests and spending patterns of your visitors. Read more on How to Generate Revenue from Affiliate Programs
Step 11 – Keep on promoting your site and grow your website visitors – Once you have created a website, you have to keep on promoting it, keep on improving it, building up the visitor numbers, and above all making sure that your customers get a good efficient service. Read more on How to Grow your Website Visitors