An online business requires planning and determination to succeed. You will want to have a business plan or a good online program that will help you get started and take you from the beginning to the end of starting your business.
My suggestion is to find a good online program, just make sure the business you are getting into has a proven track record. Sometimes paying for the plan is a lot easier than developing your own plan, because you can get online faster to recover your investment, and you will most likely have a support system accessible anytime.
In this article, I have put together the following steps that are a good guideline of what you need to start your online business. After you follow these steps and incorporate a good system, marketing campaign, and advertising solution you will be on your way to branding yourself, and ready for the customers to find you.
Got a business idea, so what’s next?
First Step: Get an Idea
The first step is to find an idea that you believe in. What I mean is you need to have a product, service, or a concept that you will be able to speak confidently about to your customers when they start calling, good content ideas for your website, and the belief that you can make it all happen on the internet.
If you don’t have all these things in place you may be wasting your time and money and setting yourself up for failure.
You need to have your idea in place that it is going to successfully implement your idea with your product in such a way that you can take it from start to finish with very definite milestones along the way.
Second Step: Legal
Make sure you have all your legal information that you need to start your online business. You don’t want to find out later that you overlooked something because it will end up costing you money depending upon what the issue is, but mostly time and time is lots of money on the internet.
Most legal disclaimers are provided for you when you go with a program that is already established in the marketplace.
Here are a few issues you should consider:
- Incorporate or not?
- Contracts and Licenses
- Internet Legalities
Third Step: Get a Domain Name
You can use tools like Shopify domain name generator.
An important aspect of your internet business is having your own domain name. When choosing a domain name you want to make sure it is available before you build your business around it, this is a requirement before hosting your site.
A good rule is to think of a name that’s shorter rather than longer, and it should be relevant to your company name, service or product.
If you already have a company try and gear your domain name towards that corporate name or identity, this way your existing customers will be able to identify your site.
There are many different hosting services on the internet, just do your research and find the best one that meets your needs. Some of the hosting services even give you the option of identifying your business and coming up with a logical name for you’re to use.
Fourth Step: Web hosting
Take your time when choosing a Web hosting company. Keep in mind you are going to entrust a large part of your website with this company.
You can check PC’s web hosting comparison.
You want to look for a hosting company that has been around awhile, there is a lot of fly by night companies out there that come and go overnight, so do your homework before just jumping into the first one.
I learned the hard way when choosing my first hosting service. I don’t want to happen the same thing with you.
When looking for your hosting services consider the following:
- Hosting Space
- Data Transfer
- Upload Ability
- What You’re Web Host Will Support.
- Software Compatibility
I recommend that you thoroughly research any potential Web hosting company to ensure they support all of your needs.
There are quite a few tutorials out there to help you on this subject, and if you want any of my personal advice I can help you out as well.
Fifth Step: Web Site Design
This is your bread and butter; everything I talked about earlier in this article is summed up here. You can build your own website or hire a professional to do it for you.
A build your own site may be all you need to market your idea online and it is a lot cheaper. You can get good out of the box Web Site builder starting at about $50.00. That’s a lot cheaper than spending thousands of dollars on a professional, but you get what you pay for.
If you decide to go with the do-it-yourself method make sure you put emphasis on proper Web site design fundamentals, you want to make sure that your Web site is geared toward search engine and user-friendliness.
Consider mobile-first indexing, fast-loading site and also have a responsive website design. Therefore I can recommend that you must look for an expert to avoid additional expenses from fixing a sloppy website.
Sixth Step: Marketing
All I can say is marketing, marketing, marketing; you can never do enough marketing online for your business. It is an art but anyone can learn how to do it by using the right tools and having a good source to work with.
The main part of your campaign is to attract potential buyers to your site and keep them there. There are many different ways to market online so many I can’t explain them all here in this article but to give you an overview here are some general guidelines for you to consider about online marketing your online business.
- Make Sure You Use The Different Search Engines
- Pay-Per-Click (PPC)
- Using Keywords and Meta Tags-Very Important
- Social Networks
Seventh Step: Interactive and Updated Content
In order to stay ahead and competitive in the marketplace you have to constantly update your website with new ideas so visitors aren’t reading the same information and seeing the same design.
Well in some cases depending upon your idea you can keep the same design but you may want to update your material whether it be a new video or an article you wrote.
Be creative but stay professional, I have created a list of guidelines that I abide by when creating my marketing material so I don’t step out of bounds. Keep in mind your site visitors want to see the latest and greatest material out there-so give it to them!
Eighth Step: Maintaining Your Business
This final step in my article may seem like common sense but it is one which most business owners and managers fail to comply with.
You need to keep good records of what you’ve accomplished, so when it comes to paying taxes, or if for any reason you need to get financing for anything-having accurate accounting records is a must.
If after your company grows and you decide to sell it, the individual purchasing would want to see the books so they can look into the way your business has been operated and will help them determine profit potential. Bottom line is save everything you have too if you think about keeping it, keep it!
The above steps are a good, simple plan if you’re going to be starting an online business or expanding your current business. They are steps that I have used and still use with keeping my online business up and running, and customers happy!
Joe Brown is an experienced digital marketer with vast knowledge in related domains such as SEO, SMO, PPC, Google Analytics, and Content Marketing among others. Headed by Joe Brown, the team at Digital Junkies have been hand-picked for their passion for digital marketing and their specific expertise in a range of important areas.