Starting your business, a bite at a time
Maybe you’ve seen some success stories, you either personally know someone who’s had success in business online, our you just want to follow the steps of many popular successful online businessmen. Whatever your motivations are, you’re undertaking a great endeavor, which may cost you lots of time and money, but may also be a good way to gain that income you’ve always wanted, and the success you’ve always needed to deem yourself a worthy person. So if you’ve decided to start, let’s keep the inertia and explore the very basics.
It may seem unnatural, but every online business, from the ones who turned out great to the ones who didn’t quite work out so well, starts with basically the same steps. How you manage to tackle these steps defines the success of your business.
Choose a domain name and a hosting package
If it’s an online business, you need to have a website. And if you need a website, you’ll need these. There are ways to build a website on other, ready platforms, but in the end you’ll probably end up using this option , since it will offer you more customization and higher chances of success.
Finding a unique domain name (one that isn’t taken) isn’t all that hard, but finding one that’s catchy, short enough and describes your business well might be a more difficult task. Still, take a seat and start brainstorming. There are many sites which will help you choose and buy a domain name, helping with suggestions and ideas , the most popular being GoDaddy.com.
Once you pick the domain name, it’s time to go hosting shopping. Depending on the purpose of your website, you need to figure out whether or not you’ll need lots of monthly bandwidth or disk space, which is not that much of a problem nowadays, since many companies offer “unlimited bandwidth” hosting packages for low prices. Whatever you end up choosing, make sure you don’t only judge by the lower price – look for good recommendations online, and most importantly – good tech support which is 24/7 and very responsive.
Designing your website
You can either hire someone to do that for you, which make cost as low as 500$, or you can do it yourself, depending on your capabilities and willpower. If you’re going to choose someone to do it for you, check their portfolio, and if you’re not pleased, or worse yet, they don’t have a portfolio – don’t hire them !
If you feel up to the task of doing design for yourself, be assured that there are ways to do it even if you’re not really that knowledgeable. Many popular systems are available, most notably WordPress and Joomla, with which your site is only several hours away from becoming good.
A word to online salesmen – define payment methods and delivery
In e-commerce (read: online trade), the most important parameters that need to be chosen are payment and delivery. Would you use only cards, or some online checkout systems like Paypal or Moneybookers ? Is delivery only going to be local, or nation-wide, or even global ? How much would it cost and is it worth it ? These are some of the questions you need to answer before you start driving people towards your website.
Drive traffic your way and promote
You’ve set your website up. Now what ? No activity seems to be taking place…
Well, that’s because you need to get people to see that site. Some ways to do that are :
- Promote in social networks. Post about your business on your personal Facebook and Twitter.
- Write some interesting content to intrigue more people into visiting.
- Share the aforementioned content on social bookmarking sites like StumbleUpon or reddit.
- Do Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in order to be found more easily.
- Start your own AdWords campaign.
All of these tips are only the beginning. If you wish to excel, you may need to read a lot more. But you’ll have the satisfaction of having a good business up and running pretty soon, and you can then reap the benefits of your hard work.