Working with no geographical boundaries, low-cost (time and materials) is what an online business is all about.
Those who already have experience in the field, know that an Internet business means a continuous process of development. Although some steps, such as registering a domain, are performed only once (unless the trader decides to register another domain), most of them are part of an ongoing process in an attempt to develop a business.
It takes more than intuition and determination to succeed in a business on the Internet. Research, good decisions and a well-structured business plan are absolutely necessary for success.
So, here are ten important steps in developing an online business.
1. Booking a domain
We recommend registering a domain that has an impact on users and can be easy to remember. You can also do a little bit of research to see what are the most common words people look for on search engines, words in your field of interest, of course. The key is to choose a domain easy to remember.
2. Developing an e-commerce application
Whether you develop it yourself or hire a specialized company, you have to plan everything in detail. It is not easy to achieve such applications, so it is good to set your goals from the beginning.
3. Web Hosting
Weigh carefully the offers you have. Analyze your site requirements, try to predict the evolution of the site in the next 6-12 months. Don’t go for the cheapest version, because that might cost you even more money (you website might go down from time to time).
4. Accepting online payments
Depending on the target of your site, it is necessary to determine how to collect money from those who purchase goods or services on your website. Since there are still many people who are not truly confident in making an online payment, use a service that is already known on the market and used by some of the most important players in your field.
Protect user privacy. Do not distribute information about users. Use secure connection for credit card transactions (this is when number three comes into place).
6. Promote your business
Now that you have set up an incredible online store, you must let people know about it. And there are so many ways you can do it, from assuring a social media presence (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, depending on your target. You don’t have to be present on all social networks, just on the ones that will get you customers) and a blog (the more personal approach of your business) to Google and Facebook ads, newsletter, ads on other websites etc. It all depends on the strategy you have chosen, but it’s good to keep an opened eye on all the advertising possibilities available.
Another important aspect of your business, and again an ongoing project, is search engine optimization (SEO). This mean that whenever people look for something related to your industry, your name must come up on the first page of search results. There are actual studies that have indicated that people only take into consideration the top results. So, if your name appears on page two, you have no chance.
8. Stay close to customers
CRM (Customer Relation Management) is required for an Internet business. Your clients must always receive a quick response to their questions and the traditional money-back guarantee. This shows you are confident in your products and you respect your clients.
Of your products globally. Provide versions of the site in different languages. Regularly refresh your offer. This way you will be able to reach even foreign markets and increase your business. Nut this is not something you should do from the very beginning. First think locally and see how things work in time.
Even if your business is successful, make sure you stay up to date with news and developments in the market. Check out your competition constantly to see what products and services are they offering and find inspiration for your own development strategy. Remember that information is power.
How about you? Are you considering starting a business?