9 Steps - Developing a Plan for Online Business

9 Steps - Developing a Plan for Online Business

Below steps would be a great start if you are looking for guidelines to start your own online business:

1.       Start with an Idea
2.       Legal Matters
3.       Choosing Domain name
4.       Choosing Web Hosting
5.       Designing your Website
6.       Marketing
7.       Interactive Websites & Updated contents
8.       You Customer Database
9.       Repeat Customers

Start with an Idea

Do you have an idea that you strongly believe in? If yes, you will need a product/service, a concept on how to sell, great website content, and effective marketing to reach out to prospective audience.

Legal Matters

You don’t need to be a legal expert to start up an online business, but every bit of insight helps you stay away from any unforeseen trouble once the business is live. Review below areas for legal matters:
  •           Whether or not to Incorporate
  •           Copyrights / trademarks
  •           Contracts & licenses
  •           Internet legalities

Choosing Domain Name
There is a nice article on "The Site Wizard" about choosing you domain name. Bottom-line is you need to consider below while choosing domain names:
  •           Intuitive
  •           Easy to remember (effortlessly easy)
  •           Generic name v/s Brand names
  •           Long v/s short names
  •           Whether or not to use “-“ (hyphen in the names)
  •           Does it need to be a .COM, .NET, .ORG or (others)


Note: Also, I liked the article 25 Rules for Choosing a Domain Name.

Choosing Web Hosting Company & Platform

You will need to find a web hosting company for creating an online presence of your business and below is list of some factors you need to watch out for while reviewing various web hosting companies:

  •           Check for the availability of Technical Support (axe out all that don’t have 24x7)
  •           “Uptime” and “availability” are very critical to check for (usually should be >99%)
  •           Technical factors
  •           Platform (.Net v/s Linux/Unix hosting solutions)
  •           Support for various programming languages
  •           Database environment (SQL Server v/s MySql)
  •           Blogging platform support
  •           Photo blogging support
  •           Number of email addresses
  •           Limited v/s Unlimited space for hosting
  •           Shopping cart support
  •           Support for Google search
  •           Data transfer rate
  •           Security / SiteLock
  •           Any additional goodies

Designing Your Website

You can design a website yourself, or you can hire a professional for the job. You can create blog-driven websites yourself with little technical skills using Word Press. Also, your web hosting companies provides built-in tools that you can use to build basic website using built-in templates. If you need more advanced features for your websites, you can buy professional services from the hosting company.

Marketing

You can refer to our article Internet Marketing Strategies for more details.

Interactive Websites & Updated Contents

“Content is the King”, you need to constantly update your website with relative contents so as visitors find it worth the visit and re-visit. Lot of companies use CMS (Content Management System) to dynamically update the website contents (can be scheduled to release certain content on certain date/time).

Customer Database

Customer database is very important; since you need to reach out to as many people you can while launching your online business. Emails & addresses are needed for covering your grounds for both online and offline means for reaching the prospective customers.

Repeat Customers

You need to have a strategy that would bring repeat visitors to your website. You can exercise one or more of below strategies:
  •           Affiliate program
  •           Coupons for repeat customers
  •           Introduce contests
  •           Newsletters
  •           Banner advertising
  •           Forums
  •           Discussion groups
  •           Chat rooms
  •           Visitor Polls
  •           Content contribution

Additional Reference(s):

1 comment:

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