Starting an online business has both similarities to and striking differences from starting traditional types of businesses. It may or may not require capital, but it does require a sound business plan. There are certainly laws regarding the types of business that can be transacted online, just as surely as there are laws governing business in the real world. But there are also a lot of advantages to doing business online. However, there are few things you should know before you start.
3 Things To Know Before Starting Online Business
1. You should first begin by gauging interest in your product, as well as your competition to determine if starting a particular business is worthwhile. You may want to start a news blog that follows celebrities, but do you really think you can compete with Perez Hilton or TMZ? What makes your business special and what will make it stand out to advertisers? Or maybe you want to sell refurbished computers. Can you offer better prices than Best Buy or Dell? These are the things you should consider before you even think about getting your business online. Consider the scope of your market and how you can stand out amongst your peers.
2. If you decide you’re ready to move ahead and get your business online, you must begin by registering a domain name. Much like the legalities of forming a corporation, LLC, or DBA before putting the name on your building, you must have a unique online address in order to do business. Most web hosts offer custom domain registration, so you can kill two birds with one stone.
3. Once you’ve got your domain, you need something to put on it. This means designing a website. There are several decisions you’ll need to make, first and foremost being how much you want to spend. Once you have a budget in mind, determine the function of your site. If it’s a site geared towards news items, you may want the ability to stream live video feeds. If you’re selling physical products (or even virtual ones) you will need a shopping cart and some sort of online payment option, like PayPal, as well as options for shipping. Finally, you’ll want to make sure your site is aesthetically pleasing and encourages viewers to search and or shop your site, as well as offering incentives to return. This is where some marketing experience could be a real help.
Now that you’re business is on the internet, you’ll want to ensure growth, so register with search engines like Google and Bing and consider doing some online marketing or look into SEO to help you get the traffic you need to make your business a success!