The Internet has opened up a wide range of business opportunities for one and all. Perhaps this is the reason why almost all the businesses have their own websites. Well, if you are still in the planning stages about your own online venture, you may be confused regarding where to start from; here are some steps which will be helpful.
Step 1-Define your product or service: Firstly, you need to clearly define the goods or services that you plan to offer, and what differentiates it from the rest of the sites. Check the competitors' sites and find out what each one is selling, and whether you can provide something which is not already out there.
Step 2-Register your business: You need to register the business name as per the prevailing laws. Fill out the paperwork or register online on the relevant site. Ensure that you also have a business plan in place.
Step 3-Hardware and Internet: The next step would be to get a dedicated computer and a secure Internet connection for the business needs. This is a prerequisite since you would be running the entire business through the computer. It is advisable to have a good anti-virus software since you don't want important data to be lost in a virus or malware attack.
Step 4-Register a domain name: You will have to register for a domain name, which will, thereafter, be your identity on the World Wide Web. You need to think of an appropriate URL which is relevant, catchy, and popular in terms of search engine optimization as well. It makes sense to visit a domain provider and test out some of the names to check if they are available.
Step 5-Find a hosting service: If you are considering this for the long-term, it makes sense to go for a paid service that will offer all the services that you need. This will be the base of your website and is an important element in the setup process.
Step 6-Design a website: It is now time to design your website. Always remember that the website is often considered as a reflection of the business, and hence, it needs to be relevant, precise, attractive, and convenient to use. You don't need to be an expert in web designing and content writing, all you need to do is hire the right kind of people to do that job for you. Your customers should be able to complete the online shopping process in 2 - 3 clicks.
Step 7-Set up payment method and security: Since a large number of customers will be using their credit cards to pay for your goods or services, you need to establish a way to accept this mode of payment. Creating a merchant account with a bank or using a third-party account can help you accomplish this. This venture calls for the highest level of security because of online payments as well as confidentiality of user accounts.
Step 8-Internet marketing: Try and place your advertisements on closely related websites. You can also make use of blog advertising, by creating a blog to supplement your website. Think of all possible methods of Internet marketing. Make use of online marketing and advertising tools like Google Adsense or Google Adwords.
Step 9-Create the hype: Well, now that you are all set for a launch, you need to create some hype about your website. This is the time to use all types of media, whether it's through the newspaper, radio, television, email, or even the mobile phone-use what suits your needs as well as fits your budget. Make sure your website has links to your business page on sites like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.
Step 10-Focus on customer service: The final step in making your business a huge success is to focus on good quality customer service, and consider customer feedback for further changes and improvements. It is important that you get references from customers who shop on your site and help to bring more customers or traffic.