Starting an Online Business

The internet has made independant business on realistic budgets achievable. There are four basic stages to starting an online business:

Research

  • Product Research:
    • Identify market
      • What market can you find to sell to?
      • Find a need in the market to capitalise on
      • Source or develop a product to sell
    • Type of product:
  • Market research:
    • Will the market buy your product
    • Pay per click competition
    • Identify the competitors

Implementation

  • Selling a single product?
    • Single page html site
  • Range of products?
    • Platform:
      • OSCommerce
      • Digistore
      • EBay/Amazon store
    • Payment Gateway:
  • Online service?
    • Platform:
      • Drupal
      • Joomla
    • Payment plan:
      • Subscription fee
      • Charge per use
      • Multi tiered service

Marketing

  • Online marketing
    • Pay per click marketing
      • Adwords
        • Search marketing
        • Content network
      • Microsoft AdCenter
      • Yahoo Ad Network
    • Online directories:
      • DMoz
      • Yahoo directory
    • Viral marketing
    • Paid links
    • Link exchanges
    • Social network optimisation
  • Offline marketing
    • Leafleting
    • Cold calling
    • Newspaper, radio and TV
    • Word of mouth
  • Customer Conversion
    • Effective selling
      • Offer value for money
      • Have a unique selling point
      • Know who your selling to
    • Effective pricing
      • What is is the function of your product worth
      • Market research
      • Split testing
    • Customer support
      • Provide clear channels of communication
      • Respond to customer queries quickly
      • Always ask for feedback

Optimization

  • Sales optimization
    • Improvements to sales letter
    • Improvements to product
  • Site optimization
    • Ensure ongoing cross browser compatibility
    • Correcting HTML and logical errors
    • Minimizing load time
    • Improving graphics
  • Search engine optimization (On Page SEO, Off Page SEO)
    • Submitting site to the search engines
    • Acquiring inbound links
    • Adding text content to site
    • Improving keyword density
    • Researching new popular keywords

 

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