Four ‘simple’ steps to building an online business…yeah OK the featured image was a few more than that, but building a successful web business is not easy!
1 Plan and replan
Seems simple enough, but in reality this is the hardest step in starting a new online venture, but also the most important, if you don’t map out what you intend doing, your business will more than likely fail – you might have a great idea for an online business but if you don’t plan your steps carefully, you will encounter certain problems that you did not foresee and were not prepared for. This stage includes thinking up a name, motto and other such things – thinking of names is good as it can launch you with many more different ideas within your business venture.
Possible website layouts and development processes should be created, questions like the ones found here should be asked and asked after each step of the way.
You should go over every step of the way during the planning stage, although it may seem monotonous and boring, it will be worthwhile in the end, if you fail to plan then you will regret it.
Check the markets is the service you want to offer repeated elsewhere, is there a big market for it?
2 Develop your products/services
What your business is all about, for this stage you need to develop your products or services so that they are ready for customers to purchase, they should be checked and rechecked before going live – be thorough, check them for any possible errors, get friends or family to test out your services and rate them.
Make sure that your products are the best and that nowhere else can you get the same quality, not quantity but quality. To earn money from your venture you need to have a USP (Unique Selling Point) and be better than any possible competitors. Remember speed is essential – your competitors are fast and ruthless, striving to be top of the market, you need to outshine them and develop products that are way ahead of them. I referred to a good example in a previous article: ‘Following competitors is like chess, if black follows white’s every move, then black will always be one step behind white.’Think BIG! and stay ahead of your competitors.
3 Build an advertising platform
The key to success is in having a good flexible platform with which to advertise your services, that shows possible customers the best of your products, but always remember to be honest and do not exaggerate too much otherwise bad reviews will pop up across the web. Your advertising platform should be simple but professional and not cluttered with adverts or other obstructions.
This is the key step in developing your web business, an amazing design/layout will attract many people. Make sure that the product will have the same reaction and meet client’s expectations.
4 Promote your products/services
The final stage in building a successful web business, is the actual promotion of your products, you should not be rash in making advertisement decisions but ensure you get the best advertising deals, while adverts are key you should not forget the free methods of promotion, that are in some cases more effective than paid promotion, some likely places for free promotion are:
- Social networks – particularly Facebook and Twitter
- Blogs, forums
- Directories – while not as effective as other ways, good ‘ol directories still attract a substantial amount of people, and can be useful and effective.
Adverts should be on relevant websites where visitors to the site will be attracted to your advert, I would personally recommend using Google Adwords, and other ‘keyword’ tools like it.
Remember the points outlined in the previous step and ensure that your adverts display a true reflection of your product and have nice simple but professional designs.
Finally – stay in with the times and recognise that markets are changing, as they change you need to meet its needs, strive to be ahead of the times, but remember to stay focused and in your niche. Also remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and in the same way your business will take time, effort and money but if you persevere you’ll more than likely succeed 😉 Keep at it, stick to your guns!