Business. Like most entrepreneurs and would-be business owners, there is the decision to make between having a brick and mortar store or an online business. There are plenty of benefits to both sides of the business spectrum. Some prefer the online industry while others want to be in the store working side by side with customers.
Some important factors to consider for a brick and mortar include needing the normal necessities such as stock, storage and product as well as others that some don’t consider like wheelchair accessible front doors and plenty of parking for customers. The Internet business side of the world has a different way of working and interacting with customers as compared to brick and mortar companies.
There are some important pieces to the puzzle to keep in mind for those who choose the Internet business route.
Research, Research, Research
Competitors. To know where you are going, it’s nice to know where others are. Especially those that are already settled into the market you are looking to get into. It’s easy to learn about what you need to do, what works and definitely what doesn’t by studying your competitors.
Industry. Know what your industry holds for you and know the trends of the industry you are interested in. There’s also a culture to consider. All of this is important to understand what you are dealing with and the kind of customers you should expect who will use your services and businesses.
Decide on a Name and Register your domain
Name your business. The company name is a label for the business that will always be the first thing customers see. So choose carefully a domain name as it will define your business.
Register your domain. Once you find the name you want you need to go online and purchase your domain. There are plenty of websites you can visit to do this. One of the biggest is GoDaddy.com with plenty of others to choose from such as Bluehost, 1and1.com or Network Solutions.
Find a Host for Your Website
Once you have a website domain name purchased, you have two choices. Either you can have your own server, which is not something most businesses do due to the difficulty and constant work to keep servers running, while the other option is to “rent” space on someone else’s server. This is what a host does. Most websites that register your domain can also host your website. Again, GoDaddy.com is a good website for this option as well.
Design Your Website
Building a website can be very easy or very difficult. Either you can create the website yourself or pay a designer to do so, although that option is oftentimes expensive depending on the designer.
Some of the companies that offer you hosting benefits may also offer free site building tools to help you build a website. Other websites offer easy website building such as WordPress, one of the most popular content management platforms for building and maintaining websites.
Other Important Factors
Online payments. Most websites will offer services and/or products to be sold online, and there needs to be an easy way for websites to accept payments. Options such as PayPal and Google Checkout are both easy options to add to different websites.
Build site traffic. It’s important to get your website visible in the Internet. Register your site on Google, Bing, Yahoo while also listing your blog on blog directories. Think about marketing in all its different levels. Online: Google or Facebook Ads. Direct mailing: print and email. Offline marketing: billboards, company vehicles.
Track growth. Free tools like Google Analytics offer a way to track certain things such as popular pages, traffic sources, popular keywords and location of clicks. This is a good way to find out how your website is doing and what may need work.
There are so many options available for online websites and companies. Research everything before you start and the rest of the pieces of advice should be easier.
Conduct research on the target market that you want to tap into. Know their demographics, background, likes, and dislikes, so you can better improve and angle your advertising to attract their interest. The medium is only as strong as the product that it is trying to advertise.