Put Your Business Online
If you have your own terrestrial business and you would like to expand, creating a ‘branch’ of the business online has many advantages:
- New premises are unnecessary.
- You get access to a world-wide market.
- Your costs are lower.
- Your opening hours become 24/7/52.
- You can use affiliates to increase your sales.
- You can add Drop Shipping or Affiliate goods to your site.
There are disadvantages to putting your business online as well. These include:
- Opening yourself up to bigger levels of competition.
- Your learning curve in terms of online technology, marketing etc is going to be very steep.
- You will have to learn to work in two modes – online and terrestrial.
Who Wants to Go Online?
Business Owners Who Might Want to Take Their Own Online Business Include
- Those who want to expand, but are short of capital
- People who want to experiment with a range of new products, services and ways of doing business.
- Owners who are keen to reach a much more varied customer base.
- Owners who want to increase the return from their current investment in time, effort and learning.
What you have to Consider
- Will the online business be the same as the terrestrial one?
- Can you make enough profit for it to be worth your while?
- Will you do it yourself or pay someone else to?
- Is there a market for your products/ services online?
- What price do similar products/services fetch online?
- Can your suppliers cope with any potential increase in demand?
- How will the online process work?
- What sort of payment system and/or shopping cart and will you put on your site.
- How will you market your site?
- Is the quality of your products / services high enough?
How Will You Bring Your Customers to the Site and Keep Them Coming Back
Online Marketing will be where you have to put the most effort for your internet business.
Some of the things you can use to make sure your online business is successful are:
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) or getting customers to your site for nothing.
- E-mail Marketing.
- Audio / video Seminars.
- Sales (squeeze) pages.
- Using Social Media including blogs.
- Building links.
These are just a few of the areas you might have to work on when building your online business. Even if you can afford to outsource from the beginning, it is vital you have helped to design the Marketing plan and are able to detail it to others who may be working with you.
Setting Up the Website and/or Blog
You have a choice of designing your website from scratch, using a service provider’s templates or getting a professional to do it for you.
Whatever you decide to do, don’t be afraid. Like anything else in life, the secret to getting things done is to plan well, act and review your results so you can change what you are doing if you need to.
Good luck with your new business
Onwards and upwards.