Be your own boss with a dot com business
You have an idea? Now you can use the internet to develop it into a viable business. Every year more people are owning computers and buying all types of products and services online. Discover how to start a small online business and grow
What's different about a web business?
Products and Services:
Choose an item that you can feel enthusiastic about selling. Choose one that you believe people will be enthusiastic about buying from you.
An ideal product is a consumable that needs replacing over and over. Your customers will keep returning. An ideal service is one that is required frequently.
Talk about it with people from whom you can expect honest opinions on its viability. Talk to strangers or prospective customers.
Is there a large enough market for it? Is there a large population of prospective customers?
Does its cost allow you to deliver it at a competitive price that gives you a reasonable profit?
Is 'drop shipping' available? Some suppliers will deliver direct to your customers. This service may only be offered after you have an established business.
Domain name (www.yourname.com)
Choose an attractive logo. Maybe your business name in a striking but easy to read font. Think up a memorable sub heading. e.g. A ballpoint pen manufacturer claims theirs is the pen "pinched more than any other pen."
Ultimately you need a database of your products driving a shopping cart system, with online payment options and a scale of delivery charges. Choose a system that lets your customer first find their product quickly and then go directly to entering their credit card into a secure screen.
Choose a web designer good at optimizing websites for search engines. Your database will come with screens to add / edit products, but also learn how to change text on your home page and page footers, as you will need to make text changes from time to time to keep your website's position in search engines. You do not need to be an expert to edit your website.
Customers will not flock to your business overnight! However, after people find your website, a small trickle of orders will over time develop into a steady stream.
We have concluded that where everything else is equal, personal service makes the difference. This may be demonstrated in the way a business reacts to enquiries, provides expert advice, delivers on time, or deals with orders for out of stock items. Customers get a feel for service.
The difference between two businesses may be that one displays a telephone number while another has only an email contact, or one displays a postal address and another does not. People like to know that they are doing business with people, not with computers.
If you are selling a product or service that you like, you will make yourself become expert in it.
Managing an online business can be easier than managing a shop on the main street, but the manager still needs to learn skills in marketing products on a website, so that ordinary people find it easy to purchase them.
Be your own boss
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ken McKay is an Australian web designer. More information on web design and web hosting for small business is available at platypus hosting - http://www.platypushost.com/