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First Steps To Starting An Online Business

Apr 24, 2008
The first step in creating an online business is coming up with a marketing plan and business proposal. A marketing plan serves numerous purposes and is the outline of how the business will run and be successful. These particular documents take a lot of research and are very helpful when starting up a business. The marketing plan should include an analysis of the businesses strengths and weaknesses. This helps business owners see what areas will need improvement and will show them what to expect when opening the business. A marketing plan also includes information on competitors and the demand for your particular business in the industry.

The next step is to secure funding for your business. While some business owners are able to completely fund their own business with their personal finances, however, that is not always the case. Lending institutions offer small business loans to potential business owners to help them get their company off the ground. Interest on small business loans can vary depending on the lending institution; however, low interest rates are available to help business owners. Funding can also be found through individual investors who are willing to take a stake in your company.

One of the most important steps in starting up an online business is creating a web site. This can be as simple as a few pages with products and services listed, or as complicated as including video and flash animations. Image is everything when it comes to an online business, so it is important to design your web site so that it is inviting to visitors. The landing page of a web site can be related to the window in a physical storefront. If the window is a mess and not appealing, chances are people are going to decide not to visit the store. With an online business, if a landing page on the web site is unorganized and not welcoming, visitors may choose to not explore the rest of the web site.

Now that you have a comprehensive, easy to navigate web site, the next step in the online business is marketing. You can have the greatest web site in the world but if no one knows about it and it is not easy to find, the web site will not do you any good. It is important to increase traffic to your web site, because the more people that visit the higher the chance of an actual sale. One way to increase traffic to a web site is by increasing your page ranking on search engines such as google or yahoo. Business owners can do this by creating keyword rich copy on their web site so that when someone searches for a particular item, your web site will have a higher page rank on a search engine.

Along with search engine optimization, many online businesses also choose to market their web site through advertising. Not every online site chooses to invest in advertising because it is expensive, however if done correctly, it can really benefit your site. With a limited budget, it is important for businesses to narrow down where they would like to advertising on the Internet and market directly to their target audience. By reaching your target audience, you increase your chances of them visiting and returning to your web site.
About the Author
Andy West is a writer for Business Quest and Diogenes Lamp.
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