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5 Key Steps In Planning Your Online Business

Aug 17, 2007
There are five essential steps you must take to prepare for starting and running your online business. When you take these five steps, you'll build the foundation that you need to ensure your business's success.

Choose a niche.

The very first step you must take is to choose a niche. Consider your interests and opt for a niche that isn't oversaturated. It's normal to have competition, but you don't want to choose a niche that is so popular, you'll be competing with thousands and thousands of other businesses.

Become an expert in your niche.

People trust experts, so you must establish yourself as an expert in your niche. Establishing yourself as an expert is actually much easier than it sounds. You can start by writing articles and submitting them to article directories or publishing them on your Web site. In addition, join forums in your niche, and start talking to people. Answer questions, and get involved.

Decide what products/services you will sell.

Once you've determined your niche, you must identify your target market's wants. Your goal should be to offer what your target market wants, not what it needs because most people tend to purchase what they want before they buy what they need.

Design a Web site.

Your Web site is your virtual storefront, and it's your virtual business card on the internet. A professional Web site is essential to your business success. The good news is, whether you're on a tight budget or you don't have the skills that it takes to build a Web site from scratch, you can still have a professional, high quality Web site if you're creative. For example, if you have a tight budget, contact your local college or university to determine whether there are any students who would be interested in designing your Web site for a lower rate and a reference. Or, if you don't know HTML or code, you can purchase a template you like online and customize it using a program like FrontPage or Dreamweaver.

Develop a marketing plan.

You've probably heard that old cliche, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Well, it's true. Before you open your virtual business doors, you must develop a marketing plan that outlines how you are going to build a customer base. You have countless options for marketing your online business, including: writing articles and submitting them to article directories; using your signature line in your email and on forums and discussion boards to promote your Web site; and sending out a newsletter. Your options for marketing are endless if you're creative. Remember, you can market both online and offline to draw people to your online business.
About the Author
Tim Godfrey is the founder of the exclusive internet marketing online resource, OnlineBusinessRevenue.com. Find out more about our recommended online course for building a profitable online business in record time.
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